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Balding Causes, Signs, Treatment, and Prevention for Men and Women – Healthline

It’s normal to lose some hair from your scalp each day. But if your hair is thinning or shedding faster than usual, you may be balding.
You’re not alone, though. Most people experience hair loss as they get older. Often, it’s related to genetics and the natural process of aging. In other cases, balding may be due to an underlying medical condition.
In this article, we’ll explore the possible causes and symptoms of balding. We’ll also discuss options for treatment and prevention in both men and women.
Balding is due to excessive hair loss from the head. The term “balding” is most commonly used to refer to androgenetic alopecia, or male or female pattern hair loss.
The hair growth cycle typically includes three phases:
When hair falls out at the end of the telogen phase, new hairs grow in. But when there’s more hair loss than growth, balding occurs.
Since the term “balding” is almost exclusively used to describe androgenetic alopecia, the typical symptoms include:
Androgenetic alopecia is what typically causes balding. In men, it’s more commonly known as male pattern baldness. In women, it’s known as female pattern baldness. It’s responsible for 95 percent of the cases of permanent hair loss, states the American Hair Loss Council.
This type of balding isn’t necessarily a disease. It’s a condition related to:
Genetics play a role in the predisposing factors for androgenetic alopecia, possibly affecting key enzymes like 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Both hormones are androgens.
When DHT increases, or when the hair follicle becomes more sensitive to DHT, the hair follicle shrinks. The anagen phase also shortens and, as a result, hairs falls out earlier than normal.
In both men and women, androgenetic alopecia typically happens gradually. In men, it causes a receding hairline and thinning at the top of the head. These are typical characteristics of male pattern baldness.
Women don’t typically develop a receding hairline. Instead, they predominantly experience thinning throughout the top of the scalp, which manifests as a widening hair part. This is typical of female pattern baldness.
Although androgenetic alopecia is by far the most common cause of balding, there are other conditions that can cause you to lose hair or develop bald spots on your scalp.
However, unlike alopecia, these conditions usually don’t follow a predictable progression with hair loss. This means they don’t cause your hair to recede in a pattern that’s typical of balding.
The following conditions can produce varying degrees of hair loss, some of which can be permanent and others that are reversible:
Sometimes balding is a side effect of an underlying medical condition. It may be associated with:
Contrary to popular belief, the following aren’t responsible for balding:
The most common treatments for male or female pattern baldness include the following options:
Balding due to genetics isn’t preventable. However, you can reduce the risk of other types of hair loss with these tips:
The vast majority of the time, androgenetic alopecia causes baldness. In men, it’s more commonly known as male pattern baldness. In women, it’s known as female pattern baldness. With this type of balding, hair loss follows a fairly predictable pattern.
If you’re concerned about balding, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Depending on the cause, they might be able to recommend medication or procedures to treat or slow down your hair loss.
Last medically reviewed on December 12, 2019



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