Androgenic Alopecia is a common form of pattern hair loss, predominantly affecting the top and front of the scalp. The pattern of hair loss in men starts above both temples and recedes to create a characteristic “M” shape, also thinning at the crown and commonly progressing to partial or complete baldness. In women, the hairline doesn’t recede but the hair thins out all over the head and rarely leads to total baldness. While the causes of androgenic alopecia remain unclear, especially in females, in males it is commonly attributed to a combination of genetics and the male hormone dihydrotestosterone. Multiple medical comorbidities have been linked to male androgenic alopecia, such as coronary heart disease, prostate cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. Androgenic alopecia in women is linked to an increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome.
50 million men and 30 million women in the United States suffer from androgenic alopecia
Androgenic alopecia affects approximately 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. It can present in a person’s teenage years but the risk increases with age. This form of hair loss is very common, affecting more than 50 percent of men over age 50. Many genetic and environmental factors are likely to be involved in the incidence of androgenic alopecia. This condition tends to cluster in families, however, and having a close relative with patterned hair loss seems to be a risk factor for the onset of the condition.
The Androgenic Alopecia Market
Hair growth is an industry giant, with estimated annual sales of $3.6 billion.
Currently, there are only a couple of drugs on the market, like minoxidil (commonly branded as Rogaine) and finasteride (commonly branded as Propecia), that can treat androgenic alopecia. Unfortunately, these treatments don’t provide actual hair regeneration. The effectiveness tends to get mixed reviews from patients and can come with side effects like decreased sexual performance and desire.
Due to the commonly reported lack of effectiveness, negative side effects, and a wide prevalence of androgenic alopecia, there is clearly a large demand for safer and viable therapeutic treatments.
Androgenetic Alopecia – Genetics Home Reference – NIH. (2015, August). Retrieved from