Common baldness, male-pattern hair loss, genetic hair loss and androgenetic alopecia are terms that are used to describe the same thing: the hair loss typically seen in men, where hair is lost in the front, on top, and on the crown of the scalp, but maintained on the back and sides. Most men experience at least some degree of hair loss in their lifetime, with the numbers increasing continuously with age. By their late 20s, approximately 12% of men experience some hair loss. By the time a man is in his 50s, he has a greater than 50% chance of displaying some genetic baldness.
Hair loss is relatively common in women as well, with about 30% experiencing at least some degree of thinning in their lifetime. Because female hair loss tends to be diffuse (less hair all over) rather than showing the characteristic â€œpatterned alopeciaâ€ of men, and because the frontal hairline in women is often maintained, there is a misconception that hair loss in women is rareâ€”but it is not. Hair loss in women is generally very gradual, with the rate accelerating during pregnancy and at menopause. It tends to be more cyclical in women than in men, and it is more easily affected by hormonal changes, seasonal changes, medical conditions, and other external factors.
Individuals experiencing hair loss should have a complete evaluation to identify the cause. In the case of hair loss that is irreversible, treatment options include prescription oral medication, hair transplantation and restoration surgery and laser treatments.