Androgenic Alopecia is often abbreviated AA or AGA; for this article we will use AA.
The following diagram may look familiar to many of you:
This is called the Ludwig Diagram and it is the chart used to measure degrees of AA in women.
There are some things you can tell right away from the pictures:
- AA is progressive
- The hair loss in AA is concentrated at the top of the head
- Women with AA tend to keep their front hairlines, unlike men who lose their hair
There are a few things you CAN'T see in this diagram, though:
- AA in WOMEN (as opposed to men) generally causes light diffuse balding all over the scalp in addition to the concentrated balding at the top of the head
- This type of HEREDITARY HAIR LOSS can begin any time after puberty, but for most women onset is prior to menopause (this differentiates AA from a lot of other types of hair loss in women)
- Medications such as Spironolactone / Aldactone are very effective at blocking the androgens that cause follicular shed in certain women
- Thyroid problems and many disorders can also cause similar hair loss issues; you will want to go to an ENDOCRINOLOGIST to rule out hormonal causes of hair loss before inquiring about specific treatments
- Birth control pills containing progesterone (or synthetic forms of progesterone) can make AA hair shed worse