Androgenic alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. In men, it is also known as male pattern baldness, and in women, it is referred to as female pattern baldness.
In men, hair loss occurs in a distinct pattern, starting with receding hairlines on both sides. Over time, the hairline recedes further, forming the characteristic "M" shape. Hair also thins on the crown of the head (vertex), often leading to partial or complete baldness.
The pattern of hair loss in women differs from that in men. Women experience thinning of hair on the crown, while the central part widens. The hairline typically does not recede. Androgenic alopecia in women rarely leads to complete baldness.
Androgenic alopecia in men is associated with several other conditions, including ischemic heart disease and prostate enlargement.
Furthermore, prostate cancer, insulin resistance disorders (such as diabetes and obesity), and high blood pressure (hypertension) are linked to androgenic alopecia.
In women, this form of hair loss is associated with an increased risk of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is characterized by hormonal imbalance, which can lead to irregular menstruation, acne, excess hair growth on other parts of the body (hirsutism), and weight gain.