Introduction The most common form of human hair loss is androgenic alopecia (AGA). It affects at least 50% of men by the age of 50 years and 50% of women by the age of 60 years. It is more obvious in men, and often manifests itself a decade earlier in men than in women. , Various historic observations have suggested that AGA in men, commonly referred to as male pattern hair loss, results from a combination of heredity and hormones. In 400 bce , Hippocrates noted that neither eunuchs nor children became bald. Fifty years ago, Hamilton described the interdependence of androgens, genetic factors, and age which influence scalp hair growth. Until relatively recently, scientific observations have been obscured by anecdote and speculation, and not all medical and dermatologic textbooks have given hair loss serious consideration. A better understanding of the molecular biology of hair growth in male pattern hair loss has indicated a new approach to treatment. This involves the inhibition of 5α‐reductase, the enzyme which reduces testosterone to its more active form, dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is currently thought to be the most potent androgen affecting the human hair growth cycle, with adverse effects in male pattern hair
International Journal of Dermatology – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 1998
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