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Androgenic Alopecia (Pattern Baldness)

Written by
Dr. Archana
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on May 17, 2018 and last reviewed on Aug 12, 2019   -  4 min read


Are you losing hair from the top of the head? This type of hair loss is called androgenic alopecia. Read the article to know the available treatment options.

Androgenic Alopecia (Pattern Baldness)

Male pattern hair loss is more common in many people and is called androgenic alopecia. Usually, it begins around the temples and on the top of the head. It is M-shaped at first to reach around the head and insides. The complete scalp can be involved at times. Generally, it is associated with sex hormone imbalance, especially androgens, and is genetic. The main culprit is dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which when increased, can cause shortening of hair growth cycle and also delay in new hair growth. No new hair follicle will be formed but a clue for us is follicles are still alive which can be considered for treatment to grow back the dormant follicles.

Type of Baldness

  1. Male pattern - periphery.
  2. Female pattern - central.
  3. Alopecia areata - with bald spots, an autoimmune disease.
  4. Scarring alopecia – with scars due to infection or radiation
  5. Toxic alopecia- due to medications like hypertensive medication, blood thinners, chemotherapy, etc.

Causes of Male Baldness

  1. Hormonal imbalance.
  2. Injury or burns.
  3. Scalp infections like ringworm.
  4. Aging.
  5. Insufficient protein intake.
  6. Iron deficiency.
  7. Radiation or chemotherapy.
  8. Other drug usages.
  9. Psychological disorders - Trichotillomania – pulling out hair due to psychiatric disorder.
  10. Different hairstyles and hair treatments.
  11. Use of hair procedures including coloring.
  12. Handling hair roughly while brushing.
  13. Some medical conditions like lichen planus, celiac disease, psoriasis, syphilis, lupus, sarcoidosis, etc.
  14. Telogen effluvium where all the follicles go to resting phase and become dormant.

Medical Treatment Options

Home Remedies for Male Baldness

1. Eat energy-rich foods such as orange, avocado, carrot, yogurt, sweet potato, pepper, fatty-fish like salmon having omega 3 fatty acids, spinach (vitamin A, iron, and folate), lean beans, green leafy vegetables, iron-fortified grains, eggs, lean meat like chicken and turkey, Biotin (vitamin B7) containing foods like onion, sweet potato, eggs, fortified cereals, chicken, oats, nuts and zinc-containing foods like oysters, lobsters and fortified cereals.

2. Drink a lot of water.

3. Drink green tea.

4. Do not drink a lot of caffeinated drinks like coffee, tea, and soda.

5. Eliminate stress.

6. Apply onion juice extract to the scalp and leave it for 30 minutes and wash it.

7. Saw palmetto is a plant of berry and can be applied topically.

8. Hibiscus and Bhringraj (Eclipta Alba/ false daisy) are also helpful if the extract is applied to the scalp or put in an oil and used.

9. Scalp massage is one of the best methods to improve circulation and cause hair follicle growth. Many oils are best applied to the scalp and are very effective. Essential oils like thyme, rosemary oil, cedarwood oil, and lavender are the best. You can even use peppermint oil, pumpkin seed oil, coconut oil, castor oil, almond oil, olive oil, amla (Indian gooseberry) oil and all are found to benefit hair growth.

10. Fenugreek seed (methi) paste can be directly applied for 40 minutes and left and washed. You can mix with water or milk.

11. Aloe vera gel also improves hair growth if applied.

12. Licorice root paste can be applied with water or saffron and milk and applied.

13. Coffee, honey, and olive oil can be mixed and applied.

14. Chinese hibiscus flower can be put to coconut or olive oil to charr it and collect oil and apply.

15. Beetroot, flax seeds, and coconut milk all are tried in this aspect.

16. Mustard oil and henna leaves is the best combination.

17. Beer, honey, and boiled wheat along with banana and egg yolk can be a great combination for hair pack tried with good results.

18. Stop smoking since it can cause reduced hair growth of a follicle.


I hope this detailed article about androgenic alopecia will give you both medical treatment options and home remedies which can be put into practice without any fear of side effects.

For more information consult a hair loss specialist online -->


Frequently Asked Questions


Is Androgenic Alopecia Curable?

As of now, there is no known cure for androgenic alopecia. As this condition progresses very slowly, early diagnosis can help manage the disease much better. There are various therapies available for this condition. Examples include 5-alpha reductase inhibitors and Minoxidil.


What Can Trigger Androgenic Alopecia?

Androgenic alopecia in men is believed to be due to a combination of genetics and the androgen Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). But, the cause of female pattern hair loss remains unclear. 50 % of males and 25 % of females after 50 years are affected by pattern baldness. Hormonal changes and certain medications are said to trigger this condition.


Can Hair Regrow if You Have Androgenic Alopecia?

Treatment for androgenic alopecia can stop hair loss, and a small degree of regrowth is also possible. But, abnormal levels of androgens in hair follicles can make the cycle of hair growth shorter, and the hair that grows is thinner. Also, the growth of new hair to replace lost hair is delayed.


How Long Does Pattern Baldness Last?

Pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia is a permanent condition. But both in men and women, the condition progresses very slowly, taking several years for complete baldness. If the onset of the disease is early, the progression can be fast.


Does Onion Juice Help Androgenic Alopecia?

Onion juice is said to stimulate growth, improve thickness, and regenerate hair growth in people suffering from hair fall. But, onion juice is not a proven cure for pattern baldness or other hair loss-related disorders.


Can Stress Trigger Androgenic Alopecia?

Stress is said to intensify the symptoms of androgenic alopecia significantly, and the main reason being the production of cortisol, the stress hormone, by the body. Cortisol can raise the levels of testosterone and worsen androgenic alopecia.


What Does Pattern Baldness Look Like?

- Pattern baldness is a common type of hair loss in men and women. In males, hair loss seen in male-pattern baldness is well-defined. The hair fall or thinning begins above the temples, and eventually, the hairline recedes and forms the characteristic M-shape. There is also thinning of hair at the crown, resulting in partial or complete baldness.
- In females, thinning of hair occurs all over the head, but the hairline does not recede. It rarely leads to total baldness.


Which Is the Most Effective Treatment for Androgenic Alopecia?

As of now, the FDA has approved the following two pharmacologic treatments for androgenic alopecia:
- Minoxidil.
- Finasteride.
The other treatment options include scalp micro-needling, laser therapy, hair mesotherapy, and hair transplantation.


Does Androgenic Alopecia Worsen Overtime?

Androgenetic alopecia is a progressive condition. The rate of progression is slow in both men and women, and it takes decades for total baldness. Without treatment, hair loss gets worse because of hormonal changes. Menopause can shrink the hair follicle, making your hair thinner or finer. Hair growth is affected, and hair fall increases.


How to Stimulate Hair Regrow After Androgenic Alopecia?

In case androgenic alopecia is the cause of your hair fall, full regrowth of lost hair might not be possible. But with proper treatment, hair loss can be stopped, and some of the lost hair can be regained. Minoxidil, when applied topically, prolongs the hair’s growth rate and prevents hair fall.


Is Androgenic Alopecia an Autoimmune Condition?

The exact cause of pattern baldness is not known, and genetic and hormonal factors seem to play a role. But, it is not an autoimmune disease like alopecia areata, which is a condition that results in bald patches due to autoimmune reaction.


How Does a Doctor Diagnose Pattern Baldness?

Doctors usually diagnose pattern baldness in men based on clinical features. In females, further investigation is needed to differentiate it from other types of hair loss. Tests like trichoscopy, biopsy, etc., might be required.


Is Coconut Oil Good for Androgenic Alopecia?

Massaging the scalp with coconut oil is the best home remedy for hair loss. It improves circulation and causes the growth of hair follicles. Apart from coconut oil, you can also use rosemary oil, lavender oil, cedarwood oil, pumpkin seed oil, castor oil, almond oil, etc.


How Quickly Does Androgenic Alopecia Progress?

Androgenic alopecia usually progresses at a slow pace and might take a few years to cause significant hair follicle damage and baldness. It commonly occurs in men older than 50 years and can lead to total baldness. Only 25 % of women are affected after 50 years of age, which rarely leads to baldness.


What Foods Help Androgenic Alopecia?

The following food items can promote hair growth and prevent baldness:
- Eggs.
- Fatty fish.
- Spinach.
- Carrot.
- Nuts and seeds.

Last reviewed at:
12 Aug 2019  -  4 min read


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