Want a quick answer? Androgenetic alopecia is another name for male pattern baldness, the chronic condition that leads to thinning hair, and then eventual hair loss.

Want a research-backed answer that’ll make you an (internet-level) expert on the topic?

Let’s do it.

The frequency

Androgenetic alopecia is the number one cause of hair loss around the world. And in the United States alone, more than 50 million men experience this condition. In fact, it affects two out of every three guys by the time they’re 35.

It’s important to note though, that while Keeps is all about helping men with their hair loss, androgenetic alopecia is not just a condition that affects men. Women can also suffer from androgenetic alopecia, and in that case it’s unsurprisingly called female pattern hair loss. Harvard has a great article on the topic that dives more deeply into it.

The cause

Its main cause? Genetics. Male pattern baldness occurs when your hair follicles are extra sensitive to DHT, a hormone that causes hair thinning.

This sensitivity is genetically inherited from your parents.

The symptoms

So, how do you know if you’re sensitive to DHT? Symptoms, such as a receding hairline or overall hair thinning on your scalp, may be signs that you’re experiencing male pattern hair loss.

The treatment options

There’s no known cure for it currently. However, there are medically proven ways to prevent and control the symptoms of androgenetic alopecia, and even grow back some hair.

FDA-approved treatments, including finasteride (generic Propecia®) and 5% minoxidil solution and foam (generic Rogaine®), effectively prevent and fight hair loss. In fact, clinical trials found that a daily dose of finasteride stopped hair loss or promoted hair regrowth in 90% of men.

You can learn more about treatment and getting started here.

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Finasteride is an oral medication used to treat male pattern baldness in men only. It is not for use by women. When used by men, finasteride is generally safe but it can also cause serious side effects, including but not limited to allergic reactions, sexual dysfunction, and high-grade prostate cancer. Most patients find that problems with sexual function resolve when they stop taking the medicine. For full prescribing information, view the drug label information.