Information and Solutions for Men and Women

Role of Heredity in Female Androgenetic Alopecia

Female patterned hair loss can be caused by genetics.

Case histories suggest that over 50% of women with thinning hair statistics have female relatives with the same problem. However, some experts suggest that heredity is not as relevant of a factor in women than in men. 218

On the other hand, in women with AGA from families with similar hair loss, hormones may be more important in triggering the condition. Genes for enzymes that influence hair loss have been found in families with a history of AGA. This includes families where women with PCOS also have brothers with AGA.Some of these genes include:  3223077101

  • One type of the CYP17 gene which produces the aromatase enzyme necessary to form estrogen from the androgen hormone testosterone. However, exactly how the variation affects this enzyme is unknown.
  • 5-alpha-reductase enzyme is required to convert testosterone to DHT, which is linked to hair loss. A genetic alteration in the gene that codes for type-1 of this enzyme is linked with increased incidence of conditions that cause elevated levels of androgen hormones. These conditions include PCOS and hirsutism (in women of normal weight).
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Also known as female pattern hair loss.
Excess hair growth in areas atypical for females (e.g., face, chest, and back). 15