Summary Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is the most common type of hair loss in men. The relative strong concordance of the degree of baldness in fathers and sons is not consistent with a smiple Mendelian trait and a polygenic basis is considered to be most likely. So far the predisposing genes for AGA are unknown and we do not understand the molecular steps involved in androgen-dependent beard growth versus androgen-dependent hair loss, but AGA can be defined as a DHT-dependent process with continuous miniaturization of sensitive hair follicles. The type 2 5aR plays a central role by the intrafollicular conversion of T to DHT. Due to the inceasing knowledge in this field, this article shall privide an critical overwiew of recent discoveries.