The natural history of androgenetic alopecia


Antonella Tosti, Department of Dermatology, University of Bologna, Via Massarenti 1–40138 Bologna, Italy. E-mail:


Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is the most common cause of hair loss, affecting up to 80% of men and 50% of women in their lifetime.

 Genetic predisposition to the disease is well known but the responsible genes have not been identified. Polymorphism in the androgen receptor gene has been recently detected in AGA.1

 Although the role of androgens, and particularly dihydrotestosterone (DHT), in causing the disease has been established for a long time, the natural history of AGA is still not completely understood.

 This paper reviews recent data about natural progression of the disease, as well as factors that may interfere with its course and long-term prognosis.