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Q: Firstly, thank you for your honest and easy to understand site.
My question: Is Hormonal alopecia the same as Androgenic alopecia; and if it is not would Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) stop hair loss in hormonal alopecia? And does hormonal alopecia shrink the hair size or does this only occur with continued hair loss?

A: The terminology we have for describing female hair loss is unfortunately not very exact and not always used consistently. There are two main causes of hormonal hair loss: increased effect of testosterone, and decreasing levels of estrogen. Androgenic alopecia (AGA) should refer only to this, but is often applied when the cause is related to estrogen. Most doctors are not able to tell the difference -- no one teaches us about this in medical school.
Treatment depends on the cause. If the problem is estrogen then blocking testosterone generally will not help.

I hope this helps.


Geoffrey Redmond, MD

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