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Why is my hair thinning? What causes baldness? These are common questions asked by individuals suffering from hair loss.

The most common reason for hair loss in women and men is Androgenetic Alopecia, also known as pattern baldness. Although it is inherited genetically, it is not always predictable. It can cause thinning hair or bald patches, and can sometimes be slowed with medications like Minoxidil (Rogaine®) and Finasteride (Propecia®). Minoxidil is FDA-approved for men and women. Finasteride is FDA-approved only for men. The use of Finasteride in females is considered off-label, and therefore, it is up to the physician and female patient as to any off-label usage. Other causes include scarring alopecia, stress or pulling on hair, and damage to hair follicles.

Hair growth can be affected by external factors such as medications, illness, infection, or exposure to chemicals. Pregnancy can also occasionally lead to temporary hair loss in women. However, it is often difficult to know exactly what causes hair loss in men or women, so it is recommended to schedule a consultation with a physician.