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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004 May;50(5):777-9.

Pathogenesis of androgenetic alopecia.

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Section of Dermatology, Department of Endocrinological and Metabolic Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy.


Although it is universally accepted that dihydrotestosterone causes baldness, how it does so is not well understood. I propose that 3 mechanisms are at work: miniaturization by a dihydrotestosterone-induced acceleration of the mitotic rate of the matrix that leaves less and less time for differentiation; an increased telogen shedding as a result of the shortening of the hair cycles that increases the telogen number per unit of time; and the increased number and duration of the lag phase or kenogen. That this last mechanism is related to dihydrotestosterone is unclear.

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