What Age Does Genetic Hair Loss Start: Learn the Facts & How to Fight It

Medically reviewed by Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S.
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated

When does genetic hair loss start? This is a question many of us ask, particularly when we see the first signs of thinning hair or a receding hairline. Hair loss is a natural part of aging, but when it's driven by genetics, it can start earlier and progress faster than you might expect. Understanding the timeline and causes of genetic hair loss can help you recognize the signs and take preventative measures if necessary.

What Age Does Genetic Hair Loss Start?

Genetic hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia, can start as early as a person's teenage years, typically after puberty, and the risk increases with age. This is due to a combination of hormonal changes and genetic factors. For men, more than 50 percent experience some degree of hair loss by the age of 50. For women, it is most likely to occur after menopause, with about half of all women experiencing female pattern baldness by the time they're 80.

Factors Influencing the Onset of Genetic Hair Loss

Although the main cause of genetic hair loss is, unsurprisingly, genetics, there are other factors that can influence its onset and severity. Hormonal changes play a significant role, particularly an increase in testosterone after puberty in men, which contributes to the typical pattern of male baldness. Certain medical conditions can also increase the likelihood of hair loss.

The Different Patterns of Genetic Hair Loss

Androgenetic alopecia presents differently in men and women. In men, it often starts with a receding hairline and progresses to thinning on the top of the head. In women, the hair generally thins all over the head, but the frontal hairline is usually preserved.

What Can Be Done About Genetic Hair Loss?

Though genetic hair loss is largely unavoidable, there are treatments available that can slow its progress and, in some cases, promote regrowth. These include over-the-counter topical treatments like minoxidil, prescription medications like finasteride, and even hair transplant surgery for more advanced cases. Early intervention is key, so if you notice signs of hair loss, it's a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional.


When it comes to genetic hair loss, age is just one piece of the puzzle. Your genes and hormones also play a crucial role in determining if and when you'll start to lose your hair. Understanding these factors can help you recognize the signs of hair loss and seek treatment early. Remember, if you're worried about hair loss, you're not alone and there are options available to help.

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Dr. Bilal Khan M.B.B.S. graduated from the Jinnah Sindh University in Karachi. He'll take the official medical licensing program in the US (USMLE) in September 2023. Bilal has a passion for research and has extensively fact-check and medically review articles under his name to make sure you have the most accurate information.