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Introduction to Hair Disorders

By Wendy S. Levinbook, MD

Hair growth in both men and women is regulated by androgens. Testosterone stimulates hair growth in the pubic area and underarms. Dihydrotestosterone stimulates beard hair growth and scalp hair loss.

Hair disorders include alopecia (see page Alopecia), hypertrichosis (see page No androgen excess), hirsutism (see page Hirsutism), and pseudofolliculitis barbae (see page Pseudofolliculitis Barbae). Although most hair disorders are not serious, they are often perceived as major cosmetic issues that demand treatment. Dandruff is not a hair disorder but rather a skin disorder (seborrheic dermatitis) of the scalp (see page Seborrheic Dermatitis).

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