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Alopecia (Hair Loss)
Learn About Causes and Treatments for Male Pattern Baldness and Hair Loss in Women in the Philadelphia Area

Hair loss has many different causes, but goes by one name: alopecia. At the Philadelphia area’s Buinewicz Cosmetic Surgery, our team understands that alopecia can be a cause for concern, embarrassment, and lack of confidence or self-esteem, which is why we work with patients—both men and women—to identify the cause of the loss and create a plan for restoring a long-lasting and natural-looking head of hair.

Two of the most common types of alopecia are male pattern baldness and a similar inherited condition causing hair loss in women. For all patients, Dr. Brian Buinewicz leads consultations, diagnoses and classifies the hair loss, and then develops a personalized solution.

To request a consultation for treating alopecia in Doylestown, Flemington, and the greater Philadelphia area, contact Buinewicz Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa—with offices in Bucks County, PA, and Flemington, NJ—by calling 215.647.9668 or sending a message online.

What Is Male Pattern Baldness (Androgenic Alopecia)?

Male pattern baldness—medically known as androgenic alopecia—is a condition with a genetic component that causes hair loss in a typically predictable pattern. Men with androgenic alopecia often notice a receding hairline, as well as thinning on the very top of their head, which can expand into a “bald spot.” Androgenic alopecia is very common, impacting up to an estimated 50 percent of all men by the age of 50 in the United States.

How Is Androgenic Alopecia Classified in Men?

Dr. Buinewicz exclusively employs the standardized and most widely used androgenic alopecia classification system—the Norwood Male Pattern Baldness Classification Test—for diagnosing his patients. The system categorizes patients into one of seven grades or types.


Type I

This grade of androgenic alopecia is marked by minimal and symmetrical hairline recession.

Type II

This grade is indicated by asymmetrical hairline recession, as well as some receding at the temples.

Type III

Patients classified with this grade have a deeply receding hairline and may also have thinning or sparse hair density on the crown of their head—putting them into the sub-category of Type III Vertex.

Type IV

Known as “advanced baldness,” this type is indicated by significant hair loss on the front hairline and crown, though a healthy strip of hair may remain on one or both sides of the scalp.

Type V

A more severe stage, Type V androgenic alopecia is known for advanced hair loss along the hairline, on the temples, and on the top of the head. A healthy strip of hair typically remains between the thinned areas on the crown and along the overall hairline.

Type VI

If only a small strip of hair grows between the thinned or sparse areas of the crown and the temples, this severe loss is classified as Type VI.

Type VII

The most severe stage of male pattern baldness, this grade leaves patients with only a narrow, horseshoe-shaped band of hair that runs along the nape of their neck and back of the scalp.

What Is Female Pattern Baldness (Androgenic Alopecia)?

Also known as androgenic alopecia, female pattern baldness is less common than male pattern baldness, but is far more prevalent than many people may realize. An estimated one third of all women will experience this form of alopecia at some point in life. There is a genetic component to this type of alopecia as well, but—unlike the male counterpart—it does not progress in a typically predictable pattern. Instead, female hair loss tends to impact the entire scalp.

How Is Androgenic Alopecia Classified in Women?

Dr. Buinewicz uses the Ludwig classification system to diagnose female hair loss. This system categorizes patients into one of three types.

Type I

This early stage of androgenic alopecia is marked by thinning hair on the crown of the head. The hair loss may be subtle and easily hidden by certain styling techniques.

Type II

Noticeable thinning of about 50 percent of the crown’s hair indicates Type II androgenic alopecia.

Type III

Type III is indicated by a bald crown visibly revealing the scalp due to significant hair loss.

What Else Can Cause Alopecia?

In addition to androgenic alopecia, there are multiple other causes of hair loss, including illnesses (viral or bacterial), infections (bacterial or fungal), chronic conditions (such as lupus, anemia, thyroid disorders, malnutrition), rapid intentional weight loss, certain medications or medical treatments (such as chemotherapy), hormone shifts, stress, poor diet and nutrition, an overactive nervous response, and personal grooming or style habits. Some of these factors cause temporary hair loss, because when they resolve—such as finishing a round of medications or an infection clearing up—the hair regrows on its own. Pregnancy and thyroid conditions are also common reasons patients experience temporary hair loss.

Some causes of hair loss require a combination of approaches. Traction alopecia, for instance, is hair loss related to the constant wearing of tight hairstyles. Changing your hairstyle can help, especially if done early enough. More severe cases, where the follicles have already sustained lasting damage, require a different treatment, such as surgical hair restoration.

Other hair loss causes include trichotillomania (a disorder characterized by impulsively pulling out hair), loose-anagen syndrome (a condition marked by hairs that are easily and painlessly pulled from the scalp by brushing and other common activities), alopecia areata (an autoimmune disorder resulting in baldness on the scalp and body), and scarring alopecia (resulting from injury, surgery, and other trauma that damages the skin and follicles).

What Treatments Are Available for Androgenic Alopecia?

Nonsurgical interventions can slow down hair loss and sometimes help reverse hair loss. A surgical hair transplant remains the gold standard for hair restoration. Nonsurgical options include platelet rich plasma injections, or PRP, which involves collecting a patient’s own blood, concentrating the beneficial platelets, and injecting them into the scalp to revive failing follicles. Topical treatments such as Minoxidil or Rogaine help to improve blood flow to the scalp to counter hair loss. Finasteride, either oral or topical, helps to block the conversion of testosterone to its active form, which is the main cause of androgenic alopecia. Using gentle shampoos and conditioners and other topical treatments can be beneficial. There are also LED devices and hats to help with hair loss.

A surgical hair transplant is one of the most effective treatments for men and women dealing with the effects of androgenic alopecia. This strategy involves harvesting donor hairs from parts of the scalp where the follicles are still healthy and producing, then implanting them in areas of the scalp where coverage has thinned. Once in place, the follicles gradually begin growing new hairs, creating more coverage.

Dr. Buinewicz customizes every procedure so that the results look natural and fit with the patient’s unique hairline, hair patterns, and overall appearance.

Why Choose Buinewicz Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa for Alopecia Treatments in the Philadelphia Area?

Dr. Brian Buinewicz, a board-certified plastic surgeon, has considerable experience working with hair loss patients, starting every procedure with in-depth consultations that lead to personalized treatment plans and results. In addition to his experience with traditional hair restoration surgery, he also offers NeoGraft® in order to give his patients access to some of the best hair restoration technology available today.

The NeoGraft® device is an advancement on the traditional manual collection approach, automating the process for faster, more precise harvesting sessions. With the Neograft procedure, each follicular unit of hair is precisely removed. Cutting a large strip of skin and hair form the back of the head is no longer necessary, and patients do not have any visible scarring. Patients are back to showering in about two days and can start resuming normal activities around two weeks. Hair regrowth usually starts around six months, but it can take one to two years to see the full regrowth of hair. All procedures are performed in the comfort and privacy of our office, using local anesthesia.

Are There More Procedures Available?

Men who are seeking hair restoration for androgenic alopecia may also want to address other cosmetic issues, including gynecomastia (the development of the appearance of breasts) or erectile dysfunction. Both are increasingly common problems for men to face as they get older and experience changes in hormone levels in their body.

Patients who have the opposite problem of alopecia—meaning too much unwanted hair—can opt for laser hair removal. In fact, it is possible to get hair restoration for your scalp and hair reduction for other areas, such as the underarms, chest, back, arms, or legs!

For treating alopecia in the Philadelphia area—Doylestown in Bucks County, PA, or Flemington in Hunterdon County, NJ—call Buinewicz Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa at 215.647.9668 or send a message online.