Alopecia is a clinical term used to describe hair loss on the head or body. It can be caused by certain illnesses, medications or lifestyle factors, but the most widespread type of alopecia is the genetic disorder male pattern baldness. This condition affects up to half of men by the age of 50, and it often begins in the late twenties. It is identifiable by a receding of the hairline followed by a thinning on top of the head. In some cases, it progresses to total baldness. Although this condition is not a health concern, it can cause embarrassment and make people feel self-conscious about their appearance. For this reason, many sufferers are keen to find effective treatments.