Alopecia, more commonly known as hair loss in men and women, can occur for a variety of reasons and understanding those causes is important to determining treatment options. One of the most common explanations for alopecia is genetic disposition, frequently referred to as male pattern baldness or female hair loss. Most men will experience at least some hair loss by age 50 due to shrinking hair follicles – a natural progression resulting in thinner, more fragile hair that eventually stops growing – but even while genetics can play a role, there are conditions that enhance the effects of genetic hair loss. In recent studies, two predominant factors affecting hair loss have been found to be stress and, more disconcertingly, underlying health problems such as heart disease. The good news is that the connection between hair loss and heart disease do not affect everyone.