Male Pattern Baldness
Hair loss in men is not unusual. At least half of all men will experience some type of hair loss by age 50, with a quarter of men starting to lose hair by age 25. Hair loss can be caused by many factors, but the number one reason is a hereditary condition called Male Pattern Baldness or Androgenic Alopecia. This type of hair loss is responsible for about 90% of hair loss in men. The result is ordinarily a receding hairline or thinning hair at the top of the crown of the head. Typically, 50% of hair is already lost before it is even noticed.
What Does Male Pattern Baldness Look Like?
The disease typically begins at the hairline. The hair follicles that are most sensitive to DHT are located at the temples, the hairline and on the crown of the head. Male Pattern Baldness gets its name from this “pattern” of sensitive hair follicles.
When Male Pattern Baldness is the culprit of hair loss the following signs are often present:
- The hair line often recedes to form an “M” shape
- Hair at the crown of the head begins to thin
- Existing hair becomes finer and shorter
- The top of the hairline eventually meets the thinned crown, leaving a horseshoe pattern of hair around the sides of the head that continues to grow
The Norwood-Hamilton Scale
The most well-known measurement to classify the progression of Male Pattern Baldness is known as the Norwood-Hamilton Scale. This scale ranges from level I, which is little or no hair loss, to level VII—severe baldness with only a rim of hair remaining.
The Norwood Scale is helpful in broadly categorizing male pattern hair loss, but all men may not exactly fit or may suffer from a different hair disorder.
What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?
The culprit is a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is converted from testosterone in the scalp. Over time, DHT builds up around the hair follicle, thinning or “miniaturizing” the hair and ultimately stopping growth. The follicle regresses as a result, causing each new hair that cycles through the follicle to be gradually thinner than the previous one. Eventually the follicle shuts down altogether, ending hair growth completely and permanently.
Both a follicle’s resistance to DHT and the levels of DHT in the scalp are genetically determined, which explains why some people go bald and others do not. The gene can be inherited from both the mother and the father, so men with balding relatives have increased odds of losing their hair too.
Other Causes of Hair Loss in Men
Other hair loss causes account for 10% of cases in men (and an even larger percent of hair loss in women). Hair loss in patches, diffused shedding of hair, breaking hair shafts, or hair loss associated with redness, scaling, pain or rapid progression is probably indicative of a condition other than Male Pattern Baldness. These different types of hair loss can be caused by medical conditions, poor nutrition, certain medications, stress or other factors. If any of these symptoms are present in conjunction with hair loss, it is recommended to consult a physician.
Treatments for Male Pattern Baldness
Hair Club’s Hair Loss Experts are specially trained to determine the current level of your Male Pattern Baldness and recommend a customized hair loss solution. Hair Club is constantly refining techniques, testing new technology and analyzing emerging research to ensure men get the most advanced and effective hair loss treatments available today.