Male Patterns

  • Home
  • /
  • Male Patterns
Male Pattern Baldness
Male Pattern Baldness (also called androgenetic alopecia) is the most common hair loss condition. With male pattern baldness, the hair is lost in a very defined pattern -- a receding hairline at the temples and thinning on the crown of the head. As male pattern baldness progresses, many men are left with just hair on the sides and the rear of the head.

Causes of male pattern baldness
Genetics is the primary cause of male pattern baldness. Research shows this type of hair loss is related to hormones called androgens -- specifically the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). A genetic sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT causes the follicles to miniaturize (shrink) over time, which shortens their lifespan and eventually prevents them for producing hair normally.

Symptoms of male pattern baldness
Classic male pattern baldness is easy to diagnosis based on its distinct pattern. The hairline recedes at the temples to form an M shape. Eventually, the receding hairline meets the balding area on the crown of thehead to create a horseshoe or U-shaped pattern of hair around the sides and back of the head.
If your hair loss is not following this defined pattern, you may be suffering from balding or thinning hair for other reasons. If your hair loss is sudden, in patches or painful, it's important to talk to a dermatologist for a skin biopsy, hair analysis and other testing to help determine the cause (and possible treatment plan) for your hair loss.

Treatment of male pattern baldness
If you are satisfied with your appearance, of course, hair loss treatment is not necessary. However, if you would like to treat male pattern baldness, you have a number of options.

Minoxidil (Rogaine) and Finasteride (Propecia) are two medications that can treat hair loss. Minoxidil is a topical solution applied directly to the scalp and is available over the counter. Finasteride is a pill taken orally that is available by prescription.
Wigs, hair replacement systems, hair transplant surgery, laser hair therapy and other hair loss treatments are also available. If you would like to explore treatment options, your first step is to visit a dermatologist who specialized in hair loss, or a trichologist — a specialist in hair and scalp disorders.

Psychological impact of male pattern baldness
Male pattern baldness doesn't just affect the top of your head, it can also cause anxiety, stress and low self-esteem due to the change in your appearance. Though some concern is normal with the onset of hair loss, high anxiety, severe mood swings, depression and other psychological issues related to hair loss should be treated by a mental health professional.