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Male Pattern Baldness

Male-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia) is the most common type of hair loss, affecting over 6.5 million men in the UK. Male pattern baldness starts with thinning of the hair and then develops into hair loss on the temples and scalp. For the minority of men, male pattern baldness can start from as early as their late teens, but this form of hair loss most commonly occurs in men aged between 30-40. By the age of 45, most men have some degree of hair loss.

The majority of men who suffer from male pattern baldness tend to generate emotional problems even as serious as depression. It is common for young hair loss sufferers in particular to suffer from low self-esteem and bouts of depression during the hair fall process.

Pattern baldness is usually inherited and can also affect women. It's caused by over-sensitive hair follicles. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is produced by the male hormone testosterone, and it causes the follicles to shrink and eventually stop functioning.

The involvement of testosterone in balding has led to the myth that going bald is a sign of virility. But men with male-pattern baldness don’t have more male hormones than other men. Their hair follicles are simply more sensitive to the hormones.

Symptoms of Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness is a fairly straightforward process that progresses over time. It is easily identified, and can be treated to a certain extent. Here are the three main symptoms/signs of male pattern baldness:

Receding Hairline

Male-pattern baldness is so called because it tends to follow a set pattern. The first stage is usually a receding hairline, followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples. When these two areas meet in the middle, it leaves a horseshoe shape of hair around the back and sides of the head. Starting with the recession at the hairline, some men eventually go completely bald on top. If you have inherited the genes responsible for male-pattern or female-pattern baldness there's little you can do to prevent it from happening.

Bald Patch at the Crown

Some men start thinning at the crown of the scalp, which commonly leads to a bald patch. For guys with thinning at the crown, the hairline recession will usually begin after this, but not all men who have a bald patch on their crown will experience the receding hairline. Some men will only bald on the crown of their scalp.

Diffuse Thinning

Some men with androgenic alopecia will experience diffuse thinning, evenly across the top of the head, which usually leads to eventual baldness. This type of pattern is usually associated with women, but plenty of men suffer from this, too.

How to Treat Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness cannot be cured or reversed, but there are some treatment options available that can slow down the process and in some cases prevent further hair fall. For a full list of treatment options, please see the list of treatment options for hair loss.


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