What is Male Pattern Baldness and Everything You Need to Know About it

What is Male Pattern Baldness and Everything You Need to Know About it Hair Health
May 30, 2022
6 minutes Read
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Anyone can be confident with a full head of hair. But a confident bald man – there’s your diamond in the rough.

-Larry David

As comedian Larry David remarks, male pattern baldness (MPB) can be a source of discomfort for many men, and understandably so.

The desire to feel good about your appearance is natural and prevalent. It’s absolutely normal to want to be viewed as attractive and desirable.

However, it’s unfortunate that a bare scalp could have a negative and destructive impact on self-worth.

In fact, according to a medically written article on DermaNet, when a man experiences hair loss, it can stir feelings of anxiety, depression, and even social phobia.

Furthermore, this condition doesn’t only visit the older men in the crowd. Early-stage male pattern baldness can begin in your late teens or even in your early twenties.

Those affected by male pattern baldness genetics should remember that it’s extremely common.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) explains that Male Pattern Baldness will impact over 50 percent of males above the age of 50.

Can men and women experience Male Pattern Baldness?

This kind of hair depletion can affect both sexes; however, it’s much more common in males. Furthermore, it usually appears slowly and in patterns. For example, men experience a receding hairline or bald spots, while ladies experience thinning on the crown of their heads.

It mainly affects the scalp for both males and females but may also appear elsewhere.

What is Male Pattern Baldness?

The most typical hair loss, male pattern baldness, is also known as androgenic alopecia. Visible signs of it include thinning, balding, and receding.

Early-stage male pattern baldness often develops slowly. It can begin as a small bald spot on the crown of your head and can cause gradual hair loss and thinning over several years.

To address potential male pattern baldness cures, we must first take time to understand it better.

The Hamilton-Norwood classification system is the primary method used to measure the extent of hair loss someone has. The Norwood scale provides easy-to-read images that show various stages of balding.

Signs of balding

Balding takes place around the:

  1. Temples: A male’s hair begins to thin near the temples and at the back of the head (known as the vertex).
  2. Hairline: Hair starts to dwindle and recede from the front and the sides of the head. Often referred to as a receding hairline, this hair loss can create an ‘M’ shape because the two sides recede quicker than the middle of the scalp.
  3. Crown: Thinning hair on the crown of the head usually takes time. You won’t go bald overnight, but you’ll probably notice thinning over years before the area becomes hairless.

What causes male pattern baldness? 

  1. Genetics

According to Penn Medicine, male pattern baldness and genetics are intertwined. In addition, many believe that men inherit lock loss from their parents. Although this isn’t set in stone, there is truth to it.

Baldness is strongly associated with the A.R. gene found on the X chromosome. Furthermore, a study of 12,000 men of European descent found that those with the A.R. gene had double the chances of developing MPB.

However, this isn’t the only gene determining whether you’ll lose hair and go bald. A study found over 60 genes that can also play a role in hair loss.

Most notable, though, research has shown that more than 80 percent of males experiencing prominent balding had a father who experienced the same.

In short, male pattern baldness and genetics is a complicated topic, and a dive into family history may bring some understanding.

  1. Hormones

Sex hormones are believed to be one of the most important underlying factors in what causes male pattern baldness.

For instance, DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is an androgen, and an androgen is a sex hormone that contributes to body hair development in men and women. Though it can also make you lose your hair faster and earlier.

Furthermore, DHT is derived from testosterone, but too much of this hormone can negatively impact hair follicles. Excess DHT interferes with your hair’s growth cycle, shrinking and shortening it, causing hair to fall out more easily and making it more difficult to grow back.

The good news? There are male pattern baldness treatments that work to hinder and block DHT production (such as finasteride).

  1. Age

Did you know that each of your hairs sits in a tiny hole in your skin called a follicle?

Interestingly enough, baldness begins as the hair follicle shrinks during the aging process. This shrinking results in shorter and finer hair.

Eventually, the follicle stops producing new hair. However, the follicles remain alive, so male pattern baldness treatment is possible and can result in regrowth.

Furthermore, baldness in a man generally begins at the hairline. With time, the hair gradually recedes, becomes thinner, and falls, forming a horseshoe shape on the crown.

From person to person, there is a lot of variation. But generally speaking, the more up in years you are, the more likely a shiny scalp will appear as hair growth slows.

Ask a doctor about what causes male pattern baldness

You don’t have to go through this alone. If you think you’re experiencing MPB, talk with a doctor. Physicians can use your hair loss patterns to diagnose and suggest a male pattern baldness treatment.

In addition, doctors can conduct an exam and check your medical history to rule out possible health conditions as the cause, such as:

  1. Medication side effects.
  2. Stress and anxiety.
  3. Nutritional disorders.
  4. Fungal conditions.
  5. Chronic illness.
  6. Physical trauma.
  7. Vaccination side effects .

What’s the best way to learn about Male Pattern Baldness? 

To discreetly discuss hair loss with a physician, try our ravkoo health mobile app. Within it, you’ll find ravkoo MD, which connects you to qualified medical doctors from a tablet or a phone. It allows registered users to:

  1. Select a physician.
  2. Book a virtual consultation with a licensed doctor.
  3. Schedule prescription fulfillment and drop-off.

The perks of ravkoo MD are that it offers registered users convenient, private, and affordable healthcare services. You can confer with a doctor and discuss male pattern baldness treatments from the comfort of your home.

Male Pattern Baldness Treatments

male pattern baldness treatment

Medical treatments include:

  1. Minoxidil: Widely available for purchase in-store and online, this is a common treatment to address male-pattern hair loss.

For the best results with this topical treatment, one needs to follow directions and apply it twice a day. Furthermore, expect it to take time. Some men notice a positive difference sooner than others but give it at least six months.

Minoxidil isn’t necessarily a long-term male pattern baldness cure because the new hair will fall out if you discontinue use.

  1. Finasteride: A prescription medication taken long-term, finasteride has been shown to slow down hair loss. Some males also notice hair regrowth.

To maintain results, one must continue to take this pill daily. If you are prescribed this option, you can combine it with the use of minoxidil, too.

  1. Laser therapy: Generally accepted as a safe and less invasive treatment, laser therapy for balding has grown in popularity.

It’s believed that low-dose laser treatments invigorate stimulation and promote circulation, encouraging follicles to grow hair.

However, the results of laser therapy are inconsistent. It seems to work for some people, but not for all.

  1. Hair transplant: In today’s world, it has become possible to achieve a natural-looking head of hair with a modern transplant. Most surgeons now transplant a few healthy hairs at a time. This step-by-step procedure eliminates the unnatural, doll-like hair we saw in the past.

Throughout the 70s and 80s, hair plugs (sections of hair) were placed in the thinning area and were quite noticeable.

  1. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP): According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can help treat a thinning hairline and scalp. PRP is believed to be effective in preventing hair loss and also in promoting new hair growth.

Furthermore, this treatment can promote the stimulation of hair growth after a transplant procedure.

If your doctor suggests PRP, you can expect a small amount of your blood to be drawn. A machine then separates your plasma from red blood cells. After, the plasma is injected into the scalp.

Within a few months of consistently receiving this treatment, some people notice hair regrowth and thickening. 

Non-medical solutions include:

  1. Hairpieces: Modern hair pieces have come a long way and look much more natural than they once did. Do your research and see what hairpiece options feel best to you. Keep in mind your hair’s natural color, texture, and length when making your selection.
  1. Hairstyles: Males with less hair loss may be able to hide balding with a thoughtful hairstyle or cut. Ask your barber for a style that promotes fuller-looking locks.
  1. Weaves: Wigs that are sewn into your hair, weaves create a more voluminous look. However, you need to have enough hair to add the weave. The bonus is that weaves stay in place during activities like swimming or sleeping. The drawback is that they can damage your natural hair.

Natural remedies include:

  1. Essential oils: Rosemary, lavender, and sandalwood essential oils have been used to treat hair for centuries. It’s believed that a compound in them, when applied topically, stimulates hair growth.
  1. Iron: This vital nutrient assists your body in making blood, and low levels have been linked to hair loss. Please speak with a doctor before taking this supplement, as taking too much can be dangerous.
  1. Biotin: Some physicians suggest biotin (vitamin B7) for hair loss with positive results. Foods such as eggs, fish, and nuts contain biotin.
  1. Melatonin: The reasons aren’t completely understood, but people who utilized a melatonin mixture on their scalp experienced less hair loss in a study.
  1. Green tea: Researchers noticed a difference after giving balding rats green tea extract for six months. However, it still needs to be tested and confirmed for humans.
  1. Pumpkin seed oil: While additional studies are needed, one small analysis found that men who took four pumpkin seed oil capsules every day for six months noticed their hair count increased by about 40%.
  1. Selenium: Some supplements for hair growth contain a nutrient known as selenium. It can help your body combat toxin exposure from unclean air while keeping your hair follicles healthy. Although mice and rats with low selenium start to bald, this hasn’t been confirmed true for people. On the other hand, an excess of selenium can cause hair loss and memory problems.
  1. Stress relief: Extreme stress can lead to hair depletion. Try to positively channel your emotions into counseling, exercise, or meditation.
  1. Hair Care: In some cases, you can ease hair loss with simple changes. Be gentle when you brush, wash, and dry your hair. Avoid pulling on your tresses which can cause them to fall out.

Another tip: Ask your doctor if what causes male pattern baldness for you is hereditary.

While we explained above that hair loss can be genetic, it’s an important factor to be aware of when searching for cures.

According to Health Navigator NZ (a non-profit that provides trustworthy, reliable health information), there is no absolute cure for hereditary hair loss. Still, treatment may help slow or stop male pattern baldness from genetics.

Final thoughts: What do Bruce Willis, Vin Diesel, and Dwayne Johnson have in common?

Firstly, one long-lasting and fulfilling way to confront  a scalp that’s going bare is to go au naturel. What do we mean by this? After consulting a doctor, and if you receive no red flags related to health and hair loss, why not work towards acceptance?

Secondly, and the answer to the above question, all three public icons, Willis, Diesel, and Johnson, embrace clean-shaven crowns.

Furthermore, a recent study points out that men who shave their heads exude a sense of authority. A bald head can display confidence and the ability to take control. Not to mention, it’s a fantastic and preemptive solution to reduce the visual impact of Male Pattern Baldness.

Also, during the reign of Alexander the Great, Greek soldiers were given orders to shave their heads as a form of defense to prevent enemies from grabbing their hair during combat. Hairstyles and their corresponding level of attractiveness are subjective. Beauty really does lie in the eye of the beholder.

Overall, remember that male-pattern hair loss is common, as many men experience it. Find the best solution for you, and check in with a doctor to rule out health issues.

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