Male Pattern Baldness: Causes and Treatment

Male Pattern Baldness
Male Pattern Baldness

Also known as Androgenic alopecia, male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair problem that men suffer from as they age.

According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the United States has seen more than half of its population of men who have crossed 50 years have suffered from male pattern baldness.

Moreover, the Australian Medical Department has stated that, about 1 in 5 men in their 20’s will go through significant balding. Also, 1 in 3 men in their 30’s and nearly half of men in their 40’s will go through balding. 

What is Male Pattern Baldness?

It is a type of hair loss problem where you will see the visible hair fall starting from your temples and then reaching to the crown of your head. 

In case if this problem is severe, you will clearly see the hair loss progressing over the entire crown of your head where just only a horse shoe pattern of hair is left at the back and sides of your head.

What Causes Male Baldness?

Now matter how inevitable baldness is, there are certain factors that cause this hair loss problem. However, all of them are natural and are mostly inherited. Take a look.

  • Genetics

One of the major reasons men develop baldness is family history. As this is inherited, there won’t be any side effects. 

  • Hormones

Your hair’s sensitivity to hormones like dihydrotestosterone (DHT) also tends to cause male pattern baldness. 

DHT is basically a male hormone (androgen) that is a byproduct of testosterone, your sex hormone. This means, your body converts testosterone into DHT naturally.

As much as this hormone DHT helps in generating your genitalia, it also causes hair loss by binding itself to your hair follicles. As it bounds to your follicles, it causes the follicles to weaken. Therefore, these follicles stop producing new hair. 

Moreover, some men are highly sensitive to this DHT, which means they can start to notice hair fall in their early 20’s.

  • Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can also trigger hair loss among men. These conditions can be:

1. Thyroid: Thyroid can regulate so many hormones, including the growth hormones. And also, conditions like hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can trigger hair loss. 

2. High blood pressure: Though having high or low blood pressure cannot lead to hair loss, the medications that used to treat this health condition can lead to hair fall.

3. Steroids and cancer medication: Steroids usually have side effects and also cancer medication and treatments have certain side effects including heavy loss of hair.

  • Other factors

  • Anxiety or stress can also be a reason for hair thinning and male pattern baldness. After a stressful event, you might experience huge hair loss and be calm and serene.
  • Sometimes, using hard water for shower can also be a reason for triggering hair fall. 
  • Lifestyle changes like heavy weight loss can also cause hair fall due to the lack in nutrients intake every day. 

How is Male Pattern Baldness Diagnosed?

Healthcare providers usually check for the medical history to rule out certain conditions like fungal infections being the cause of hair loss or baldness. They even check if some nutritional disorders are the cause for hair fall.

Some doctors even perform a skin biopsy and conduct certain blood tests to diagnose health conditions that are responsible for the hair loss. If your hair loss is due to some underlying health conditions then you can witness rash, pain and redness on your scalp.

Another popular method is to perform a dermoscopy that examines your scalp to look at the factors like the amount of hair you have already lost and the spacing between your hair follicles. The healthcare provider will also look at the family history of hair thinning or baldness.

There is a system called the Norwood scale that many professionals use to diagnose male pattern baldness.It is a scale that features some referral diagrams to detect various hair loss patterns. 

So, these are some of the ways in which doctors generally diagnose the type of hair loss problem you might have.

What are The Treatments That Aid in Combating Pattern Baldness?

Treatments That Aid in Combating Pattern Baldness

If the male pattern baldness isn’t caused by other health conditions then medical treatments aren’t necessary. However, many treatments are available for men who aren’t satisfied with their look and like to wear an appearance of a fuller head of hair.

Here are some of the techniques that may be of great help for such folks.


The right hairstyle has a key role in concealing the hair thinning in men who have limited hair loss. A professional may help you get a creative haircut that will aid in making the thin hair look full.


Hairpieces that are available in a spread of designs , colors, and textures are known to hide thinning hair, receding hairlines, and complete baldness. For a natural look, the stylist recommends choosing wig colors, styles, and textures that look almost like the natural hair.

A professional wig stylist will decide the right wig that looks perfect for your head. The only downside of the wig usage is that it will need to be changed every 2-5 years and each time it costs a fortune.

Hair Weaves

Wigs that are sewn into your original hair are called as weaves. However, you must have enough hair to sew the weave perfectly. These weaves are tight and sturdy enough to not fall or drop even while performing activities like swimming. 

Minoxidil/ Rogaine

Minoxidil may be a topical medication used on the scalp. It acts by not only slowing hair loss in some men but is additionally seen to stimulate the hair follicles to grow new hair. Visible outcomes are seen four months to at least one year post the utilization of this medication. Hair loss is seen to happen once the medication is halted or stopped.

Some of the visible possible side effects related to the utilization of Rogaine include dryness, irritation, burning, and scaling of the scalp. One is suggested to go to the doctor immediately if he experiences any of the intense side effects mentioned below:

  • Weight gain
  • Swelling of the body parts like the face and hands
  • Breathing discomfort
  • Chest decongestion


Finasteride, an oral medication that slows hair loss in some men is additionally termed as Propecia or Proscar. It acts by blocking the assembly of the male hormone liable for hair thinning. Finasteride is observed to possess a better success rate than minoxidil. The hair loss is observed to return when a private stops taking finasteride.

This oral drug is seen to supply visible outcomes posted three months to at least one year of usage. If hair growth ceases to occur after a year, the doctor will presumably recommend stopping taking the pill. The side effects of finasteride experienced by many include:

  • Depression
  • Rashes
  • Itch
  • Breast tenderness
  • Face swelling
  • Painful ejaculation
  • Erectile dysfunction.

One of the rare side effects which will be experienced by ingesting finasteride is carcinoma If a person experiences breast pain or lumps it should be evaluated by a doctor immediately.

Research indicates that Finasteride may affect prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests that are regularly wont to screen prostatic adenocarcinoma . The medication intake is seen to lower PSA levels, which successively alleviates the traditional readings. Any rise in PSA levels when ingesting finasteride pills must be evaluated for prostatic adenocarcinoma .

Hair transplants

Hair transplants are the foremost invasive and expensive treatments available for the male pattern baldness. Here hair from the scalp area with active hair growth is removed and transplanted to the thinning or balding areas of the scalp.

Predominantly multiple treatments are necessary and therefore the procedure is also seen to hold the danger of scarring and infection. the sole advantage of a hair transplant that creates most men choose it’s that the transplanted hair is seen to supply a permanent natural look.

Laser and light treatment

Laser and other light therapies are popular, but they need not be shown to slow or prevent male pattern baldness, and therefore the FDA has not approved them for efficacy. A course of laser therapy may last from 6 to 12 months.

Other options

The vitamins or other supplements for hair thinning have not been confirmed safe by the FDA.

However, obesity, diabetes, and hypertension are linked to hair loss, following a healthful diet, getting many exercises, and avoiding excessive alcohol intake may help reduce the danger .

Not all men choose treatment or maybe expect their hair to still grow naturally.

Some men will choose a hairpiece or wig.

Other options include changing the hairstyle, shaving the top , or increasing facial hair. An honest hairdresser will advise you about what suits you best.

You could just find yourself with a sensible New Look .


Going bald is often an enormous change for several and a few can also face trouble accepting their appearance. One must seek counseling if he experiences anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, or other emotional problems caused thanks to male pattern baldness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s):

1. Can you stop male pattern baldness?

To date, there’s no permanent cure for male-pattern baldness, however, some medications can hamper the process. Minoxidil, which is an FDA-approved treatment can be applied to your scalp. It slows the rate of your hair loss and helps in hair regrowth. 

2. Can hair grow back after Balding?

Alopecia areata is basically an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss in the form of  patches across the body. These patches often lead to balding. However, the good news is the the hair can grow back with effective medication from the professionals.

3. Does a receding hairline mean you will go bald?

A receding hairline doesn’t often indicate a permanent hair loss or balding but can be an early sign of male pattern baldness. This baldness usually occurs in a pattern and the dermatologists can easily recognize it.

4. Should I shave my head if I have a receding hairline?

There’s no denying it is the nuclear option, but shaving your head right down to the bone is often a liberating experience. Going for a full chrome dome can restore a number of the arrogance that your receding hairline deprived you of. Plus, it can even cause you to look more masculine and dominant.

5. At what age does balding start?

Hair loss can begin at almost any age once you are an adult. Generally, this process begins when you cross your 20’s. For some, it may start after crossing the 50’s. So, this means there are various underlying factors for balding. 

6. Can hair loss be prevented?

There’s no proven method to prevent male pattern baldness to date. A theory exists which says that stress may promote hair loss by increasing the assembly levels of sex hormones in the body. You can reduce stress by participating in relaxing activities, like walking and listening to music.

Final Thoughts

A natural part of the aging process for men is going bald. Hence one can opt for various techniques that can aid in fighting it if he decides that’s the way to go.


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