Male Pattern Baldness

Baldness involves the state of lacking hair where it often grows, especially on the head. The most common form of baldness is a progressive hair thinning condition called androgenic alopecia or "male pattern baldness" that occurs in adult male humans.


The Norwood Scale can be used to categorize typical hair loss patterns in men.


Male Pattern Baldnessis very common. About 50% of men 40 to 50 years of age are affected. Male Pattern Hair Loss describes a progressive thinning, or miniaturization, of scalp hair. The Norwood Scale can be used to categorize typical hair loss patterns in men. Typical hair loss is divided into 7 categories and sub-categories. Note that a Norwood 1 indicates no hair loss.


The Cause of Male Pattern Baldness
Most men are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness. It is the effect of hormones on the hair follicle that produces male pattern baldness. Testosterone, a hormone that is present in high levels in males after puberty, is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. DHT has an adverse affect on the hair follicles. Acting on a hormone receptor on the hair follicle it slows down hair production and produces weak, shorter hair, sometimes it stops hair growth from the follicle completely. This process gradually depletes your stock of hair and is normal hair loss.

All people have DHT but only some will suffer from hair loss, because of a genetic predisposition for hair follicles with an overabundance of androgen receptors to which DHT attaches. Over time, DHT causes a gradual miniaturization and finally the death of these susceptible hair follicles. This action is largely inherited. Although anti-androgen drugs may slow or halt hair loss, they are really only effective at regrowing hair in the crown.

Male baldness Treatments range from the medicinal to the surgical. FDA- approved medications like Rogaine and Propecia can provide effective short-term relief from baldness and have been a popular baldness remedy for years. Rogaine is a topical solution that has proven to be one of many effective baldness treatments in that it helps follicle regrowth but works for only about 60% of all patients. Propecia, on the other hand, is very effective in stemming existing hair loss but is most powerful when used in the early stages of male-pattern hair loss and baldness. Unfortunately both medications are temporary in nature, as results cease once use of the medication has been discontinued. 

Until science comes up with a baldness cure the closest we may have in baldness treatments is the hair transplant. Once the domain of artificial-looking rugs and patches of irregular clumps of hair, the transplant is now the most effective and permanent remedy for baldness. By transplanting hair follicles from healthy areas of the scalp, like the back and sides, to areas in need of help, such as the temples and the top of the scalp, procedures like Follicular Unit Transplantation can provide male pattern baldness sufferers with a powerful strategy for dealing with this pesky medical condition that, though free of other side effects, can drastically affect the quality of one's life.