What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?
Here at Haair the our hair loss partner clinics, know that losing your hair is, for many men, an incredibly distressing time. We become so used to seeing ourselves in a certain light, that when something as drastic as losing our hair happens, it fundamentally changes the way we perceive ourselves. We all know that hair loss is something that happens in a lot of men, but what exactly causes it? Well, the answers are not exactly clear, but we do know quite a bit. In this article, we’ll share with you the signs, reasons and treatments for male pattern baldness.
What is male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness is by far the most common type of hair loss in men – affecting more than half of men over 50 and 30% of men in their 30s. Sometimes called androgenetic alopecia, it typically takes 15-25 years to go completely bald; however, some men can go bald in fewer than five years.
In typical cases of male pattern baldness, the hair will begin to thin at the temples whilst the hair on the top of the head does the same. A bald patch gradually develops into the middle of the scalp before the receding sides and the bald patch join to leave a patch at the front. Finally, that patch at the front thins leaving hair only at the side, which can also thin and disappear in rare cases.
What causes male pattern baldness?
Put simply, you hair is made in hair follicles located just underneath the skin. Hair grows from each follicle for about three years before it is shed and a new hair grows. With male pattern baldness, this process is interrupted.
Scientists believe that your hair follicles on the scalp gradually shrink, making the hair that grows out of it thinner and thinner before they disappear completely. Additionally, before falling out, each hair grows for a much shorter time. They believe male hormones are key to this process. Testosterone levels in balding men are normal and cells on the scalp convert testosterone into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone. It’s unclear why, but affected hair follicles are most sensitive to dihydrotestosterone, which causes the hair follicles to shrink.
What can be done about it?
For as long as men have been losing their hair, there have ‘cures’. From prayers to potions, there has been no shortage of people looking to make a quick profit from the desire to return hair to our heads. These days, however, science has given us a number of highly successful options.
Hair transplants move healthy hair follicles from a donor part of your body to the top of your head, effectively replacing the defective follicles and allowing hair to re-grow normally. Alternatively, cold laser light therapy has shown significant promise in clinical trials; helping many men with male pattern baldness re-grow their hair. Indeed, hair replacement procedures have come on in leaps and bounds, instantly replacing missing hair with incredibly realistic and perfectly styled hair.