Male Pattern Baldness
Male Pattern Baldness generally follows a set pattern of a receding hairline, followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples.
This is the most common type of hair loss and usually starts around the late 20s or early 30s. By the late 30s, most men have some degree of hair loss.
Male Pattern Baldness can leave a horseshoe shape of hair around the back and sides of the head and it could progress to complete baldness, although this is rare.
Contrary to what was once thought, hair loss isn't caused by men having too much testosterone. Instead, the hair follicles become sensitive, due to a genetic predisposition. And researchers believe that it’s the ‘hair killing’ hormone DiHydroTestosterone (DHT), which is a by-product of testosterone, that actually causes hair loss.
Testosterone converts to DHT with the help of the enzyme Type II 5-alpha-reductace, which is kept in the hair follicle's oil glands. If there is too much DHT, the hair becomes thinner and grows for a shorter length of time than normal. DHT shrinks hair follicles, so when DHT is suppressed, hair follicles continue to thrive.
Hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT must be exposed to the hormone for a prolonged period of time so that the affected follicle completes the shrinking process.
Although you might have the genes for baldness, it doesn’t mean you will lose your hair even if you have a strong family history of it. This is because the genes have not been passed on or the expression of the baldness gene is limited. The way genes express themselves depends on several factors including hormones, age and stress.
There are two treatments
There are 2 products on the market that have made huge advances in treating men’s hair loss. Finasteride, commercially known as Propecia©, is only available via private prescription and not on the NHS. Minoxidil is available by private prescription if you require the stronger 10% or 15% solutions. A weaker 5% (commercially known as Regaine®) is available over the counter.
Both can slow down or stop hair loss, but they’re not miracle cures. However, even though these 2 products are the best in the market, they might not work for everyone and the result only lasts for as long as you keep using it.
Remember – there’s no lotion, medication, shampoo, massage or laser treatment that will ever bring back your lost hair. If you already have lost hair and have bald patches, only a Hair Transplant can restore them.