Male Pattern Baldness
Get the facts on male hair loss
Men's hair loss is fairly common, due to a condition called male pattern baldness. This condition is genetic, and is triggered by hormones—in particular, testosterone. When testosterone turns into dihydrotestosterone (or DHT), it causes hair production to slow down, causes weaker hair to be produced and may eventually stop hair growth altogether.
While male pattern baldness is normal, it's important that you don't confuse it with other hair loss conditions, such as androgenic alopecia (which affects both men and women) or hair loss due to a serious medical condition. Talk to your doctor about your hair loss symptoms to ensure you get an accurate diagnosis.
How Male Pattern Baldness Occurs
Normally, people lose an average of 10,000 hairs from their scalp each day. While this may seem like a lot, new hairs are generally growing in, so you don't really notice the hairs you lose. In male pattern baldness, new hair doesn't always grow in to replace the hairs that have been lost, which can cause bald patches to appear over a period of time.
While male hair loss can occur anywhere, typically male pattern baldness starts with hair lost at the temples and/or the crown. Eventually, the hair loss may spread, resulting in complete baldness, but more often hair will only be lost in those two areas, and the other areas of hair (such as the sides of the head) will remain.
Male Pattern Baldness Treatment
Unfortunately, because the condition is genetic, there is no male pattern baldness cure. However, there are some treatment options available, though they have been known to have mixed results. These options include:
- Hair loss shampoos. Some believe that hair loss shampoo can help stimulate new hair growth, but it hasn't been proven that these treatments work for everyone.
- Hair transplants. Hair transplants allow you to graft hair from other areas of your scalp onto the areas that are balding.
If neither treatment option seems right to you, you may want to focus on keeping the remainder of your hair healthy and strong. A healthy diet can help with this, as can certain nutritional supplements and so-called hair growth vitamins. Be sure you talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement plan.