Male pattern hair loss is a condition that affects a lot of men, particularly those who are in their late adulthood. But unfortunately for some this appears early on in life, starting around their teens to something severe later on in their twenties. Hair loss in men is a more common phenomenon compared to female cases, but still it creates substantial amount of psychological impact. It results to an impaired body image due to the loss of one of those features that largely defines the way they look.
Male pattern hair loss also known as androgenetic alopecia is a condition where the hairs are attacked by the chemicals (hormones) in your own body. Androgens, which are hormones responsible for male characteristics, are also the culprit for male pattern hair loss. The androgen which is testosterone is the one affected by this as it is transformed by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase into DHT or dihydrotestosterone.
When DHT comes in contact with your sensitive hair follicles it causes them shrink, becomes finer and then shed. The shedding becomes gradual but with excessive amounts (more than the normal 100-120 hairs a day) on a daily basis. It also follows a specific pattern.
With males typical hair loss pattern starts at the hairline which then slowly recedes sometimes reaching the middle portion of the scalp while forming a U or M bald spot, see the photo below. In other cases the balding starts at the crown, forming a round bald spot at the center of the scalp. In a worst case scenario both receding hairline and occipital balding can occur simultaneously.
In determining the extent of your hair loss the Norwood Scale was developed. It has seven stages in which to classify the different levels of hair loss in men. From the initial signs of hair loss and thinning to the more severe, in which hair recedes all the way back to the head leaving only a few patches typically near the temples.
This physical changes places significant amount of stress in men, especially younger individuals because this makes them look less desirable, older and unhealthy. Due to this problem a lot of men are desperate for ways to solve this hair issue, although some accept it head on and shave the rest off to be done with it. But for the majority who wants a full head of hair, they are looking into medications, herbal remedies, hair pieces and hair transplant.
But another thing that should be considered when dealing with hair loss is that you should consider the possibility of other causes aside from hormonal changes, although this is no longer under androgenetic alopecia. Certain conditions such as thyroid problems can be a reason for your hair to shed. Maintenance medications and chemotherapy can have hair loss as side effects. And sometimes the food we eat and our activities can contribute to hair loss. The reason for knowing this is for you to know the right measure to take when treating the problem.
Although it can be a permanent condition, there is still an answer to your hair concerns caused by male pattern hair loss.