stages of male pattern baldness

Male pattern baldness affects 98% of men at some point in their life, with two-thirds of men experiencing it by the time they turn 60.

So, male pattern baldness is incredibly common — but it affects men in different ways.

For those who take a lot of pride in their hair and consider it a key part of their identity, male hair loss can hit hard, particularly at its most extreme.
They may feel like they have lost a part of themselves and struggle to adapt to their new look.

While the people around them are likely to consider it just another sign of ageing and a perfectly natural process, the individual affected could decide to fix their baldness.

In this post, we will explore what male pattern baldness looks like, the potential causes, and treatment options.

What does male pattern baldness look like?

Male pattern baldness often starts as a receding hairline before evolving into the familiar V-shape. The end result can be extreme hair loss affecting most of the scalp, leaving the back and sides intact.

In any case, male pattern baldness creates different degrees of hair loss. Its impact is usually measured using the Norwood hair scale, particularly when hair transplant consultants assess a patient’s candidacy for treatment.

This scale allows experts to identify and understand the level of hair loss with ease.

What causes male pattern baldness?

Male pattern baldness is caused by the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

This is the result of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which transforms inactive testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which is more powerful.

It has the power to overwhelm androgen molecules on any hair follicle, contributing to hair loss.

While “normal” testosterone can still have an effect on follicles, it has a weaker impact.

This blend of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone creates permanent changes in hair development on the scalp, breaking the hair growth cycle down.

How?

By making the anagen phase of the cycle (during which new hairs develop, ready to replace those which have detached from the root) shorter and shorter.

But while this growth phase is affected, the subsequent stages in the cycle — catagen and telogen — stay exactly the same.

This means there are more resting hair follicles and, as a result, more shedding hairs.

People losing their hair are more sensitive to androgens than they would be usually, which contributes to more pronounced hair loss in one or more areas on the scalp.

Another issue is follicular miniaturization, which prevents new hairs from growing.

This is why high testosterone is linked with hair loss, as there’s more of it to be converted into DHT.

How to treat male pattern baldness?

Sadly, there’s no cure for male pattern baldness at present.

Hairs that have been shed as a result of male alopecia cannot grow back, as DHT’s effect on hairs is irreversible, which can be a difficult fact to digest. However, there are several options for those looking for male pattern hair loss treatments.

Medication

There are medications and medicated products on the market which claim to stimulate new hair growth or even to prevent male pattern hair loss.

The most well-known options are Finasteride tablets, and Rogaine foam.

But these should be approached with caution to avoid disappointment and potential side effects (though these vary from one medication to another).

Hair restoration surgery

The latest hair transplant surgery is a viable option for anyone affected by male pattern hair loss.

This is designed to restore hair to its most youthful after the shedding has run its course.

It is vital to emphasize: any attempt to transplant hair while it is still falling out can complicate the process and require further work in the future.

That is why it’s best to wait for male pattern baldness to take full effect before undergoing a hair transplant procedure.

Remaining hair on the back and sides is crucial for hair transplants: surgeons remove follicular units from these donor sites and implant them in the thinning/bald areas.

As these are hairs from elsewhere on the scalp, the resulting growth will be natural and blend with the remaining hair seamlessly.

If you’d like to find out if a hair transplant is the right choice for you in your present situation, book a free online hair transplant consultation with our experts.

After a comprehensive evaluation of your current hair loss, they will discuss your health status and medical background. This way, the doctors can offer tailored advice about your options with hair restoration.

FAQ

Can male pattern baldness grow back?

Hair won’t grow back when it falls out because of male pattern baldness. This condition is identifiable by a heavily receded hairline and thinning crown, progressing gradually over the years. However, hair will still grow at the back of the scalp and above the ears.

Is pattern baldness curable? 

No cure for male pattern baldness is available at present, though medications such as minoxidil and finasteride can help combat hair loss. They may also regrow hair lost due to various causes, including male pattern baldness.

How do you get rid of male pattern baldness naturally? 

Take the following steps to fight male pattern baldness: 
● Take vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins B7 (biotin), D, C, and iron.
● Use mild shampoo to wash your hair gently.
● Massage your scalp with essential oils to improve circulation.
● Eat more protein — one of the building blocks of hair.
● Massage green tea into your hair, which can improve hair growth.
● Drink at least eight glasses of water per day to stay hydrated.
● Never brush your hair while it’s wet.

Can male pattern baldness stop on its own? 

Male pattern baldness never stops naturally. If you’re unhappy with your hair loss, you may consider treatment (such as a hair transplant).