Amazingly, 98 per cent of men will be affected by male pattern baldness, with two-thirds of men experiencing it by the time they turn 60.
Male pattern baldness 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.
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 pattern baldness can hit hard, particularly at its most extreme.
They may feel as if they have lost an important 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 make the decision to fix their baldness.
Fortunately, the latest hair transplant surgery is a viable option for anyone affected by male pattern baldness.
This is designed to restore hair to its most youthful after the shedding has run its course.
It’s vital to emphasize this: any attempt to transplant hair while it’s still falling out can complicate the process and require further work in the future.
That’s 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.
Other men may find dealing with male pattern baldness much easier, even if they have always enjoyed styling their hair.
But that doesn’t mean they’ll be happy to stay partially bald once the shedding has stopped — they may find themselves drawn to a hair transplant procedure to maintain the aesthetic they’ve cultivated for decades.
In any case, male pattern baldness creates different degrees of hair loss, and the impact of male pattern baldness is usually measured using the Norwood 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 growth cycle down.
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 which have been shed as a result of male pattern baldness cannot grow back, as DHT’s effect on hairs is irreversible, which can be a difficult fact for men affected by male pattern baldness to digest.
Yes, there are certain medications on the market which claim to stimulate new hair growth or even to prevent male pattern baldness.
But these should be approached with caution to avoid disappointment and potential side-effects (though these vary from one medication to another).
That’s why state-of-the-art hair transplant surgery is so important: surgeons can utilize the latest tools to provide a safe, effective solution for all degrees of male pattern baldness.
They’ll conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your current hair loss, discuss your health status and medical background, and determine if a hair transplant is the right choice for you in your present situation.
This provides you with the peace of mind you need to relax and trust your surgeon to restore your hair successfully.