What Is Male Pattern Baldness?

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Dr. Thompson sees many patients concerned with male pattern baldness, which is the most common type of hair loss in men effecting up to 50 percent at some point in their lives. Also called androgenetic alopecia, male pattern baldness is both genetic, and associated with the male sex hormones called androgens, which regulate hair growth.

Typically, a normal strand of hair or hairs within a follicle will grow for two to six years followed by a resting stage for several months before falling out and growing back. With male pattern baldness, the hair follicle becomes smaller, resulting in shorter finer strands of hair that eventually stop growing as the follicle continues to shrink.

Heredity is the most common cause of male pattern baldness and is usually harmless. But sometimes it’s cause is much more serious, such as certain cancers, medications, thyroid conditions, and anabolic steroids. It’s definitely best to see your doctor as soon as possible if hair loss occurs after taking a new medication or in conjunction with other health problems.

Male pattern baldness is diagnosed by evaluating the pattern of hair loss. Dr. Thompson, or your physician of choice will perform a thorough exam and go over your health history with you to rule out any serious medical disorders that could be causing hair loss. Medical conditions are suspected if other symptoms, such as pain, redness, or a rash, is involved as well. If there is any suspicion, a skin biopsy and/or blood test will be ordered to diagnose any conditions that may be responsible for the problem.

Male pattern baldness can begin in ones teenage years but most commonly occurs in adult men as they increase in age. Men who have close relatives, especially on the maternal side, with male pattern baldness are more likely to experience themselves.

The pattern of hair loss typically begins at the temples or the crown of the head. While some men will get a single bald spot others will recede to form an “M” shape.

For information on options to treat male pattern baldness, visit our Hair Restoration page or call (801)776-2220 for a free consultation in Layton, Bountiful, or Draper, Utah.

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