Male Pattern Baldness
Dr. Thompson sees many patients concerned with male pattern baldness, which is the most common type of hair loss that occurs. This condition causes minimaturization of the follicles and is due to underlying susceptibility of hair follicles to circulating androgenic hormones. The official term for male pattern baldness is androgenetic alopecia, and the condition affects up to 70 percent of men and 40 percent of women at some point in their lives. For men, hairline recession typically presents at the temples and vertex while women notice thinning at the top of their scalps. In contrast to men, women rarely experience total hair loss.
Frequently Asked Questions
Male pattern baldness is both genetic and associated with the male sex hormones called androgens, with dihydrotestosterone (DHT) as the major contributor. DHT affects the hair follicles in susceptible individuals by causing them to shrink and eventually stop producing hair as the follicle becomes dormant.
Common myths about the causes of hair loss include wearing hats, hair products, playing with one’s hair, viral infections, and excess time in the sun. None of these factors have been shown to have any influence on hair loss. Likewise, neither emotional stress nor trauma have been shown to cause male pattern baldness, but it is thought that these factors can accelerate baldness in genetically susceptible individuals.
While male pattern baldness is influenced more strongly by the mother’s genetics, many other genetic factors, including the tendency for baldness on the father’s side are influential in the development of this condition.
Male pattern baldness is diagnosed by evaluating the pattern of hair loss. Dr. Thompson 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 are involved. 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 as early as the teen years but most commonly occurs in adult men and women as they increase in age. 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.
While clinical psychological effects are uncommon, many men and women who are affected by baldness from any cause find that it can affect many areas of their lives including self-confidence, interpersonal relationships, social and professional endeavors. Fortunately, with advancements in the field of hair restoration, Dr. Thompson and his team are able to restore thick, full and natural hair.