If you put together a random selection of 50-year-old men, you would likely find that about half of them are experiencing male pattern hair loss.
But, just why do some men deal with male pattern hair losses as early as their teens, while others have a pretty thick head of hair well into their senior years?
Below, we will cover the background of what we know about male pattern hair loss so far, including the reasons behind why some men lose their hair, just what DHT has to do with everything, and if male pattern hair loss always progresses to full baldness.
When you are talking about hair loss in men, you are almost always talking about male pattern hair loss. This kind of hair loss is the most common type of hair loss in men and women, and it is also known as androgenetic alopecia.
Male pattern hair loss is referring to the typical hair loss pattern of a thinning and receding hairline and temples paired with a thinning crown, or a hairline that continues receding back further until it passes the crown of the head. While the specifics of the pattern and thinning rates can vary, hair loss in this style signifies male androgenetic alopecia. Oftentimes, the only hair left may be a “U-shaped” ring of hair wrapping around the back and sides of the head.
The answer behind why some men experience hair loss and balding while others do not is in your genes.
Male pattern hair loss is a genetic predisposition that was passed down from your parents. This genetic predisposition makes your hair follicles more sensitive to damage from a normal androgenic hormone, DHT.
Every male has DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) in their body, as it is a naturally produced hormone that is derived from Testosterone. Women also have some level of this hormone, although it is much less.
In men who are sensitive to this naturally occurring DHT, their hair follicles are eventually affected. The DHT attaches to the hair follicles, miniaturizes them, and causes them to produce finer, shorter, and less pigmented hairs over the course of time. These hairs also tend to be shorter and fall out sooner than usual. This may give the hair a “fuzzy” appearance. Eventually, the hair follicle may stop producing hair altogether.
In men who do not ever experience male pattern hair loss, they still have DHT in their bodies, their follicles are just not as sensitive to its damaging effects due to their genetic makeup.
Every man who deals with male pattern hair loss does not necessarily eventually become fully bald.
Male pattern hair loss is a progression, and according to the Norwood Scale which classifies the extent of male pattern hair loss, there are 7 stages. Technically, your hair loss may stop at any of the stages during your lifetime. But, the hair loss is likely to continue to slowly progress if left untreated.
If you are curious about what you might expect with your hair throughout your life, you may get a vague idea by looking at the hair loss pattern and extent of your older male relatives.
The current best way to slow hair loss progression from male pattern hair loss is to use topical or oral medications.
There are currently 2 FDA-approved medications for male pattern hair loss.
Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine, and this medication may help increase scalp blood flow while extending the growth phase of the hair. Ultimately, this may boost hair growth for some users.
Finasteride is a medication that helps reduce the production of DHT from Testosterone, effectively reducing the amounts of DHT in the body available to interact with the hair follicles.
Using these medications separately or together may help slow the progression of male pattern hair loss.
For all hair loss treatments, the sooner the medications are started, the more effective the overall outcome will be. The main goal of male pattern hair loss medications is to reduce or slow further losses, not to fully regrow hair that has already been lost.
For men that have already reached a certain level of balding, wigs, toupees, or hair transplants may be a better option. Talk to a hair specialist to see what the best options are for the current state of your hair.
If you are noticing the beginning stages of male pattern hair loss, and you want to see if you can slow your hair loss, you can see if a hair loss medication may be a good fit for you.
At Strut, we carry oral and topical male pattern hair loss treatments utilizing active ingredients like Finasteride, Dutasteride, Minoxidil, Tretinoin, and Biotin.
You can have a free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine consultation with our U.S. licensed doctors today. If you are a good candidate for treating your male pattern hair loss, your medication will be shipped to your front door with our free shipping.
If you have any questions about your treatment or need adjustments, our team and doctors are available for free unlimited follow-ups.