Baldness in Men
Baldness in middle aged men is more common than you might think. For instance, it’s estimated that roughly 2/3rds of all adult men experience baldness at some point in their life. Take a moment to review the following statistics to learn more about how baldness occurs, and what men of all ages can do about it.
Things to Know About Male Pattern Baldness:
1. Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common form of hair loss among men. Recent numbers estimate male pattern baldness to constitute roughly 90-95% of all cases.
2. More than 3 out of every 4 men has thinning hair by age 50.
3. Of those men who suffer with male pattern baldness, about 25% will see signs by age 25.
The last statistic is very important. Though it’s alarming to think that 25 year-old men suffer with hair loss, it’s also important to remember that early diagnosis is the key to effective treatment.
Classifying Baldness in Men
If you spend time evaluating your hairline and crown for potential areas of baldness, you can rest assured you are not alone. Most men worry about losing their hair. Moreover, the statistics above illustrate a sobering point: Most men do lose their hair.
It’s not all bad news, however. Physicians say the best way to prevent baldness in men is to learn to recognize the signs of a receding hairline, thinning hair, and balding crown. The sooner the signs are recognized, the more quickly and effectively baldness can be treated with either surgical or non-surgical hair restoration.
To help classify and ultimately treat male pattern baldness, physicians rely on a chart known as the Norwood Classification. The Norwood Classification illustrates the usual progression of baldness in men. Using the scale, physicians can diagnose baldness and help men of all ages plan to treat it before it worsens. Take a moment to review the chart below. For more information, visit our blog article on the Norwood Classification.
Causes of Male Pattern Baldness
What causes baldness in men? Worldwide, there are countless institutions, researchers, and physicians dedicated to discovering more about this illusive and devastating condition. Below are a few things that researchers have been able to associate with thinning and balding. Though there is still much to learn, the following should provide insight on how baldness develops and progresses.
Genetics. Some men can be genetically predisposed to losing hair at a specific point in life. For example, researchers have identified a specific gene for hair loss on the X chromosome. If a man inherits a dominant form of that chromosome from his mother, the trait will be expressed.
Hormones. Baldness does not have to be hardwired into your genetic makeup, however. Hormonal fluctuations may also cause baldness in men. Specifically, an overabundance of a testosterone derivative called DHT may cause the phenomenon of hair follicle miniaturization. Over time, follicles shrink and become unable to sustain a healthy hair growth cycle. Hair eventually stops growing, the follicle becomes dormant, and to the naked eye, the scalp appears to be bald.
Stress. Another form of baldness might occur after a particularly stressful event shocks the hair follicles into dormancy. This condition is known as telogen effluvium. Baldness has been known to set in after things like surgery, car accidents, and other traumatic events. As the stress is managed, however, hair follicles can regain their ability to grow normal and healthy hair. At that point, the signs of baldness slowly fade away.
Medications. Sometimes, medications may cause baldness in men. Important Note: Never discontinue the use of medications without first speaking with your physician. If you suspect medication might be causing baldness, schedule a consultation with a hair loss specialist or your primary care physician. A hair loss specialist can help diagnose the cause of baldness, and your primary care physician can assist in finding alternative medications for which baldness is not have known side effect.
Treating Male Baldness
Fortunately, men have several options for treating baldness. The major options are detailed below:
Rogaine®. This non-surgical treatment for male hair loss is known to stop the progression of baldness. Rogaine is a topical foam that is applied to the scalp as directed by your hair loss professional. Though it has demonstrated effectiveness as a treatment for baldness in men, it should be noted that discontinuation of Rogaine often results in further hair loss.
Propecia®. Many men find Propecia effective in treating baldness. The prescription medication is a pill that men take daily, as prescribed by a hair loss professional. Like Rogaine, this hair loss drug only prevents future hair loss. In most cases, baldness progresses following discontinued use.
Low Level Laser Therapy. LLLT is a new technology with a wide variety of medical applications. This year, LLLT LaserComb™ was proven effective in stimulating new hair growth in both women and men who suffer with baldness.
Strip-donor Hair Transplant. Strip-donor transplant involves harvesting a micrograft of donor hair from a healthy area of scalp to transplant to the balding area. Learn more about strip-donor hair transplant.
Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT). FUT is a highly refined hair transplant procedure that uses a small punch-like instrument to isolate and harvest individual clusters of hair follicles to transplant to areas of bald scalp. Because the procedure harvests donor hair via punch instrument instead of micrograft, patients can wear their hair shorter with virtually no visible sign that a procedure has been performed. Learn more about FUT hair transplant.
Robotic FUE Transplant. Robotic FUE is the newest and most advanced hair transplant option available to balding men. The procedure is similar to the FUT procedure described above, but uses advanced robotics and digital imaging to select only the healthiest donor hairs for harvest. Learn more about robotic FUE transplant with the ARTAS® in Miami.
Learn More About Male Pattern Baldness
Learn more about male pattern baldness using the resources below:
American Hair Loss Association
International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery
Learn More About Treating Male Pattern Baldness
To learn more about treatment options for male pattern baldness, contact our institute online or call or clinic directly at 1-877-443-9070.