Male pattern baldness, also called androgenic alopecia, is the most common type of hair loss in men. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), more than 50 percent of all men over the age of 50 will be affected by male pattern baldness to some extent. One cause of male pattern baldness is genetics, or having a family history of baldness. Research has found that male pattern baldness is associated with male sex hormones called androgens. The androgens have many functions including regulating hair growth. Doctors use the pattern of hair loss to diagnose male pattern baldness. They may perform a medical history and exam to rule out certain health conditions as the cause, such as fungal conditions of the scalp or nutritional disorders. Health conditions may be a cause of baldness when a rash, redness, pain, peeling of the scalp, hair breakage, patchy hair loss, or an unusual pattern of hair loss accompanies the hair loss. A skin biopsy and blood tests also may be necessary to diagnose disorders responsible for the hair loss.
Causes of Male Pattern Hair Loss
DHT may contribute to the shortening of growth phase of hair follicles, causing them to shrink until there are fewer visible hairs left on the scalp.
The first sign of the onset of Male Pattern Hair Loss is when frontal recession begins to appear in the hairline.
Over time, these recessions become larger and much more noticeable, and the hairline moves further back.
Independently or at the same time frontal recession is occurring, a thinning area may appear on the crown which gradually increases in size.
The final stage of Male Pattern Hair Loss is when the hair is lost completely from the crown and frontal region, leaving a horseshoe shape.