Male pattern baldness is a common type of hair loss process in men at some stage of life. it is also called Androgenic Alopecia. It usually starts from the hairline or the crown of the head and May gradually leads to partial or complete baldness. It commonly takes 15 to 25 years to turn bald but the process may be quicker, due to individual medical conditions. Approximately 50 % of men above the age of 50 are usually affected by the problem to some extent.
The process:
The hair growth cycle includes three stages; first, the growing phase, second the transaction phase where hair follicles start to shrink. Third, the resting phase, in which hair starts to fall out and new hair grows out, when the fall is more than new growth, we consider it the baldness stage.
At first, the hair starts to become thin at the sides or temple. Gradually, thinning begins at the top area too, creating a bald patch on the crown. The receding side area and top start to emerge in each other creating a patch at the front slowly this patch thins down. A rim of hair left around the head.
Genetics: one major cause is family history. People inherit it.
Aging: the hormonal changes after the 50s affect the hair growth process and 85 % of men start to lose hair with growing age.
Male hormones; androgen: male hormone androgen, perform many functions in the body including regulating the growth of hair. Increased level of the androgenic hormone in hair follicles leads to delay in the growth of new hair and thinning of them. This is medically considered a major reason for male pattern baldness
Medical & environmental conditions:
Other medical and environmental conditions do affect hair loss such as
• Malnutrition, iron and vitamin A deficiency,
• Radiation or chemotherapy treatment,
• Medications such as taking anabolic steroids, blood thinners
• Medical conditions: anemia, stress, depression, scalp infection
• Dryness dandruff, over hairstyling using chemicals
These factors may grow back once proper treatment is done.
Stages of male pattern baldness:
Norwood Hamilton scale classifies it in seven stages, starting from 1 (the lowest) to 7 (the highest). At lower stages, there are more chances of survival of hair. all seven stages are;
1. UN noticeable thinning of hair around the temple
2. M shape or hair thinning
3. Visible balding
4. Massive loss losing from the back head
5. Horseshoe or u-shaped hairline on top of the head
6. Visible scalp, larger bare patches
7. Hairline receded to top of the head, leaving very thin hair on the sides
Stage 1 and 2 are not alarming since slight hair fall is evident. Stage 3 is considered; the start of baldness, at 4th significant change, can be seen. Stage 5 is the severity of the stage, 4.6th is where someone is bald from front and tops both with thin hair on the sides of the head. At stage seven hairs on the sides also starts to disappear slightly.
Affects on a personality:
This hair loss is normally not because of some very serious medical condition. but it affects the overall look of a person. Men may suffer anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem if lost their hair at an early age. In such a situation counseling is recommended.
Techniques to overcome:
There are a number of techniques available to overcome male pattern baldness:
Minoxidil: is a chemical applied to the scalp to stimulate the follicles and slows the hair loss process. it takes several months to see visible change. Another side is, this treatment, not necessarily, work for all. Hair may start to fall again if stop using it.
Finasteride: is an oral medication that blocks the production of male hormone causing hair fall, but when stop taking this hair may start falling.
Transplantation: is a modern and revolutionized technique. This is the most expensive and invasive method used to overcome massive male pattern baldness. This is a permanent solution to it because healthy hair follicles taken out from the donor part of the scalp or body and then planted in the required affected area. these hairs grow naturally and are permanent. Basically, two methods are applied to graft hair into the scalp.
FUT: a strip of skin along with hair follicles is cut out, sectioned in small grafts, and then implanted into the affected area.
FUE: hair follicles from the donor area are taken out one by one and then planted in the required area one by one.
Both techniques are very popular and used nowadays to give a fuller thicker natural look to hair.
Nonsurgical methods:
As hair restoration surgery is very expensive there are other non-surgical techniques that can be used to cover male pattern baldness. They cost very little and are within reach of most people.
Hairstyle: men can use different hairstyles or haircuts to hide limited hair loss.
Wigs: are used to cover all sorts of hair loss from hair thinning to big patches of the bare scalp area. They are available in all sizes colors, haircuts, and styles according to individual needs. Wigs are available in two different fibers, synthetic and real hair.
Weaves: hair plugs or weaves s are strips of hair sewed into natural scalp hair. The method is mostly used to add volume to thin hair .as it needs enough hair for strips to be sewed.
Is it permanent?
It is a permanent hair loss. Mostly hair does not naturally grow again, once gone.
Women, too, suffer from male pattern baldness. In such a case, the male hormone level is checked. Another medical condition polycystic ovary syndrome may also be the reason. Both men and women never liked hairless. A healthy diet and lifestyle may lower the damage to hair loss.
If you want to know more detail,

Author's Bio: