While hair loss in males has several causes, genetics is one of the major causes of male pattern baldness. Earlier only one gene inherited from the mother was believed to cause male hair loss. However, over 250 genes are now associated with hereditary male pattern baldness and can be inherited from either parent.
Normal hair growth has three phases:
- Anagen (Growth) Phase – Hair grows approximately 1.25 cm per month.
- Catagen (Transition) Phase – Nutritional supply is stopped to the hair strand, slowing down the growth and causing thinning.
- Telogen (Shedding) Phase – Hair sheds, and the follicles are inactive for some months before new hair growth.
However, inherited genes are sensitive to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone, which attaches to the hair follicle and slowly destroys it. Therefore, fewer follicles enter the growth phase, and the hair strands receive fewer nutrients, causing shortening and thinning. These make hair strands shorter and thinner every time a new hair grows from the follicle and eventually stops growing from that follicle.
Genetic hair loss in males is generally less obvious but is far more common.
Read on to learn more about the male pattern hair loss and whether it can be reversed.
Male Pattern Baldness (MPB)
Also known as androgenic alopecia, MPB is a progressive condition characterized by hair loss and thinning in a well-defined pattern (beginning at the temples and front hairline and then at the top and vertex of the scalp). In contrast, Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) or androgenetic alopecia generally causes hair thinning throughout the scalp and typically does not result in a receding hairline.
The Balding Gene
The AR gene carried by the “X” chromosome is associated with MPB. According to a study, men who inherited that gene are twice more likely to develop MPB than men without that gene. Additionally, 63 genes may play a vital role in MPB (according to a review), with only six of them found on the “X” chromosome. Research also reveals that over 80% of men with balding had fathers that experienced significant balding.
Other Causes of Balding in Men
- Abnormal thyroid hormone levels
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Alopecia Areata (an immune condition causing patchy hair loss)
- Radiation therapy
- Medications for treating arthritis, depression, heart problems, blood pressure, and cancer
- Trichotillomania (a hair-pulling disorder, causing the urge to pull your hair)
- Hairstyles that stress your hair can also cause a form of hair loss called traction alopecia.
- Medical conditions, such as traumatic alopecia, ringworm infections, and cicatricial alopecia
Can You Treat Genetic Hair Loss/Baldness?
Though genetic hair loss is irreversible, medications and hair transplantation can help maximize your hair growth while resolving baldness and thinning.
- Minoxidil: Increases hair growth and treats androgenic alopecia.
- Finasteride: This prescription medicine converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone and treats hereditary hair loss.
Hair Transplant Surgery
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT): A long scalp strip is removed from the donor area (thicker parts) and then separated into grafts. These grafts are transplanted on the recipient site (thinning spots).
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE): Hair follicles from the donor area are extracted and grafted to the recipient area.
Are you experiencing baldness in a well-defined pattern, despite taking good care of your hair and scalp? If yes, you might be suffering from male pattern baldness, and you should seek medical help to contain the condition and restore hair growth.
If you are looking for genetic hair loss treatment in Maryland, contact our experts at Mane Center for Advanced Hair Restoration. Our board-certified surgeon, Dr. Burka, can help restore your hair, ensuring a voluminous, natural-looking appearance. Contact us for genetic hair loss treatments.
Dr. Douglas Burka is a Board Certified General Surgeon who completed his fellowship at the National Institutes of Health and his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington DC. As the founder of the Mane Center for Advanced Hair Restoration, Maryland, Dr. Burka’s goal is to assist patients suffering from hair loss to regain their confidence. Since hair restoration is a major decision for most patients, his clinic follows a strict “no sales pressure” policy. Reputed as a highly-skilled and knowledgeable surgeon, he and his team of expert medical professionals provide superior and personalized hair loss treatment to patients.