Male Pattern Baldness - Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

Male Pattern Baldness – Causes, Symptoms And Treatments

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Male pattern baldness is a universal condition affecting generations of men worldwide. However minimal is the upkeep of their physical appearance, most men are very concerned about the hair on their head. Many men are these days being plagued with the problem of male pattern baldness.

What Is Male Pattern Baldness?

Male pattern baldness(MPHL) or androgenetic alopecia is a genetic condition that is associated with androgenic hormonal imbalances in the body. It results in hair thinning and formation of bald patches on the dome of the head, leaving a wreath of hair on the sides. It starts with thinning of hair from the sides of the hairline  followed by a bald patch on the crown area and with further hair thinning, it leaves behind just a rim of intact hair at the back of the head.

Common Things To Know About This Condition

Number Of People Affected In India More than 55% of men are affected in India.
Major Triggers To Know The Condition


  • Receding frontal hairline that forms an “M” shape
  • Bald patches on the crown of the head
Do You Need Medical Evaluation? Yes, a thorough medical history and physical examination by a qualified dermatologist are required.
Is It A Chronic Condition? It is a chronic condition that can be dealt with easily when it is detected in the early stages.
What Is Age Group Prone To This Condition? 30 – 50 years
Who Can Help You To Treat It? An experienced dermatologist is the best medical professional to help you treat male pattern baldness.

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?

Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition and the various genes that are responsible for causing this type of hair loss are inherited by men from either one parent or both the parents. Testosterone, a type of male hormone or androgen, is converted to dihydrotestosterone on the scalp.This accumulation of DHT makes the hair follicle shrink in size and produce thinner and shorter hair, which in time, is completely and permanently shed off. This leads to the frontal hairline recession and subsequent bald patches forming on the scalp.

Also Read: Common Reasons For Hair Loss & Treatments

Male Pattern Baldness Symptoms

Male pattern baldness symptoms are as follows –

  • Increased hair fall
  • Hair becoming thinner with time and ultimately becoming like ‘peach fuzz’
  • Hairline receding in the front and sides of the scalp
  • Reduction in hair density
  • Formation of bald patches on the top of the head

These can lead to partial and even complete baldness.

Also Read: Common Signs & Symptoms Of Hair Loss

What Are The Stages Of Male Pattern Baldness?

The Norwood Hamilton Scale is a standard that is followed worldwide to identify the different stages of androgenetic alopecia. The male pattern baldness stages are as follows –

Stage 1 Minimal or no recession of hairline.
Stage 2 Triangular areas of hair thinning from the temples on both sides.
Stage 2A Temporal hair loss is not very accentuated but is accompanied by hair becoming thinner on the crown.
Stage 3 Temporal hair recedes further leaving minimal or no hair at the temples.
Stage 3A This is a variant with deep recession of the frontal hairline in addition to the temples.
Stage 3V Hair loss is primarily from the vertex with limited thinning of sides of the hairline.
Stage 4 Hair on the crown becomes thinner and forms a bridge-like band as the bald patch on the top of the head increases in size. This band is connected to a fully haired fringe on the sides of the scalp.
Stage 4A The hair in frontal area becomes sparser(thinner) with loss of the connecting band.
Stage 5 The bald patch on the top further increases in size and is almost the size of an apple. The bridge-like band becomes thinner, and the frontal hair is present as a disconnected patch in a triangular shape.
Stage 5A The bridge-like band disappears leaving behind really scanty hair with a receding hairline much behind the 4A stage.
Stage 6 The frontal and temporal regions join with the patch on the top of the head to form one area with absolutely scanty hair growth.  The connecting band of hair is almost completely lost in this stage.
Stage 7 The most severe stage of hair loss where only a narrow band of hair in a horseshoe shape remains on the sides and back of the scalp, with no hair being present in the front and top of the head.

How To Cure Male Pattern Baldness?

After reading all these details, you must be wondering how to stop male pattern baldness. When detected early and with an appropriate course of treatment, the receding hairline and thinning hair can be brought under control.

(A) PRP Hair Treatment – A recent study published in the Journal of Cutaneous and Aesthetic Surgery positively affirmed that PRP hair treatment does work for reversing male pattern baldness. It utilizes the growth factors that are naturally produced by blood platelets to improve hair growth from stem cells in the hair follicles and also enhance blood flow. These platelets are obtained by extracting blood from the patient and separating plasma that is rich in platelets. A tiny injection is utilized to introduce this platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the affected areas of the scalp. Male pattern baldness stages 3 to 5A can be reversed with this treatment along with medical intervention. This is a cost-effective treatment.

Also Read: What Is PRP Hair Treatment & How Does It Work?

(B) Minoxidil – This is an FDA approved topical medication for treating male pattern baldness. Its exact mechanism of action is unknown, but it has been shown to successfully improve hair growth and also, blood supply to the hair bulbs. This medication shows best results when used in the initial stages, and continued usage is mandatory to maintain these results. Generally, dermatologists recommend a 5% to 10% concentration of the drug for topical usage. Discontinuing this treatment will revert the hair condition within a few months.

(C) Finasteride – This is another FDA approved medicine, but unlike minoxidil, finasteride needs to be taken orally. It helps to slow down the progression of androgenetic alopecia and causes new hair growth. With positive results of more than 80% patients showing an improvement in hair count, finasteride has become a widely popular treatment for male pattern baldness. Like minoxidil, one needs to keep taking this medicine to maintain the results.

(D) Hair Replacement / Transplantation – This treatment is usually a last resort measure. It is an invasive treatment that involves transplanting areas of active hair growth from one part of the scalp to an area where hair growth has diminished or stopped. Being a surgical procedure, hair transplantation carries the risk of infection and can work out to be expensive too. A skilled dermatologist who performs the procedure with stringent protocols and under hygienic settings can eliminate the chances of any infection.

Can You Prevent Male Pattern Baldness?

Male pattern baldness cannot be prevented, but you can definitely help your body to deal with it by taking care of your hair and providing it with the necessary nutrients.

  1. Vitamins like B complex(including Biotin), Vitamin D and iron are very useful in promoting and maintaining hair growth.
  2. Protein is also essential for healthy hair growth, so eat pulses, legumes, soy, and lean meat like chicken and fish regularly.
  3. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
  4. Stress is known to trigger hair loss. Participate in simple exercises like walking, swimming, etc. or practice yoga to de-stress and relax.

Also Read: How To Effectively Prevent Hair Loss?

Differences Between Alopecia & Male Pattern Baldness

Generally, when people say alopecia, they are referring to alopecia areata. This hair loss condition results in the formation of bald patches randomly on the head and is an autoimmune disorder. In this, the hair follicles are attacked by the body’s immune system leading to hair loss.

Also Read: Alopecia Areata – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Male pattern baldness is a genetic disorder, and it is caused due to overproduction and accumulations of a type of male hormone. The hair loss in this follows a particular pattern as explained in detail above. This pattern sets it apart from alopecia areata and helps in differentiating the two from each other during diagnosis by a dermatologist.

Unfortunately, a permanent male pattern baldness cure does not exist. The treatment options available for this hair disorder work only during certain stages of it. Early detection and management can help you to stop the problem from progressing beyond control and maintaining your hair in prime condition.

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About The Author

Kushneet Kukreja

Kushneet Kukreja

A postgraduate in Biotechnology from Kingston University and an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, Kushneet Kukreja is a passionate writer who works in close association with the dermatologists at our head office to generate valuable and scientifically accurate content for our blog.

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