It is caused because many men have a hereditary genetic sensitivity to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone is naturally produced by all men, but for unknown reasons it can affect the follicles on your scalp that grow your hair. DHT can cause these follicles to shrink, to the point where they can no longer grow hair. The follicles themselves do not disappear; they are just rendered unable to perform their job properly.
If there are older members of your family, including those on your mother's side that have male pattern hair loss you may not be surprised to know that it too may affect you at some point in your life. There is no set age for which hair loss in men strikes, and some men are lucky as they may not suffer any noticeable symptoms until middle age. Other factors can contribute to the development of hair loss in men, such as stress, extreme anxiety, illness and surgery.
It's never too early to look for a long-term hair loss treatment for this issue. In fact, the sooner you seek treatment, the more likely you are to restore your head to its previous appearance. Men who have already experienced the initial signs of male pattern baldness (see stages 1-3 in the Hamilton-Norwood chart below) can see positive results from regular use of medication such as Propecia. Regular use of this medication can encourage new hairs to grow through, reducing thinning and preventing the loss from forming or developing further.
The Hamilton-Norwood chart is a visual representation of the balding process used to inform a sufferer of the severity of their condition. In phase 4 of the chart the sides and back of the head may still remain unaffected, hair will further thin and shed in weakened areas. Treatment is a viable option should you wish to inhibit further loss.
In stage 5, a bald patch at the top of the back of the head will expand, and it is likely that that hair will recede to the point where the bald patch of scalp at the back of the head connects to the forehead. Hair loss treatment can still be used at this stage.
There are several therapies available, these include:
Anti-androgen therapy: A treatment which directly blocks the action of DHT using a variety of hormonal drugs.
Immunotherapy: The application of a chemical solution called diphencyprone (DPCP) to a small area of the scalp. This is repeated every week, to create an allergic reaction which leads to hair growth.
Plastic surgery: By far the most extreme and most expensive treatment available; a transplant, scalp reduction or flap-surgery operation can be performed by a specialist.
Surgical procedures such as laser therapy do not always work for people at different stages of hair loss. They are often extreme measures that may leave permanent scarring behind if carried out incorrectly.
Before making any big decisions take a look at our hair loss blog to see if there are any other options that may be more suitable for you.
Each case should be judged on its individual merit and not considered for treatment just because it's a convenient option. Because hair transplantation has high public acceptance as a successful method of hair restoration, younger men may consider it their first choice, above medicinal aid. In fact, most specialists do not consider hair transplantation a suitable option for most men less than 21 years of age for the following reasons:
Propecia finasteride is the most effective treatment for baldness to date. It is clinically tested to ensure its safety and effectiveness in men. Over 10 years, it's estimated that 99% of all men who used it experienced no further hair loss while 2 out of 3 enjoyed new hair growth. This treatment uses the active ingredient finasteride to block DHT, stopping hair loss and encouraging new growth.
Our consultations include general questions about your health (e.g. blood pressure levels, current and past conditions), as well as specific questions related to your selected treatment. We will also request relevant personal information to complete payment and delivery.
All questions are necessary, and your answers and details will not be shared with any third-parties. Only our doctors have access to your medical information.