Symptoms of Male Pattern Baldness
The first sign is a gradual retreat of hair away from the forehead in a distinctive “M” shape, known as a receding hairline. If the hairs at the base of your fringe are thinning, or being shed without being replaced, you might be suffering from Androgenic Alopecia. From there, the hair is lost from the crown of the head, leaving a distinctive bald pate, before spreading until eventually only a distinctive “horseshoe” of hair is left upon the sides and back of the head. Male Pattern Hair Loss can appear in many different patterns however, with the possibility of general thinning around the top of the scalp or a balding patch around the crown becoming prominent.
MPB is in fact easy to identify even for somebody with no clinical experience as it only affects hair on the top of the scalp and not the sides, causing a horseshoe-shaped pattern of hair loss. There are a number of different common patterns of hair loss – a receding hairline, a thinning crown, or general thinning spread over the top area of the head. You can read more about these below. MPB never affects the sides or back of the hair.
The best ways to know if you are loosing your hair are:
- Noticing the appearance of thinning hair or a receding hairline yourself
- Other people informing you that you are losing your hair (you may not notice yourself)
- Excessive hair on your pillow, the shower bed or in the bath plug, or on your hands when styling your hair in the morning.
Treatment of Male Pattern Baldness
There are a number of options available for treating Male Pattern Baldness, including clinically proven medications, laser devices and hair restoration surgery. There are also numerous products out there that have no clinical efficacy, so it is easy to waste time and money whilst your hair continues to shed. It is therefore very important that you carry out the necessary research before deciding how you are going to treat your hair loss. The good news is that unless you have lost all or most of your hair, there is a solution out there for you, whether it be a medical solution, a surgical one, or a combination of the two.
1. Minoxidil : The brand name of this topical treatment for sprouting new hair is Rogaine, and it’s one of two FDA-approved drugs for the condition. Applied topically, is widely used for the treatment of hair loss. It is effective in helping promote hair growth. About 40% of men experience hair regrowth after 3–6 months.
Minoxidil must be used indefinitely for continued support of existing hair follicles and the maintenance of any experienced hair regrowth. Treatments usually include a 5% concentration solution designed for men.
Minoxidil will help slow the hair loss process and is the best solution for the time being to help you hang on to your hair. It may even help you grow a little bit of peach fuzz, and the biggest area you’ll see regrowth is on the crown rather than the front of your hairline. However, you’ll pretty much lose that hair you were trying to save if you ever stop using the med.
Though uncommon, some side effects may include itchiness and chest pain (minoxidil also comes in a pill to treat high blood pressure).
2. Finasteride: FDA-approved medicine to treat male pattern hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia). The drug was originally created to help prevent prostate cancer, and works by blocking production of a male hormone in the scalp known as androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that shuts down follicles to cause male pattern baldness.
Treatment provides about 30% improvement in hair loss after six months of treatment, and effectiveness only persists as long as the drug is taken.
Propecia acts as a sort of fertilizer for the monixidal, helping it to regrow hair more effectively.
You have to know it’s a lifetime commitment. Once you stop using Propecia, any hair loss that you would have had if you weren’t taking the medication will happen within three to eight months.
3. Hair Restoration surgery and non-surgical replacement systems still remain viable options in the treatment of androgen related alopecia. The best fix by far for replacing lost hair is a transplant. Back in the day doctors used plugs that resembled cornrows. Today guys have more options. You can go for “the strip method” where a doctor surgically removes a strip of hair from the back of your head, dissects every hair graft under a microscope, and then plants the individual grafts onto hair-thin areas of your scalp with tiny incisions.
If you don’t want a scar because you like to wear your hair short, you might opt for a “scarless” hair transplant. Also known as follicular unit extraction (FUE), grafts are harvested one at a time with tiny punches that heal virtually undetected so you can still buzz your head. If you’ve gone so bald that you don’t have a lot of donor hair on your head, FUE extractions can be done with body hair such as on your chest, stomach, back, and sometimes even the pubic area. Regrowth rates with FUE hair transplant is almost as high as with the strip method, and there is less downtime—three to five days to heal compared to 10 days for the strip method.