Over time, the hair follicle shrinks, resulting in fine and short hairs and eventually no new hair appears. The cause of the baldness is a result of genetic predisposition and male sex hormones.
In general, male pattern baldness can be diagnosed on appearance, however baldness can be linked to other conditions for instance if there is hair shedding, hair loss in patches, hair breakage and if hair loss occurs along with any irritation or pain, additional testing and/or a skin biopsy will be necessary.
Treating male pattern baldness is a personal choice: some men are comfortable with their changing appearance, where others are not, feeling a loss of self-esteem.
There are medications that have shown success in treating male baldness:
- Minoxidl which stimulates the hair follicles and slows down hair loss in many men, some grow new hair. Baldness returns after no longer using the product.
- Finasteride is a pill that counteracts the sex hormones that cause baldness. Hair loss
similarly returns after stopping treatment.
Results from transferring hair from other areas of the body to the scalp have been effective and permanent, however it can have complications like infection and scarring.
Research has shown that it is possible to grow new hair follicles from human skin cells, which will mean a patient’s own skin tissue could be used to produce virtually unlimited quantities of follicles for a hair-transplant operation. This indicates that even where there are no follicles, hair can be replaced, a breakthrough for people suffering from alopecia and other types of baldness.
For many men, male pattern baldness is a natural part of the ageing process and treatment is available if it is desired. However if hair loss is accompanied by pain, hair shedding, or hair loss in patches (not the typical pattern), or irritated skin, it is advisable to see your doctor as soon as possible.