Hair Loss - The Truth About Male Pattern Baldness

Published: 27th July 2009
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Hair loss is an emotive subject so it is no wonder that people are continually looking for something or someone to blame when their hair starts to become thinner. There are a great number of myths surrounding male pattern baldness, the most common form of hair loss in the UK, and here are just a few of them:

Myth 1: Male pattern baldness is inherited from your mother's side

Truth: Although male pattern baldness is a genetic condition it can actually be inherited from either one of your parents.

Myth 2: Male pattern baldness is a sign of virility

Truth: This condition is related to the hormone testosterone, but people with male pattern baldness don't have more testosterone than other people; their hair follicles are just more sensitive to it.

Myth 3: Hair loss is caused by wearing a hat or frequent hair washing

Truth: Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition. Unless your hat is tight enough to cut off the oxygen to the hair follicles it will not contribute to hair loss, it will actually protect your hair from the sun. Unless you wash your hair very aggressively, frequent shampooing should not cause hair loss.

So what does cause male pattern baldness?

This type of hair loss is caused by oversensitive hair follicles, which you will have inherited from one of your parents. These follicles react to a substance called DHT (dihydrotestosterone) which is produced by the male hormone testosterone.

DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink meaning that the hair is less well anchored in the scalp and is more likely to fall out causing thinning patches. Eventually the hair follicles affected by DHT will stop working altogether resulting in bald patches.

And why is it called male pattern baldness?

This hair loss condition is known as male pattern baldness because the hair tends to be lost in a very distinctive shape or pattern. In the initial phases you may notice some thinning of the hair around the crown and temples, and your hairline may start to recede upwards towards your crown.

In cases where male pattern baldness has progressed further, the balding area at the crown and the receding hairline will join up, leaving just a horseshoe shaped piece of thick hair around the back of the head. In rare cases all the hair is eventually lost, but most people retain some hair at the back of their head.

Is there anything I can do to prevent it?

As it is a genetic condition, male pattern baldness can't be stopped altogether. However you can slow down its progression with various medication based treatments designed to reduce hair loss and stimulate regrowth. You can also look into hair transplant techniques, which take hairs from the parts of your head where hair is growing well and implant them into the thinner areas. Finally you could look into a natural looking cosmetic hair replacement solution for your hair loss condition

Jackie Dawson is a Hair Loss Consultant with Hair Replacement UK. If you want to know more about Hair Loss Solutions for both men and women go to

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