Tips // Male Pattern Baldness
Published 12/23/18, 3:49 PM by Fleur Scalp Care
Though shedding hair is a natural biological process, it could evolve into balding problems when the hair growth can't keep up with the hair loss. It can affect anyone regardless of age or gender.
As many as 50% male can experience some form of hair loss problems by the time they reach their 50s or even earlier. Male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia is one of the most common type of balding among men.
Biology of Our Hair
The hair is made primarily of 2 parts - Hair shaft is the visible hair that we see while hair follicle is the hidden part beneath our scalp; much like the structure of a plant where follicle is like the roots of a plant that grows and extends to the leaves, our hair shaft.
Our hair follicles have a cyclical rhythm when it comes to hair growth. It produces hair for a few years and then rests for a few months, this period is the natural shedding of hair.
Click here if you would like to read more about our hair structural anatomy.
Balding doesn't happen overnight but is a long and slow process that usually takes a few short years. One of the important key to managing hair loss problem is spotting it early on though it may not be easy to notice it due to the long process involved.
There are different variations and severity of baldness.
Pattern balding can happen to both men and women. Male pattern baldness typically begins with a receding hairline ultimately forming a 'M' shaped hairline at the forehead. Female pattern balding may usually begin at the hair parting before extending to other areas.
Postnatal or Postpartum Hair Loss
This is fairly common and temporary for most new moms that experience postpartum hair loss. This usually begins three months postpartum due to the changes in hormone (estrogen and progesterone) levels during pregnancy and after giving birth. The hormones increases during pregnancy leading to thicker hair growth and levels out months following childbirth.
Early signs of balding are typically a receding hairline, thinning of hair or excessive hair loss.
Not to be confused with maturing hairline, hairline recession begins above the temples before gradually extending further up creating a distinctive 'M' shaped hairline.
Maturing hairline is a natural process that happens to some men due to changes in hormones and facial shape. It happens quite evenly across the hairline in front, not just above the temples.
Diffuse thinning of hair is a type of hair loss that can affect the entire scalp or just specific areas like the crown.
Since the process of balding is a long gradual process, you can pay closer attention to and compare photos of yourself from different time periods. You might also notice a change in texture and thickness when you run your fingers through your hair.
Excessive Hair Loss
It's entirely common and normal for us to shed 50-100 strands of hair on average daily as part of our hair cyclical growth.
However, if you notice excessive or increased amount of hair loss throughout the day, there's a risk for potential balding. But before you panic, it's good to know that temporary hair loss can happen too due to various factors like recovering from jet-lags to sunburn, weight-loss or fevers.
Some causes of hair loss are genetic, some are simply due to poor nutrition, others resulting from inappropriate hair and scalp care or existing scalp conditions like scalp eczema or seborrheic dermatitis.
The most common cause is heredity when balding already runs in the family genes. Hereditary pattern baldness often starts with thinning hair before gradually progressing into hair loss over parts on the scalp.
DHT or dihydrotestosterone is a hormone that has been linked to hair loss, primarily in causing follicles to shrink over time resulting in thinner hair growth to compensate for shedded hair. DHT is an androgen produced as a byproduct of testosterone.
It could also be due to certain hairstyles and treatments especially heat treatments that might been unsuitable or caused inflammation of the hair follicles.
Don't lose hope just yet. Not all hair loss can be permanent and can be treated especially when spotted early. Proper diagnosis and early detection is key for treating balding problems. The best way is to give your hair and scalp a checkup with a detailed analysis that analyzes your hair's thickness and follicular growth, identifies the possible causes and appropriate treatments.