This man has worsening male-pattern hair loss resulting from the medication Tenormin.
This man has worsening male-pattern hair loss resulting from the medication Tenormin.
Male pattern baldness is common and is distinguished from other causes of hair loss by the typical thinning and location of the hair loss.
Male pattern baldness is common and is distinguished from other causes of hair loss by the typical thinning and location of the hair loss.
This image displays typical male-pattern balding with thinning at the top of the scalp.
This image displays typical male-pattern balding with thinning at the top of the scalp.
This image displays an extensive recession of the hair line.
This image displays an extensive recession of the hair line.
This image displays typical male pattern balding at the entire top of the scalp.
This image displays typical male pattern balding at the entire top of the scalp.

Images of Hair Loss, Male Pattern Baldness (Male Pattern Alopecia) (5)

This man has worsening male-pattern hair loss resulting from the medication Tenormin.
Male pattern baldness is common and is distinguished from other causes of hair loss by the typical thinning and location of the hair loss.
This image displays typical male-pattern balding with thinning at the top of the scalp.
This image displays an extensive recession of the hair line.
This image displays typical male pattern balding at the entire top of the scalp.

Hair Loss, Male Pattern Baldness (Male Pattern Alopecia)

Male pattern baldness (alopecia), or androgenetic alopecia, is the patterned balding of a man. Although the condition may affect both the appearance and self-esteem of some men, one should note that the condition is not a medical disorder. The hair loss is non-scarring and has a genetic basis. Sex steroids (androgens) – specifically, dihydrotestosterone – play a role in this form of balding.

Who's At Risk?

Male pattern baldness affects many different types of men, spanning age and race and ethnicity. The incidence is highest in White men, followed by Asian men and Black men, with variation in balding patterns between different races and ethnicities.

Male pattern baldness may be hastened by other forms of hair loss, such as chemotherapy-induced hair loss. Likewise, male pattern baldness becomes more common as age increases.

Signs & Symptoms

The most common location for male pattern baldness occurs at the frontal hairline. Hair loss may move toward the back of the scalp (posteriorly), or it may be first noted as thinning at the crown of the scalp. While the underlying scalp may appear normal, a man might see miniaturized hair follicles.

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Self-Care Guidelines

None necessary.

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Treatments

Hair loss in male pattern baldness is non-scarring, so the hair follicles are not destroyed. A population of cells remain that can grow and enlarge the hair. The only clinically proven pharmacologic methods to prevent loss are minoxidil (a topical medication) and finasteride (an oral medication). However, with discontinued use of the products, accelerated hair loss may occur.

Scalp reduction or hair transplantation therapies are effective surgical procedures, but they can become expensive and should only be performed by a qualified dermatologic surgeon or plastic surgeon.

Visit Urgency

Male pattern baldness is not a medical disorder and does not require therapy. However, cosmetic restorative therapy may be sought, based upon personal desire.

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References

Bolognia, Jean L., ed. Dermatology, pp.1044-1047, 2426-2627. New York: Mosby, 2003.

Freedberg, Irwin M., ed. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine. 6th ed, pp. 643-645. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003.

Disease Groups: Common Hair Problems