More than 95 percent of the time baldness in men is due to the condition called as androgenetic alopecia in men, also known as male pattern baldness which is hereditary. Other causes of hair loss may be serious diseases, drug side-effects, and stress among others.
In male pattern baldness, testosterone which is a hormone present in high levels in men and is responsible for growth and development of the male reproductive organs is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. DHT which is a derivative of testosterone adversely affects the hair follicles by shrinking them and affecting growth. The conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone is a normal process as DHT is needed by the body to fully enhance the effects of testosterone. But due to specific reasons, when DHT is overproduced it results in hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia sufferers actually inherit the genetic susceptibility of the hair follicles to DHT.
The pattern of male hair loss starts with the hairline which starts receding and the crown which starts experiencing hair thinning. A horseshoe pattern is noticed in male pattern baldness as the receding hairline meets the thinned crown which leaves hair patches around the sides of the scalp. In some cases complete baldness is also seen. Male pattern baldness is a gradual process of hair loss and can strike men as early as their puberty.
The diagnosis of male pattern baldness can be established by the pattern of hair loss and a comprehensive medical history consisting of questions related to hair loss in the family. A Trichologist can recognize normal hair loss from genetic baldness by the help of various diagnostic tools and treatment can be given accordingly.
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