What is male pattern hair loss?
Male pattern hair loss (MPHL) also known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common type of hair loss in men and affects about 50% of men over the age of 50.
What causes male pattern hair loss?
MPHL is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone causes the affected follicles to become progressively shorter in length, smaller in diameter, and lighter in color until eventually the completely shrink follicles stop producing hair.
Is male pattern hair loss hereditary?
Yes. It can be inherited from either or both parents.
What are the symptoms of male pattern hair loss?
Men become aware of hair loss or a receding hairline at any time after puberty. It is usually asymptomatic on scalp.
How does male pattern hair loss look like?
In androgenetic alopecia the usual pattern is a hair loss from the top of the head with a receding frontal hairline. Hairs in the affected areas become shorter in diameter, and smaller compared to hairs in unaffected areas.
How is male pattern hair loss diagnosed?
The diagnosis is based on the history of receding hairline or scalp hair loss on the front/ top of the head, the pattern(distribution) of hair loss and a family history. The skin on the scalp may look normal on examination.
How can male pattern hair loss be treated?
- Licensed topical and oral treatments:
1) 5% minoxidil liquid or foam
2) finasteride tablets for men
- Wigs and hair pieces
- Skin camouflage
- Surgical treatments
Self-care (What can I do?)
It is important to protect any bald areas of the scalp from sunlight to prevent sunburn and to reduce long-term sun damage.