Male Pattern Baldness
Understanding Male Hair Loss
By Kathlene Capelle
In many families, balding has become almost an expected occurrence as a
man ages. Even though these men are expecting male hair loss, they don’t
escape the emotional turmoil that this condition often causes.
The medical term for genetic male hair loss is “androgenetic alopecia”.
For most men, the technical term falls far short of describing the
condition. Understanding the cause of hair loss doesn’t guarantee cheerful
acceptance, but it can go a long way in helping the victim to cope.
The cause of male hair loss in the vast majority of men is genetic, or a
trait inherited from one’s parents. Basically, if one’s family is
genetically predisposed to male hair loss, the hormones that developed
masculine traits during puberty will begin working against oneself at some
point, causing hair to thin and fall out. A certain gene causes the hair
follicles to change after puberty, although hair loss may occur until much
later. As a man matures, a form of testosterone called DHT begin to rise,
and the already affected hair follicles to function less effectively. The
hormone imbalance caused by the DHT causes the hair follicle to work less
and less, causing the hair that grows there to grow thinner and eventually
die and fall out.
This process is called “androgenetic alopecia” by the medical
establishment, but many men have much more colorful names for it. Of
course, anyone watching late night television knows that there are many
hair loss remedies marketed to men and often women. Some medical
treatments include the FDA approved Rogaine and Propecia, retail names for
the drugs minoxidil and finesteride, respectively. Many companies market
hair thickeners and gels, designed to help the hair remaining look
thicker, but not providing a solution to the underlying problem.
Of course, there are many “natural” and herbal treatments that claim to
regrow hair, some more effective than others. Billions of dollars are
spent each year on these treatments. Many men choose hair replacement,
plugs or reseeding and some even try a toupee.
Understanding male genetic hair loss is necessarily the first step to
searching for a hair loss remedy or even one’s acceptance of baldness. The
ultimate goal in either situation is to eliminate male hair loss as a
cause of one’s emotional stress.
Kathlene Capelle is a writer for beauty tips and advice. Her site includes
information on hair loss treatment, female hair loss, male hair loss,
cause of hair loss, natural hair loss remedy and hair care tips. For more
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