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A Comprehensive Guide to Male Pattern Baldness

Male Pattern Baldness is a medical condition in which men lose their hair. It is also known as Androgenetic Alopecia.

The shredding of hair takes place in a definite pattern.

It either begins from the front or the back. Over time, as the hair shreds, it takes the characteristic “M” shape.

Hair thinning starts from the top of the head and leads to partial or complete baldness.

Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss.

According to a U.S. National Library of Medicine survey, 50 % of all men above 50 may get male pattern baldness to some extent.

Continue reading to learn about this hair loss condition.

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Stages of Male Pattern Baldness

There are seven stages of Pattern baldness in men. These stages are defined by the Hamilton-Norwood scale.

Dr. James Hamilton first introduced this scale in the 1950s. Dr. O’Tar Norwood later modified it in the 1970s.

The seven stages of Male Pattern Baldness are:

  • Stage I: There is no substantial hair loss or hairline recession


  • Stage II: Mild hairline recession around the temples


  • Stage III: More hairline recession at the temples, generating an M-shaped pattern


  • Stage III Vertex: stage III hairline recession with hair thinning at the crown of the head


  • Stage IV: Increased hair loss at the front and crown of the head, with a hair band dividing the two locations


  • Stage V: The band of the hair between the front and crown areas becomes smaller or disappears entirely, leaving only sparse hair on the sides of the head


  • Stage VI: The crown and front of the head have significant hair loss, with just a horseshoe-shaped ring of hair left on the sides and rear of the head


  • Stage VII: The most severe hair loss, with only a few left on the sides and back of the head

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms might vary depending on the cause of hair loss.

If your hair loss starts at the temples or the crown of the head, you may have male-pattern baldness.

Some people will get a single bald spot. Others experience receding hairlines to form an “M” shape.

Sometimes the hairline recurs until all or most of the hair is gone.


One of the leading causes of pattern baldness in men is genetics. If you have a family history of hair loss, you may be more likely to get it too.

Every single hair on your head has a growth cycle.

Pattern baldness weakens the growth cycle, shrinking the hair follicle. It results in shorter and finer hair strands.

The hair cycle ends eventually, with no new hair developing in its place. Male pattern baldness is mainly inherited and has no serious concerns.

However, baldness can also result from severe conditions like certain malignancies, medicines, thyroid disorders, and anabolic steroids.

Consult your doctor if you experience hair loss after starting new medications or if some health issues accompany it.

Doctors can diagnose male pattern baldness by analyzing hair loss patterns.

They may ask for your medical history. A physical test may also be recommended to rule out certain health diseases as the reason, such as fungal scalp conditions or nutritional deficiencies.

When baldness comes with a rash, redness, soreness, scalp peeling, hair breaking, patchy, or an unusual pattern of hair loss, a health problem may be the cause.

A skin biopsy and blood testing may also be required to diagnose the underlying disease causing hair loss.

Am I at risk?

Male pattern baldness can start when you are a teenager, but it is more common in adult males. The likelihood of you getting this condition also increases with age.

Genetics plays a significant role. Men with close relatives with Androgenetic Alopecia are at a higher risk.

There is even an increased chance if the relatives are on their mother’s side of the family.


As Androgenetic Alopecia or male pattern baldness is genetic, there is no cure for this condition.

However, there are specific ways that you address this condition, such as,


It is a topical medicine applied to the scalp.

Minoxidil slows hair loss and stimulates the hair follicles to grow new hair.

Minoxidil can take four months to 1 year to show results. Hair loss often starts again if you stop taking the medication suddenly.

Possible side effects of Minoxidil are dryness, irritation, burning, and scalp scaling. It can also cause rare side effects such as,

  • weight gain
  • labored respiration
  • rapid heartbeat
  • swelling in the limbs or abdomen
  • trouble breathing when lying down
  • chest pain

It is important to check with your doctor before taking this medicine. Do not self medicare.


Finasteride is an oral medicine that slows hair loss in some men. It blocks the action of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase.

This enzyme changes Testosterone to DHT, that prevents your hair from growing.

In some cases, Finasteride has a higher success rate than Minoxidil.

When you stop taking Finasteride, hair loss might occur again. Some side effects of this medicine for hair loss are:

  • swelling of the face or lips
  • breast tenderness
  • depression
  • itching
  • rash
  • hives
  • breast growth
  • difficulty getting an erection
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • pain in testicles

Consult a doctor before taking this medicine for treating Male Pattern Baldness.

Hair transplants

Hair transplantation is the most invasive and expensive treatment for hair loss.

It involves removing tiny punch grafts from the hair-bearing scalp or a larger piece of this scalp from a donor area and cutting these into smaller pieces to use as grafts.

After that, these grafts are then relocated to a bald or thinning scalp area.

Sometimes it takes multiple treatments, and the procedure can cause scarring and infection.

The benefit of a hair transplant is that it looks more natural and permanent.


If you have limited hair loss, you can hide hair loss with the right haircut or hairstyle.

Ask your hairstylist for a creative cut to make thinning hair look fuller.

Wigs or hairpieces

Wigs can help with thin hair, receding hairlines, and complete baldness.

Choose wig colors, styles, and textures comparable to your hair for a more natural look.

Professional wig stylists can style and fit wigs for a more natural appearance.


Weaves are wigs that are sewn onto your natural hair.

You’ll need plenty of hair to stitch the weave into.

Weaves always stay on, even when swimming, showering, or sleeping.

The problem is that they must be resewed anytime new hair grows, and the sewing process can damage your natural hair.

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  • what do you know about ru5678? or other new meds that are not yet approved? is prf better than prfm? which is better prf or acell?
    any other experimental meds that look promising? thank you

    May 3, 2023

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