5 Things Even Your Dad May Not Know About Male Pattern Baldness – by Alan J. Bauman, M.D.
Odds are, your grandpa experienced it, probably your dad too. Is any man truly safe from hair loss?
For most men, hair loss seems unavoidable. If you look down the street, it is hard to find a man older than 40 who isn’t experiencing some degree of hair loss or thinning. If you look at the statistics, this makes sense. According to the American Hair Loss Association, by the age of 35, approximately two-thirds of men will experience some degree of hair loss; and by the age of 50, 85 percent of men have significantly thinning hair.
What is Male Pattern Baldness?
For nearly 95 percent of men, male pattern baldness is the culprit behind their hair loss. Male Pattern Hair Loss, or Androgenetic Alopecia, has been proven to be caused by the progressive miniaturization of hair follicles that are sensitive to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a breakdown product of the male hormone testosterone. Male pattern hair loss is inherited and can start anytime after puberty. Under the influence of DHT, the follicles which are sensitive to it start to miniaturize, producing progressively thinner, shorter and less pigmented hair over time resulting in a loss of coverage in a highly-recognizable pattern: recession of the frontal/temporal hairline and baldness in the crown/vertex areas. Eventually, the follicles stop producing hair altogether.
But despite its prevalence among men, there are still an abundance of misconceptions and misinformation surrounding hair loss.
Here are five little-known facts about male pattern baldness.
- Despite what you’ve been told, it isn’t mom’s fault. Genetics are the main cause of hair loss in men and women; in fact, there are approximately 200 genes that regulate hair and hair growth. But while it has long been believed that hair loss is passed down solely from the mother’s side, we now know that the genes can be inherited from either your mother and father’s side, or a combination of the two and we are always discovering an increasing number of non-genetic factors which can accelerate hair loss. Are you at risk? New genetic tests can accurately determine an individual’s risk of losing their hair so they can begin preventative treatments early.
- 50% of Your Hair is Gone Before it Becomes Noticeable. How early you spot your thinning hair determines how much hair you save. If you wait until the hair loss is visible to the naked eye, you’re too late – 50 percent is already gone! While this number may seem shocking, it confirms what those in the hair restoration field have long known, that the best tool in fighting hair loss is early detection, making it essential for patients to seek the advice of a certified hair restoration physician as soon as possible.
- Your Hair Loss Risk is Proportionate to Your Age. Male pattern baldness can start any time after puberty. But while 20 may seem early for hair loss to start, that is the reality for nearly of quarter of men. For men, the risk of losing your hair is proportional to your age, in other words: 20% in 20s, 30% in 30s, and so on. This math proves true for men into their 90s.
- 60% of Men Can’t Correctly Spot a Hair Transplant. – Not long ago, hair transplants looked fake and ‘pluggy’ and left undesirable scarring. Today, thanks to scientific advancements and new technology, like NeoGraft FUE and ARTAS robotic-assisted transplants, the procedure is completely undetectable to the naked eye. In fact, according to a 2009 Hair Transplant Challenge Survey, sponsored by the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery, 60 percent of men couldn’t correctly spot a hair transplant.
- Hair loss Isn’t Inevitable. In the past, there were no effective treatments in sight for hair loss and hair thinning patients; the only solution was to cover up hair loss with hats and artificial hairpieces. Fortunately, today there are many effective hair loss medications and treatments that have made hair loss a treatable condition. Along with these treatments, advances in hair transplantation have made it possible to restore hair loss.
If you are concerned about hair loss, or would like more information on the growing number of effective treatment options, you should call a board-certified hair restoration physician— someone who specializes exclusively in the medical diagnosis, treatment and tracking of hair loss and its treatment. These specially trained physicians have had extensive training specific to treating hair loss, and have up-to-date knowledge of the newest treatment options.
Once your doctor has diagnosed the extent of your hair loss and the causes behind it, your physician may recommend both medical therapies and lifestyle changes as part of your treatment regimen. Medical treatments that will help mitigate hair loss include a specially compounded prescription minoxidil solution, platelet-rich plasma injections (PRP, also called the ‘vampire hair growth treatment’), prostaglandin analogs, low-level laser therapy, and nutritional supplements. In advanced cases, hair transplantation via NeoGraft FUE, or ARTAS, may be the patients’ best strategy for treating their hair loss. These state-of-the-art techniques are only available through board-certified hair restoration surgeons, and require both precision and artistry for natural-looking results. The most effective strategy is usually a multi-therapy approach, along with routine follow-ups for tracking purposes to see what’s working. Regular follow-ups should be performed every 90 days while undergoing treatment. These appointments can help ensure patients are responding to their treatment regimen and getting the best results possible.
Hair Loss by the Numbers
- 50 million men in the U.S. are reported each year to suffer from hair loss – and that’s a conservative estimate.
- Male Pattern Baldness accounts for 95% of hair loss in men.
- According to an ISHRS Survey, 60% of men can’t correctly spot a hair transplant
- Men have a 4 in 7 chance of inheriting the baldness gene.
- There are approximately 200 genes that regulate hair and hair growth.
- If you wait until the hair loss is visible to the naked eye, you’re too late – 50% is already gone.
- By 35, two-thirds of men will experience some degree of hair loss; and by the age of 50, 85% will have significantly thinning hair.
- 9 out of 10 balding men cite hair loss as their No. 1 concern.
- Over 800,000 men and women seek treatment for their hair loss each year.
If you or someone you know has hair loss or eyebrow or eyelash concerns, click to start either a long-distance phone consultation OR an in-person, in-office consultation with Dr. Bauman. You can also Ask Dr. Bauman a Question or simply call Bauman Medical Group toll-free 844-GET-HAIR or +1-561-394-0024