Male Pattern Baldness: What’s the Concern?
Male pattern baldness (otherwise known as androgenetic alopecia) is the most common type of hair loss in men. It is considered a natural part of the aging process for millions of men. However, premature or unexpected hair loss can sometimes indicate a more serious underlying condition that may require medical attention.
It can be psychologically distressing when you experience hair thinning, bald spots, or a receding hairline. Individuals can experience a loss of self-esteem that may cause depression, anxiety, and other emotional stress. However, people can pursue effective hair restoration treatments, including hair transplants, laser and light therapies, oral medication, and topical creams.
Despite the adverse effects of losing hair, you can take a positive approach by focusing on feeling more optimistic about the way you look.
What Is Male Pattern Baldness?
Male pattern baldness accounts for over 95% of hair loss cases in men. Clinically known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern baldness occurs as hormone levels change throughout a man’s life. Aside from hormone levels, men naturally lose their hair from the interaction of other factors such as genetics and the aging process. When genetic factors influence the likelihood of male pattern baldness, it contributes to the gradual shrinkage of hair follicles, the tiny cavities in the skin at the base of the hair. As a result, hair grows shorter and finer until no new hairs grow.
No two cases of male pattern baldness are created equal. Some men experience a receding hairline above the forehead. Others get a bald spot on the crown, and others lose hair on top of their heads.
The typical progression of male pattern baldness usually starts at the hairline as it slowly moves backward (recedes) and creates an M-shaped hairline. Over time, hair becomes finer, shorter, and thinner and produces a U-shaped (or horseshoe) pattern of hair around the sides of the head.
In most cases, you may be able to restore lost hair once you understand its causes.
Male Pattern Baldness Treatment Options
Explore the following treatments available for male pattern baldness.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
While this technique technically doesn’t treat androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness), a follicular unit extraction restores the hair you have lost, creating an aesthetic improvement to the area of thinning or balding. This method of hair transplant surgery extracts healthy and functional individual hair follicle groupings from densely populated donor areas (typically at the back of the head and between the ears), which are implanted to thinning, balding, and receding regions of the scalp.
When male pattern baldness patients receive an FUE, a skilled hair transplant surgeon harvests follicles from the back of the head for transplantation. The hair from this region is not susceptible to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and will retain that property after being transplanted. Limitations exist with the number of hairs for removal without creating a thinning appearance on the back of the scalp. Still, many patients have enough of a donor area to receive multiple transplants over time.
Unlike more invasive methods such as follicular unit transplantation (FUT), an FUE procedure doesn’t require the removal of a donor strip to extract individual follicles. It delivers comparable results with less discomfort and no linear scarring. As a result, you can wear your hair short, whereas the scarring is visible in those who have undergone FUT and who wear short hair.
From an aesthetic standpoint, a hair replacement that an experienced hair transplant physician performs will look and feel like a natural hairline, assuming you have enough hair available at the donor site and a properly trained clinician. However, you must set realistic expectations about the procedure because a hair transplant is not a miracle treatment, and you may not be the perfect candidate.
Therefore, we ask prospective clients to schedule an initial consultation before suggesting a specific hair loss treatment or giving an approximate cost. We need to properly analyze your situation and make suggestions based on this interaction. Age, sex, and hair loss progression can all dictate what option or options may be best for you.
With that said, we invite you to schedule a preliminary consultation and discover how to achieve the results that you’re seeking.
Finasteride is a medication, available both topically and orally, used to treat men with benign prostatic hyperplasia (Proscar) and male pattern baldness (Propecia). Finasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor that decreases DHT serum and scalp levels by nearly 70%. Effectively, this reduction will slow hair loss progression for most people. Alternatively, reverse miniaturization can result in salvageable follicles and halt the loss altogether. In some cases, finasteride will also cause hair regrowth.
If you’re taking finasteride for male pattern baldness, many months may pass before seeing any noticeable results. Still, the medication is highly effective and will begin its impact within a few weeks. With topical finasteride, this impact is faster as the compound is being applied to the problem area, blocking it at the site of the adverse effects.
Topical finasteride is only 1% to 2% of the dose compared to an oral form. Individuals typically receive an oral application as 1 mg. In effect, the topical application is 0.01 mg. It’s also slightly more effective and doesn’t carry the same side effect profile. This feature is essential as most men express concern with the potential sexual dysfunction resulting from oral finasteride. Oral applications lower your serum DHT on a significantly higher level than the topical form due to the delivery route and the drug dosage. In other words, the topical solution is a better option
Our topical finasteride application features high-grade compounds. These compounds include minoxidil, biotin, caffeine, and various regenerative growth peptides. Taken together, these elements aid in the follicles’ strength, proliferation, and self-healing. If an individual has experienced side effects from Rogaine or other topical minoxidil compounds, we may remove these elements from the compound. Topical finasteride is a conjunctive therapy. Individuals should consider this therapy, even if they receive a hair transplant or nonsurgical hair restoration.
Minoxidil was one of the first treatment options for patients with androgenetic alopecia. Minoxidil first appeared as an over-the-counter drug in the 1990s, and medical professionals can prescribe it at higher strengths. Minoxidil takes the form of a cream, foam, or liquid applicant applied directly to the scalp.
Minoxidil works to slow hair loss or heal newly damaged follicles by dilating the blood vessels in the scalp, increasing blood flow to the follicles and skin. Essentially, minoxidil creates a better delivery system for nutrients and oxygen to heal and allow hair to thrive. Treatment usually requires at least four months to see results, but optimal results are most notable around the one-year mark. Keep in mind that topical minoxidil is not an alternative to a hair transplant or nonsurgical restoration. However, it can serve as another addition to your therapeutic care plan.
Choosing a Male Pattern Baldness Treatment Plan
The treatment plan you choose to address androgenetic alopecia depends on the extent of hair loss and the quality of the donor site. Setting realistic expectations of methods to confront hair loss issues is critical in proper treatment planning.
It’s also essential for your clinical team to thoroughly understand your medical history, age of onset, what treatments and medications you have tried, and what your expectations are. With this information, the team can better construct a thoughtful care plan that focuses on the various causes of hair loss and the current aesthetic shortcomings.
MAXIM Hair Restoration can give you an accurate evaluation of your particular case before suggesting any hair transplant surgery or treatment.
To make it easier for those traveling from far distances, we also offer virtual consultations through our website. Complete a form with your contact information and health history and upload some photos. A Care Team expert will contact you to book your complimentary consultation.
Have you asked yourself, “Where can I find a hair transplant near me?” Contact us at MAXIM Hair Restoration today. We are here to assist you.