There is any number of conditions that can lead to hair loss in men, but by far the most common – affecting more than fifty per cent of men aged fifty and over – is androgenic alopecia, more usually known as male pattern hair loss or male pattern baldness.
Male pattern hair loss
Androgenic alopecia happens when testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which attaches to the hair follicles, causing them to shrink over time, and reducing the life cycle of the hair.
Male pattern baldness is a hereditary condition, affecting those whose hair follicles are genetically predisposed to be sensitive to DHT. Contrary to popular belief, hair loss is not necessarily passed down on the maternal side but can come from either parent.
How to recognise male pattern hair loss
If you’re not sure whether the hair loss you are experiencing is male pattern baldness or is caused by another condition, it’s usually pretty easy to tell. As indicated by the name, male pattern hair loss usually follows a recognisable pattern, with hair loss only affecting the follicles on the top of the head, resulting in the telltale ‘horseshoe’ of hair around the sides of the head if left untreated.
Most men notice the first signs of thinning occurring at the hairline; however, some find that hair loss begins at the crown, which can mean you don’t notice it yourself until the thinning has become quite advanced.
Treating male pattern hair loss
If you are suffering from male pattern hair loss and would like to do something about it, there are many options available to you, from hair loss products to hair transplants and scalp micropigmentation. To decide which is the right treatment for you, please visit the individual treatment pages or contact us to make an appointment with one of our hair loss specialists.
The second most common cause of hair loss in men is alopecia areata. This is a much more sudden form of hair loss than male pattern baldness, which tends to be a very gradual process.
Alopecia areata is characterised by specific patches of baldness that can appear anywhere on the scalp. Very rarely, the condition can lead to alopecia universalis, where total hair loss occurs all over the scalp and body.
What causes alopecia areata?
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s immune response causes it to attack certain hair follicles as if they were foreign bacteria.
Why exactly this response occurs is not yet known, but triggers are thought to include:
- Hormonal changes
Some experts believe there may also be a genetic factor at play, and there are suspected links between alopecia areata and certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and ulcerative colitis.
Treating alopecia areata
Alopecia areata frequently resolves itself, but there are treatments available if this is not the case, or even to minimise the visibility of the bald patches whilst you are waiting for the hair to grow back.
Popular treatments for alopecia areata include hair loss products, laser therapy and scalp micropigmentation. For more information, please see the individual treatment pages, or contact us to make an appointment with one of our hair loss specialists.
Other male hair loss conditions
Although male pattern hair loss and alopecia areata account for most cases of hair loss in men, there are other conditions that cause male hair loss and our team is well qualified to diagnose and treat most of them. If you are unsure what is causing your hair loss, please contact us to make an appointment with one of our hair loss specialists today.