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Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia  is the most common type of hair loss in men, with it affecting up to 70% of men and even 40% of women in their lifetime. We receive a lot of questions around male pattern baldness and today we’re discussing at what age it starts.

What is male pattern baldness?

As mentioned above, male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss that can affect both men and women. This type of hair loss usually follows a pattern of a receding hairline, the hair on the crown and temples begin to thin leaving a horseshoe shape around the head.

Male pattern baldness happens due to hair follicles shrinking, because of the effects of androgenic hormones. The hormones involved are testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). These hormones break down the hair growth cycle by shortening the growth phase of the hair. The shedding phase remains the same, causing hair to fall out faster than it can grow.

Male pattern baldness usually follows a pattern of a receding hairline, the hair on the crown and temples begin to thin leaving a horseshoe shape of hair around the head.

Who can suffer from male pattern baldness?

Despite the name, male pattern baldness can actually affect both men and women, sometimes called female pattern baldness – the hair loss causes inherited sensitivity to the effects of male hormones on the scalp and the hair follicles. This causes hair to thin in the same way that it does to men. Women rarely develop a receding hairline and the pattern in which the hair is lost differs to men.

When can I expect male pattern baldness to start?

We often get asked when male pattern baldness can start. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), more than 50 percent of all men over the age of 50 will be affected by male pattern baldness to some extent.

Everyone is different, and hair loss can happen at different stages of life. Some might notice hair loss around the hairline in their younger years (from as early as 17) this is often known as a maturing hairline and can result in further hair loss/male pattern baldness much future down the line.

However, for most, early signs of male pattern baldness will start at around the age of 25 to 35 and over the years you will notice that the hair loss becomes progressively worse. The rate at which hair is lost will differ for everyone and seeing a hair loss specialist can be helpful to discuss potential hair restoration treatments and when you should start to look into seeking help.

The speed in which the process happens varies for each individual. A maturing hairline can happen to anyone and does not depend on a genetic predisposition. It is estimated that 95% of Caucasian males will develop a mature hairline.

Male pattern baldness displays signs of hair loss such as a thinning crown and a receding hairline; a receding hairline shows a distinct V-shape which is more prominent than a maturing hairline.

Typically, the difference between a maturing hairline and one that is undergoing male pattern baldness is the distance that the hair has receded. In a maturing hairline, the entire hairline recedes at roughly the same distance. This will typically be about 1-1.5cm above the juvenile hairline.

In a hairline that is undergoing male pattern baldness, the hairline typically recedes further than the 1.5cm point, and will show the characteristic, more significant recession in the temple areas.

Is there a cure for male pattern baldness?

At current, there is no cure for male pattern baldness. There is, however, a range of hair restoration treatments that can help towards restoring the appearance of a fuller hair of hair. At the Harley Street Hair Clinic, we offer FUE hair transplants and ATP – our pigmentation treatment. If you would like more information on our treatments please contact us for more information.

Can my health effect male pattern baldness?

We’re often asked if any health conditions can have an impact on, or even cause male pattern baldness as well as getting asked if living a healthier lifestyle can reduce the chances of male pattern baldness.

In 2016 two investigations into the links between genetic hair loss and men’s health revealed information that caused some medical professionals to call for male pattern baldness to be re-classified. Going from a cosmetic problem to a potential indicator or certain illness.

The first investigation found a shared pathogenesis between male hair loss and BPH (benign prostate hyperplasia) -an enlarged prostate, which can lead to bladder problems.

A second study found that men with significant levels of pattern hair loss also suffered more with hypertension, aortic stiffness and impaired coronary microcirculation. The most recent study of March 2017 has findings that link male hair loss to high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.

There have also been links between prostate cancer and hair loss from the crown, however, more studies are needed to answer questions about the links between prostate cancer and male pattern baldness.

There are some links between certain health issues and male pattern baldness, however, at current, there is not enough research or evidence to conclude the studies.

Can a healthy lifestyle stop male pattern baldness?

In most cases, male pattern baldness is often hereditary and isn’t something you will be able to completely stop. However, in many cases, hair loss can be accelerated by certain lifestyles and a handful of small changes could help slow your hair loss down.

Issues such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels are linked to early hair loss, as well as lifestyle factors that reduce the supply of oxygen to the scalp such as smoking and drinking as these are linked to the shrinking of hair follicles.

A few simple lifestyle changes can help towards slowing down hair loss at a younger age. Regular exercise, such as running or cycling for 30 minutes a day can help to reduce both high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Also reducing your alcohol intake and quitting smoking can benefit the health of your hair and help towards slowing hair loss down. Lastly, eating a healthy balanced diet with the right mixture of vitamins and minerals can help keep your hair healthy.

If you would like any more information on male pattern baldness or any information on our treatments and how we can help you please book in for a no obligation consultation today.

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