Hair Loss in Men
In men, the term “common baldness” usually means male-pattern hair loss, or Androgenetic Alopecia. Male-pattern hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss in men. Men who have this type of hair loss usually have inherited the hair loss trait from either their mother’s or father’s side of the family.
Men who start losing their hair at an early age tend to develop more extensive baldness. In male-pattern hair loss, hair loss typically results in a receding hairline and baldness on the top of the head.
Most men typically fall within one of the Norwood Classification types. We can see that even the most extensive patterns of hair loss typically do not affect the hair above the back of the neck or the sides of the head. The hairs in these regions are in an area we call the ‘safe’ or permanent zones.
Hair transplantation is based on moving the hair from the ‘safe’ zone to the balding area since the transplanted hair maintains the color, curl, and characteristics of the area it originally resided. This concept called donor dominance is the reason transplanted hair continues to grow in the same areas where the individual’s original hair stopped growing and fell out.
Why do Men Lose Their Hair?
As we explore in our section, “How Hair is Lost,” 95-percent of hair loss in men is caused by androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. It is not caused by clogged pores, lack of oxygen in scalp blood vessels, or wearing a tight ball cap. Female & Male pattern baldness is driven by 3 factors, of which the first one is the most necessary.
- Androgens (male hormones)
- Genetic predisposition
Read More about why men (& women for that matter) lose their hair.
Frontal Hair Loss & Crown Hair Loss:
Approximately 75-percent of all men who come to my office seeking treatment for their hair loss are concerned about hair loss which has affect the frontal regions. Hair transplants can restore hair for men with frontal hair loss and we take great pains in recreating the frontal hairline as it should be so that it looks natural now, and for decades to come.
The other 25-percent of male patients we see primarily concern themselves with a bald spot on the back of their head in the crown or vertex region. Although some medications can restore hair to this area (see “Hair Loss Treatments” below), follicular unit hair transplantation is the only method that offers permanent results without the need for daily treatments. Just as with the frontal hairline, great care must be given to transplanting hair to this region as it involves more than just stuffing hair grafts into a bald spot in order to “fill it up.” It won’t look natural unless we can replicate Mother Nature’s “whorl” pattern in which all men have (except African-Americans). Read more about how we perform Crown Hair Transplants.
Hair transplant surgery offers men (& women) a unique opportunity to restore hair to the regions in which it was lost. It offers a permanent solution since hair is taken from “donor areas” where it is not susceptible to Androgens and Dihydrotestosterone. The field of hair transplant surgery has come a long way since the 1970s when doctors implanted large hair plugs that contained 10 to 50 hairs each and made one’s head look like a “dolls head.” Those days are long gone and new advancements, tools, techniques & methods have made modern hair transplant results look completely natural and undetectable.
Thanks to follicular unit hair grafting, no one will ever know you had a hair transplant, unless you decide to tell them. Learn more about follicular unit hair grafts and read about how we perform a typical hair transplant procedure.
Hair Loss Treatments:
Depending on your type of hair loss, treatments may be available. If a particular medicine is causing your hair loss, your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine. Recognizing and treating an infection may help stop the hair loss. Correcting a hormone imbalance may prevent further hair loss.
Medications may also help slow or prevent the development of common pattern hair loss. One medicine, minoxidil (brand name: Rogaine), is available without a prescription. It is applied to the scalp twice daily. Both men and women can use it, although the 5% solution is only F.D.A. approved for men. Another medicine, Finasteride (brand name: Propecia) is available with a prescription. It is taken orally once a day and is only F.D.A. approved for men. It may take up to 12 months before you can tell if one of these medicines is working.
The good news is that both of these F.D.A. hair loss medications offer patients the chance not only to slow or stop their hair loss, but to improve the end result of hair restoration surgery by stabilizing any future hair loss. Low Level Light Therapy also offers both men a chance to slow or stop their hair loss. Unfortunately, the ‘safe’ or donor region has a finite number of follicles that can be removed without causing the donor area to become too thin. Therefore, the less hair you lose, the less grafts you will require to achieve an acceptable, cosmetic result.
Ideally, all patients want to achieve a result that is dense and natural. In reality, a patient’s insufficient donor region and/or financial resources usually restricts the surgeon’s ability to accomplish the “ultimate result.”
Patient Education Video: Male Pattern Baldness
Intro to Hair Loss
Hair Loss, Self-Image, & Society
How Hair Grows
How Hair is Lost
Hair Loss in Women
Hair Loss in Men
Norwood Hair Loss Chart
Frontal Hair Loss
How to Stop Hair Loss