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Androgenic alopecia, commonly known as male pattern baldness, is the most common type of hair loss that occurs in men. The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) says that more than 50 percent of men over fifty years of age will be affected by male pattern baldness in one way or another to some extent.

What are the causes of male pattern baldness?

Male pattern baldness cannot be just one cause as there are numerous reasons and factors that affect the loss of hair as men grow older. One such reason is simple genetics. If your family has a history of baldness, it is likely that you might also suffer from the same problem.

Male pattern baldness is associated with androgens. Androgens are a male sex hormone and one of the functions of androgens is regulating hair growth. Those who suffer from male pattern baldness find the growth cycle of their hair slowly weakening and failing. This is due to the hair follicle shrinking and the result is that the next hair cycle produces shorter and finer strands of hair. This is the beginning of hair loss and as the cycle continues to weaken, the growth cycle ends, and no new hairs grow.

In most cases, male pattern baldness does not have any side effects. However, baldness can also be caused by other reasons such as cancer, thyroid conditions, and medication. It is important to consult a doctor immediately if you experience hair loss in order to get diagnosed. Stress can also induce hair loss, especially if the person goes through a traumatic event.

How can hair loss be treated?

Not every case of male pattern baldness is the same. Some people suffer from hair loss due to stress while others may find themselves losing hair due to a medical or genetic condition. Before following any tips that promise to bring back your hair, get diagnosed by a medical professional.

Male pattern baldness occurs differently for everyone. Some find themselves losing hair at the crown of the head or the temples while others experience a single bald spot. At the same time, some might experience their hairline receding and, in some cases, they might find themselves losing all their hair.

Almost everyone asks, “can male pattern baldness stop?” but the answer is different for everyone. The following are some of the treatments that are commonly used to prevent and treat hair loss.

1. Minoxidil

A tropical treatment that is to be applied twice a day, is most effective to promote the growth of hair at the top of the head and the crown. Results can take months to show, and it needs to be applied in a timely manner.

2. Finasteride

Finasteride is a medication that is orally consumed and slows down the process of hair fall in men. It limits the production of the male hormone that causes hair fall, therefore causing hair fall to stop. However, if the consumption of finasteride is paused, the hair loss will return.

3. Hair Transplants

Often the last resort for most people, a hair transplant is the most expensive and most invasive treatment for hair loss. There are a few different types of hair transplants, but the procedure usually involves removing hair from areas of the scalp that have active hair growth and transplanting them into the areas that have ceased hair growth. While the procedure is expensive, it looks natural and is permanent.

It cannot be said that one treatment is better than the other or most effective. Each case of male pattern baldness is unique and needs to be treated differently. Different patients might react differently to the treatment they receive. While medication might work for some, others could have to resort to a hair transplant or scar camouflage. Consult a medical professional to find out what is best for you and how you can regain the hair you have lost.