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Male Pattern Hair Loss Symptoms

Male pattern baldness (MPB), also known as androgenic alopecia, is a common type of hair loss condition. It involves progressive loss of hair in a specific pattern. Male pattern baldness is the primary cause of hair loss in men, influenced by genetics and hormones. Generally, it starts at the temples and crown of the head.

As per The National Library of Medicine (NLM), MPB affects approximately 50% of men by the age of 50. It starts as early as the late teens or early twenties, and the risk steadily increases with age.

According to Health Direct AU, it is revealed that this condition mostly affects Caucasian men, whereas Chinese and Japanese are the least affected. Male pattern baldness is genetic and affects about:

  • 1 out of 2 men in 40s
  • 1 out of 3 men in 30s
  • 1 out of 5 men in 20s

As male pattern baldness is genetic, it is impossible to prevent it. However, noticing the male pattern baldness symptoms early can help control hair loss with effective treatments.

Male pattern baldness symptoms

Male pattern baldness may come on suddenly and cause rapid hair loss or develop gradually, leading to heavy hair fall over time. The symptoms of male pattern baldness may start showing in your 30s, but sometimes they will be noticeable after puberty. Learn about the most common male pattern baldness symptoms:

Receding hairline

One of the early male pattern hair loss symptoms is a receding hairline. The hair on your crown will gradually fall off, forming an “M” shape. When the hair recedes on your temples and meets the remaining hair on the crown, it forms a “U” shape.

Thinning at the crown

This is stage 3 hair loss, where your hair at the crown will start to thin and lead to a larger bald area over time.  Over time, you might see large bald patches at the back of your head (vertex), which expands in size gradually.

Miniaturisation of hair follicles

A common sign of male pattern baldness, isthe hair follicles uundergoinga process known as miniaturisation. This leads to the hair becoming finer and shorter with each growth cycle.

Increased visibility of the scalp

As the individual starts losing hair and the hair thinning increases, the scalp becomes more visible, leading to baldness.

Progressive hair loss

Male pattern baldness elevates gradually. The severity of hair loss can vary from person to person.

Horseshoe pattern of hair

In some men, the hair on the sides and back of the head will fall off, which forms a horseshoe-shaped pattern on the scalp. This can be considered as the last stage of hair loss.

What are the visible signs of male pattern baldness?

Some of the common visible signs of male pattern baldness include:

  • Thinning temples
  • Gradual thinning of hair on top and back of your head
  • Receding hairline that looks like an “M” or “U” shape
  • Circular bald patches
  • Visible scalp with less hair
  • Clumps of hair (on your pillow and comb)
  • Hair widening apart on top of your head
  • Losing body hair, including legs, hands, eyebrows, etc

Stages of male pattern baldness

The Hamilton-Norwood scale is a widely recognised classification system for male baldness pattern stages. It shows androgenetic alopecia stages (crown baldness stages) ranging from 1 (minimal hair loss) to 7 (extensive hair loss).

Stage 1

This is the initial or stage 1 hair loss, with no observable hair fall.

Stage 2

In stage 2 hair loss, slight baldness at the frontal hairline is noticeable. The hairline will recede at the temples.

Stage 3

The receding hairline becomes more prominent, often forming an "M" or "U" shape in stage 3 hair loss. Hair loss may also initiate on the crown of the head.

Stage 4

Progressive hair loss on the temples and crown, resulting in a broadening of the bald area on the crown. Many bald patches will appear on the head. 

Stage 5

Bald areas on the temples and crown merge, creating a horseshoe-shaped pattern of remaining hair.

Stage 6

The horseshoe pattern diminishes as the bald area continues to expand. In this stage, you might see thin or no hair between the crown and temples.

Stage 7

In this stage, only a narrow band of hair persists around the sides and back of the head. The top of the head is bald, without any hair.

It is important to understand that not everyone with male pattern baldness progresses through all the stages. The hair loss symptoms and stages in males vary significantly from person to person.

If you're worried about hair loss, it's important to consult a hair doctor or dermatologist. They can diagnose the issue and discuss treatment options with you. Early intervention can slow down hair loss progression and help preserve your hair.

Male pattern baldness (MPB) not only poses a physical challenge but significantly impacts individuals emotionally and socially. The Hamilton-Norwood scale helps to determine male baldness stages. It highlights the importance of timely intervention.

Importance of seeking timely treatment for male pattern hair loss symptoms

Seeking timely hair loss treatment for male pattern baldness is crucial. If you know the symptoms, you can get treatment in the early stages. Early diagnosis and treatment can relatively reduce hair loss and even stimulate hair regrowth. This proactive approach addresses physical concerns and boosts self-esteem and overall well-being.

Psychological support is also important. Therapists specialising in body image can offer valuable assistance. Cognitive-behavioural therapy helps individuals develop coping mechanisms for managing negative thoughts and emotions. This holistic approach ensures comprehensive care for the physical and psychological aspects of male pattern baldness.

It is important to understand that everyone experiences hair loss differently. Hair loss doesn't affect all individuals, but for some, it significantly impacts their well-being.

Emotional and social impact on individuals due to sudden hair loss

Male pattern hair loss can also greatly affect individuals in terms of emotional and social aspects.

  1. Reduced self-esteem and confidence: Because of rapid male pattern hair loss, individuals are likely to lose their confidence, leading to low self-esteem. Studies by the Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology have shown, "There's a link between male pattern baldness (MPB) and lower self-esteem, body image dissatisfaction, and social anxiety".
  2. Depression and anxiety: The emotional burden of hair loss can result in depression, anxiety, and social isolation. Men with MPB are more likely to report symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to those without male pattern hair loss.
  3. Negative social perception: Many people link baldness with old age, unhealthiness, or dominance. It might lead to discrimination in social settings, the workplace, and dating life.

Seeking assistance from professionals is crucial. Exploring available treatments can help you experience stopped hair loss or reduction. This can lead to an improvement in their overall quality of life.

When should you visit a doctor for hair loss treatment?

The best time to visit a doctor for hair loss treatment is when you experience any male pattern baldness symptoms or notice visible signs of hair loss. You should also consult your doctor if you see bald spots or feel a burning sensation, itching, or scaling. Make sure to schedule a visit to your doctor instantly if you notice rapid hair loss because early detection can control hair loss and promote regrowth.

Male pattern baldness diagnosis

Diagnosing male pattern baldness commonly involves a visual examination by a doctor. It focuses on identifying the pattern and progression of male pattern hair loss. Some doctors might perform additional tests.

A hair doctor typically discusses your medical and family history to diagnose hair loss. They will also examine your scalp. A computerised video microscope is also used to get a magnified view of your hair and scalp.

However, if your doctor suspects an underlying medical cause for your male pattern hair loss, they might recommend further tests like:

  • Blood tests: to check hormone levels, thyroid function, or for nutritional deficiencies.
  • Scalp biopsy: to rule out other skin conditions affecting hair growth.
  • Hair pull test: to assess hair shedding and the strength of your hair follicles.

It is recommended that you avoid self-diagnosis of male-pattern hair loss and schedule a visit to a healthcare professional for proper hair loss diagnosis and personalised treatment.

Homeopathy for male pattern baldness

Homeopathic male pattern baldness treatment stimulates hair growth by addressing the root causes of baldness. Whether it's a hormonal imbalance or an underlying medical condition, homeopathy targets these issues.

Homeopathic medicines treat male-pattern hair loss by strengthening hair follicles and regulating hormonal effects linked to hair loss. They have no side effects and are effective against male-pattern baldness.

  • Thuja stimulates hair follicles, promoting new hair growth.bsp;
  • Lycopodium Clavatum is effective for addressing rapid hair loss in male pattern baldness.bsp;
  • Baryta Carbis is a homeopathic remedy when baldness is visible at the scalp crown (vertex).bsp;
  • Silicea is useful for treating male pattern baldness in younger individuals.bsp;

These homeopathic medicines are beneficial for managing male pattern baldness without side effects.

Benefits of homeopathy for male pattern baldness (MPB)

There are plenty of uses of homeopathy for male pattern hair loss — minimising the male pattern baldness symptoms, treating the root cause, promoting new hair growth, and many more. The common benefits of homeopathy for male pattern baldness include:

Holistic Approach

A homeopathic consultation involves an in-depth discussion of your medical history, current male pattern baldness symptoms, and overall health. Homeopathy treats the individual as a whole, considering physical, mental, and emotional aspects. It addresses underlying causes, promoting overall well-being rather than symptom relief.

Personalised Treatment

The homeopath uses a complex system that matches your unique hair loss symptoms to a specific remedy believed to stimulate your body's healing response. Personalised treatments increase the likelihood of success and minimise the risk of adverse effects.

Stimulation of Hair Follicles

Homeopathic remedies stimulate hair follicles, promoting hair growth by addressing potential imbalances or deficiencies. The focus on individualised treatment may target specific factors contributing to MPB in each person.

No Side Effects

Homeopathic remedies are safe, effective, and have no side effects. Your hair grows safely and naturally. Unlike some conventional medications, homeopathy aims to stimulate the body's healing mechanisms without harming it.

Slows Progression of Hair Loss

Homeopathic treatments may help slow down the progression of male pattern hair loss. By addressing the root causes, these remedies contribute to maintaining existing hair and preventing further loss.

Improved Blood Circulation

Some homeopathic remedies enhance blood circulation to the scalp. Improved blood flow can nourish hair follicles, potentially supporting healthier hair growth.

Addresses Emotional Factors

Homeopathy considers the emotional impact of male pattern hair loss. Although emotional factors are more relevant in conditions such as Alopecia areata, they can affect all types of hair loss. Homeopathy addresses stress, anxiety, or other emotional factors that may contribute to MPB. Emotional well-being is an integral part of overall health and hair vitality.

Long-Term Results

Homeopathy focuses on long-term results rather than providing a quick fix. While it may take time to see improvements, the goal is to create sustained and lasting effects on hair health.

Prevention of further hair loss recurrence

Homeopathy aims to prevent recurrence by identifying and addressing the underlying factors contributing to MPB. This preventative approach may contribute to ongoing hair health even after the initial symptoms have improved.

Lifestyle changes for managing hair loss in men

Genetics play a significant role in male pattern baldness, but a healthy lifestyle can contribute to overall hair health. Here are some lifestyle changes that may help manage male pattern hair loss in men:

Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet with vitamins and minerals important for hair health, like vitamin A, B vitamins (especially Biotin), vitamin C, and vitamin E. Include protein-rich foods like lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products, as hair is composed mainly of protein.

Hydration

Stay adequately hydrated. Water is essential for overall health, including hair health. If you are dehydrated, your male pattern baldness symptoms will worsen, leading to rapid hair loss.

Avoid Harsh Hairstyles and Treatments

Avoid tight hairstyles and minimize the use of styling products to prevent damage to hair follicles and reduce the risk of male-pattern hair loss. Also, minimise the use of heat-styling tools like blow dryers and straighteners.

Scalp Care

Wash the scalp regularly with a mild shampoo. Avoid excessive washing, as it may strip the scalp of natural oils. Consider using a gentle conditioner to keep the hair moisturised.

Regular Exercise

Engage in regular physical activity to promote overall health, including blood circulation to the scalp. Cardiovascular exercise can help improve blood flow, which is important for hair follicle health.

Stress Management

Practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or mindfulness, as chronic stress can contribute to hair loss.

Adequate Sleep

Ensure you get enough quality sleep, as lack of sleep can negatively impact overall health, including hair health.

Quit Smoking

If you smoke, consider quitting, as smoking has been linked to hair loss and premature greying.

Limit Alcohol Consumption

Excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to nutritional deficiencies, impacting hair health. Moderation is key.

Consult with a Hair Doctor

If male pattern hair loss is significant or accelerating, consult a hair specialist or a dermatologist. They can assess your situation and recommend appropriate medical interventions, such as prescription medications or topical treatments.

Dr Batra's® combines homeopathy with advanced technologies to offer a comprehensive and effective treatment for male pattern baldness. A personalised treatment plan crafted by homeopathy doctors aims to restore hair and improve overall well-being holistically.

Medically Reviewed

Qualification

  • B.H.M.S (Maharashtra University of Health Sciences)

  • FCHD (Fellowship in Homeopathic Dermatologist - Mumbai)

FAQs

What are the first signs of male pattern baldness?

Keep an eye on the following early warning signs:

  • Receding Hairline: You will see these at the temples as they begin from there, making a distinct "M" shape.
  • Hair Thinning occurs when hair starts to look less dense, mainly at the temple or crown area. The hair strands also turn weaker and thinner.

How can I differentiate between normal hair shedding and male pattern baldness?

It is normal if you shed 50-100 hairs a day. In male pattern baldness, a slow loss will be seen in particular areas:

  • Hair Loss Location: It occurs mainly at the crown and temples.
  • Hairline Recession: This means that the hairline shifts back in time.
  • Progressive Thinning: Hair thinning takes time and does not happen in clumps.

What does hair thinning look like in the early stages of male pattern baldness?

You will experience less hair density overall, and your scalp shows more majorly at the crown or temples. However, the hair strands become thinner and weaker, showing potential hair loss.

Are specific areas of the scalp more affected by male pattern baldness?

Male pattern baldness hits particular regions:

  • Temples: Hair begins to reduce from the forehead at the temples.
  • Crown: Hair gets thinner on the top area of the head.

These areas are highly sensitive to hormones, which result in hair loss.

How quickly can symptoms of male pattern baldness progress?

The speed of symptoms differs; in some cases, it can be slow and gradual over the years or grow speedily. Factors like genetics and complete health influence how quickly you observe hair loss.

Is scalp itchiness a symptom of male pattern baldness?

In general, scalp itchiness is not one of the common male pattern baldness symptoms. An itchy scalp might cause dermatitis, dandruff, or allergies. So, if your scalp is itchy, it does not necessarily mean you suffer from male pattern baldness.

Can changes in hair texture indicate the onset of male pattern baldness?

Yes. Hair texture changes are a common indicator of male pattern baldness. Without its natural shine, hair will become thinner, finer, and duller.

How does male pattern baldness affect the hairline and temples?

The most common male pattern baldness symptoms are receding hairline and thinning of hair around the temples. Gradually, due to hair loss, your hair will form an “U” or “M” shape.

What are the visual signs of advancing male pattern baldness?

The common visible signs of advancing male pattern baldness include:

  • Thinning of hair on temples, crown, top, and back of your head
  • Receding hairline that looks like an “M” or “U” shape
  • Horseshoe pattern hair loss
  • Bald circular spots on top or at the back
  • Visible scalp
  • Hair widening apart on top of your head
  • Losing body hair

Does male pattern baldness impact the crown differently from the hairline?

Yes. Male pattern baldness may affect the crown differently from the hairline. For example, the hairline will recede and form an “M” or “U” shape. On the other hand, the hair on the crown will start to thin and may develop bald patches all over.

Are there any temporary symptoms of male pattern baldness that resolve without treatment?

As male pattern baldness is genetic and a progressive hair loss condition, there are no temporary male pattern baldness symptoms that resolve without proper treatment. The hair loss is permanent, and treatment is necessary for hair regrowth.

How can I tell if my male pattern baldness is due to genetics?

If your parents or grandparents suffered from hair loss, you can confirm that your male pattern baldness is due to genetics. In addition, the common male pattern baldness symptoms that develop due to genetics are thinning of hair on top and a receding hairline.

At what age do the symptoms of male pattern baldness typically begin to show?

Most of the time, male pattern baldness symptoms start in one's 30s. However, sometimes, they may develop after puberty, during the late teens and early 20s.

What should I do if I notice the first symptoms of male pattern baldness?

Here is what you can do after noticing the initial male pattern hair loss symptoms:

  • Consult a doctor for a hair loss diagnosis
  • Get to know about the available treatment options
  • Consider lifestyle changes (eat a well-balanced diet, sleep well, drink enough water, exercise regularly, quit smoking, limit alcohol, etc)

What diagnostic tools & tests are performed by Dr Batra's® to identify the symptoms of male pattern baldness?

At Batra's, our healthcare practitioners use the following diagnostic tools and tests to identify the male pattern baldness symptoms:

  • Visual examination of your scalp and reviewing your medical history
  • Blood tests
  • Scalp biopsy
  • Hair pull test

How does Dr Batra's® team evaluate the severity of male pattern baldness during a consultation?

During the initial consultation, healthcare practitioners at Batra's conduct a visual examination and review your health history to evaluate the severity of your male pattern baldness. They will also conduct blood tests, hair pull tests, and a scalp biopsy for further evaluation if necessary.

Does Dr Batra's® offer digital scalp analysis to assess symptoms of male pattern baldness?

Yes. At Dr Batra's®, digital scalp analysis is offered to examine the male pattern baldness symptoms. The healthcare practitioners will assess your scalp under magnification to check the miniaturisation of the hair follicles.

Can Dr Batra's® provide a personalised risk assessment for male pattern baldness based on symptoms and family history?

Yes. Batra's is known for its personalised treatment approach, so we can easily provide a personalised risk assessment for male pattern baldness depending on your hair loss symptoms and family history.


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