In a group of four male friends, one of them will begin balding by age 20, and by age 60, two-thirds of men will have begun balding.
Male pattern baldness is a very common, harmless condition, where the hairline begins receding at the front and begins to thin at the top of the head. This thinning continues until it becomes a bald patch in the middle of the scalp. The hairline recedes to meet the increasing bald patch in the middle of the head.
Why and how does this happen?
Recent research has shown that male pattern baldness is caused by shrinking hair follicles producing much thinner strands of hair that shed faster than normal hair. These thinner strands of hair are so small and stumped that they either do not grow beyond the scalp surface, or are just invisible to the naked eye.
Why, why, why??
In the body, the male hormone, testosterone, is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and for some reason, in balding, the hair follicle has become more sensitive to DHT, causing the follicles to shrink.
Why this happens is uncertain, but what researchers do know is that male pattern baldness is hereditary, determined by both sides of your family.
I want my hair back – how can this be stopped?!
Unfortunately there is no cure for male pattern balding.
It has been said that stress accelerates it, and it has also been said that standing on your head slows it down, so who knows!
A few medications exist that claim to help regrowth, though. One, called finasteride, has had some success, but on the individuals with whom it has worked, it does take a long time for the hair to begin to grow (some months) and it is quite expensive.
Some men opt to wear wigs or toupees, but generally it seems the ‘shiny, bald man’ look is becoming more and more socially acceptable.
So it might prove to be a good style choice if you decide to do away with the rest of your hair and go for a clean shaven look!