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What is Male Pattern Baldness?

Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss hair loss in men. However, it doesn’t discriminate, and men of any age can experience male pattern baldness.  This type of hair loss is also called androgenetic alopecia. It usually occurs later in life as a result of changing hormone levels. It affects 80% of all men and up to 50% of women typically starting before middle age.

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?

There are many things thought to cause male pattern baldness.

One cause is a genetic predisposition to balding. Those with this have a family history of balding and hair loss. Studies have shown that it is associated with the male sex hormones, androgens.

hair growth cycle

Each hair has a growth cycle, and these growth cycles weaken with male pattern baldness. The hair follicle then shrinks, and eventually, the process ends – with no new hair growing in its place. 

Hair loss has also been linked to several long-lasting conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure. As well as genetic causes, there are also environmental causes. Things that negatively affect health can also contribute to balding. These include stress, anxiety, nutritional deficiencies, and smoking, which can double the likelihood of experiencing hair loss.

Doctors will examine the pattern of the patient’s hair loss to diagnose whether they are suffering from male pattern baldness or not. Hair loss may occur due to other conditions, and they will need to verify what type of balding the patient has.

Stages Of Male Pattern Baldness

There are seven different stages of Male Pattern Baldness. The Norwood scale helps to gauge the severity of your balding.

Hair Loss male in Norwood Classification

The stages are:

Unnoticeable hair thinning

Hair thinning and an M-shaped hairline

Visible balding and recession of hairline (may be M, U or V shape)

Extensive hair loss at the back of the head

Horseshoe/U-shaped hairline at the crown

Visible scalp and larger bald patches

Recession to the crown with minimal thin hair

Due to the first stage being challenging to identify, you may not notice until you are in a more advanced stage. If there is a genetic predisposition to male baldness, you may be more aware and notice it at Stage 1. Stage 3 is the stage where balding becomes more evident.

Is male pattern baldness inherited?

People with male pattern baldness tend to have family members with the same type of hair loss. The genes for hair loss are actually inherited from both sides of the family, not just your mother or your father. However, male-pattern or hereditary-pattern hair loss is not that straightforward as you have the gene or don’t have the gene. It’s really a combination of genetics, hormone levels, and the natural aging process.


Hair loss is a frustrating problem for millions of men and women. Factors such as diet, stress, and medications can lead to hair loss but genes can also play an important role in male pattern baldness.

The sooner you address the symptoms of hair loss, the more likely you are to prevent irreversible damage. Contact us now to get free consultation from our Hair Transplant Specialist Doctor.