Male Hair Loss Causes
In men, male hair loss causes are usually down to genetic male pattern (androgenic) hair loss. It’s a completely normal condition and affects 50% of men aged over 50.
MALE HAIR LOSS CAUSES (ANDROGENETIC, MALE PATTERN BALDNESS, MPB)
As the name suggests, Androgenetic ( or androgenic) hair loss is caused by genetic sensitivity to androgens (male hormones). If you inherit the genes, from either side of your family, then you will lose some of your hair. By age 50, half of all men are suffering from it. The only question is how much and how quickly will you lose your hair? Typical male pattern hair loss can be seen in the diagrams. It’s progressive until Norwood stage 7 when it seems to stop. The speed of loss varies from person to person, and it may stop well before reaching stage Norwood 7. Unfortunately, it’s hard to predict how much loss will occur, especially if you are still young. Knowing what happened to your male relatives on both sides of the family can help, but it’s not an exact science.
WHEN DOES IT START?
Kick-starting the hair loss gene calls for large amounts of testosterone which is usually during puberty. Some men start losing their hair very early on, even in their teens. In others, it’s a much slower process. The degree and speed of hair loss is determined by your genetic sensitivity. Technically speaking, it isn’t testosterone itself that causes hair loss, but a breakdown testosterone by-product called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is produced by an enzyme 5 Alpha dihydrogenase. This enzyme is made in two forms by the body: type 1 and type 2. Finasteride (Propecia) only works on type 1, which is why it doesn’t work for everybody. The new drug Dutasteride (Avodart) works on both types, but is not significantly better than Propecia.
Using anabolic steroids (sports men or women such as bodybuilders) which are similar to testosterone, greatly accelerates male pattern hair loss in men but also can trigger it in women, leading to masculine looking facial features. Although intense exercise (without using anabolic steroids) can increase natural testosterone levels, this isn’t enough to significantly alter your natural hair loss speed or pattern.