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  • Male Pattern Baldness

Male pattern baldness

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Many people lose up to 100 hairs from their scalp every day. This is normal and hair often grows back in most people. However, in some individuals, particularly men, hair may not regrow.

Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss in men worldwide. This is a condition that runs in families and affects many men and some women.

For more information about the causes of male hair loss and how to treat it, continue reading.

Dr. Adrian Rawlinson

Medically reviewed by Dr. Adrian Rawlinson

Written by our editorial team Last reviewed 05 December 2023

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Available Treatment(s)

  • Can prevent genetically caused hair loss
  • Can encourage hair regrowth
  • Same active ingredient as Propecia
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Prices start from $35.99
  • Can halt further hair loss
  • Can encourage hair regrowth
  • Long-term effective tablets
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Prices start from $591.99

Is hair loss a common condition?

Hair loss affects 50 million men and 30 million women in the United States. The risk of developing this condition rises with age, with more than 50% of men over 50 experiencing it.

What are the different types of hair loss?

Apart from male pattern baldness, other common types of hair loss include:

Alopecia areata

The second most common type of hair loss is spot or patch baldness (alopecia areata). This affects 1 in every 500 to 1,000 people in the United States.

It usually begins in children and young adults however, it can start at any age. Most people lose hair on their scalp or beard area, but patchy hair loss can occur anywhere on the body. This condition presents as round or oval bald patches in the affected area.

Alopecia areata is caused by an autoimmune disease. The immune system malfunctions and targets the hair follicles, which causes the hair to fall out, leaving bald spots. However, the condition does not cause permanent damage to the follicles, so hair may regrow.

Traction alopecia

Women commonly experience this condition because of hairstyles and styling methods that damage hair. Anyone who wears a tightly pulled hairstyle regularly can develop this condition. The constant pulling can cause strands of your hair to break or fall out.

Examples of hairstyles that constantly pull on the hair include:

  • tight buns, ponytails, and up-dos
  • cornrows
  • dreadlocks
  • hair extensions or weaves

What causes hair loss in men?

Hair loss has many causes ranging from genetics and medical conditions to lifestyle factors. As previously mentioned, the most common cause of hair loss is the inherited condition ‘male pattern baldness’.

Many genetic and environmental factors play a role in causing this condition. In male pattern baldness, the hair follicles have an increased sensitivity to the male hormone testosterone.

When your body produces testosterone, it converts a small amount into the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Androgens control the hair growth cycle in our bodies.

High levels of DHT may lead to a shorter hair growth period. This results in shorter and thinner strands of hair and a delay in the growth of new hair. These changes lead to hair thinning or loss.

Graphic showing the effects of DHT on hair

Other causes of hair loss include:

Stress and trauma

Stress puts people at risk of hair loss among other health problems. Sometimes, high-stress periods can lead to a temporary increase in hair shedding, a condition known as Telogen effluvium. Common triggers of this condition include postpartum hair loss, severe infections or chronic illness, major surgery, and more.


Many people notice some hair loss with age. As we get older, our hair growth slows and at some point, hair follicles stop growing hair. This causes the hair on our scalp to thin. Hair also begins to lose its color.

Nutritional deficiencies

If our bodies lack nutrients such as biotin, iron, protein, or zinc this can result in hair loss. These deficiencies are most common in people on certain diets and women who have heavy periods.

If you are low in these nutrients, your doctor may recommend taking vitamins, minerals, or other supplements. When your body gets enough of the missing nutrients, hair can regrow.

Medical conditions and medications

Certain medications can lead to hair loss as a side effect. These include:

  • lithium
  • beta-blockers
  • warfarin or heparin
  • Parkinson's disease medications (e.g. levodopa)
  • cancer treatments (chemotherapy-induced alopecia)
  • receiving radiation treatment aimed at the head or neck

What are the symptoms of male pattern baldness?

The typical pattern of male baldness begins with the hairline gradually moving backward to form an "M" shape.

Hair also shortens and thins at the top of the head (crown), often leading to partial or complete baldness.

Graphic showing stages of male pattern baldness

What are the impacts of male pattern baldness?

Although hair loss is a normal part of aging, when it occurs it can be upsetting. Hair loss can leave you feeling less attractive which can lead to low self-esteem.

It may also lead to limiting social activities, avoiding family occasions, and spending lots of time and money on hair products.

Talking with others who have experienced hair loss may help. Ask your doctor about counseling sessions available in your area or for a referral to a counselor.

How is male pattern baldness diagnosed?

To identify the cause of your hair loss, your doctor may:

  • Ask you questions about how long you’ve had hair loss.
  • Carefully look at the areas with hair loss, such as your scalp.
  • Test the health of your hair by gently pulling on your hair to check whether it’s prone to breaking.
  • Request that you get a blood test to check for vitamin deficiencies and hormone imbalances.
  • Ask for skin or hair scrapings to look for infections.

Can I prevent hair loss?

Preventing hair loss can be difficult, and will depend on your type of hair loss. Genetic factors typically cause male pattern baldness, making prevention hard.

The following lifestyle tips can improve the quality of your hair follicles and hair itself:

Graphic showing lifestyle tips to improve your hair growth and prevent hair loss

Follow a balanced diet - Hair follicles are made up of proteins, so it is important to include plenty of protein in your diet. Apart from meat and fish, other protein sources include beans, eggs, tofu, soy, cheese, and nuts.

Avoid certain shampoos - Some hair care products may contain chemicals that can be harmful to your hair. Research your product well to make sure you are not sensitive to its ingredients.

Be gentle with your hair - Avoid tight hairstyles that pull on your hair. Also, avoid excessive heat treatments and products that are heavily perfumed.

What hair loss treatments are available for men?

There are ways to slow and even reverse the process of hair loss:

Herbal remedies for hair loss

Many people turn to alternative hair loss treatments. These are available to purchase online and over-the-counter and marketed as 'shampoos for hair loss'.

Despite their popularity, there is limited data supporting the use of herbal products in treating hair loss.

Over-the-counter treatments

There are many over-the-counter treatments that claim to help restore your hair. However, while many can strengthen your existing hair, they are not usually good at helping regrowth or preventing loss.

The most effective over-the-counter treatments contain the active ingredient Minoxidil. Minoxidil helps to stimulate hair growth and prevent further hair loss. It is available as a foam or solution, applied directly to the scalp.

Minoxidil is effective when used in the early stages of hair loss, it cannot regrow an entire head of hair.

Many people see some regrowth when using minoxidil, however, it usually takes 6 to 12 months to see results. If Minoxidil works for you, you will need to keep using it every day. If you stop applying minoxidil, you lose its benefits within 3 to 4 months. Generally, hair growth is thinner and finer than the original hair.

Hair transplant surgery

Hair transplant is a good option for those looking for a more permanent solution for hair loss. With advanced technology, patients can achieve natural-looking results. To be considered for hair transplant surgery, you need to have:

  1. A sufficient amount of healthy hair on the scalp that can be transplanted to the area with hair loss.
  2. The ability to grow hair on the thinning area of your scalp

Most patients see results between 6 and 9 months after surgery. However, for some patients, it may take up to 12 months. These treatments often work well but can be expensive and invasive.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy

PRP involves drawing a small amount of your blood and placing this in a machine that separates it into parts. One of these parts, called the plasma, is injected into the area with hair loss.

This treatment requires repeat injections. You may notice that you are losing less hair within the first few months of treatment.

Laser therapy

The American Academy of Dermatology lists low-level laser therapy treatment as a treatment option. This encourages hair growth by using a laser to stimulate hair follicles. To see hair growth, you may need treatments several times per week for many months.

Prescription treatments

Finasteride, available under the brand name Propecia, is a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved hair loss treatment. It comes in a 1mg tablet form that you take daily.

This medication reverses the process of hair loss and promotes hair growth. Clinical studies in men with male pattern hair loss have shown that 66% of men taking finasteride saw hair regrowth.

Are there any hair loss treatments available for women?

Some options for managing female pattern hair loss in women include:

  • Hormonal treatment including oral medications that block the effects of androgens (e.g. some birth control pills)
  • Minoxidil
  • Cover thinning areas on the scalp using colored hair sprays, hair-bulking fiber powder, and wigs
  • Hair transplant
  • Avoiding tight braids or ponytails, certain chemicals, and heat damage

How can SpeedyHealth help in managing male pattern hair loss?

Here at SpeedyHealth, you can purchase the hair loss treatment Finasteride (Propecia) online. You must first complete an online medical consultation before ordering your treatment.

Our doctors will then review your answers to ensure this medication is safe for you to take. If they approve, they will issue a prescription to our pharmacy. The pharmacy will then package and dispatch your order. You will then receive your hair loss treatment quickly with discreet packaging.

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