Male Pattern Baldness

Hair loss treatments for men

The term ‘male pattern baldness’ is the generic name for natural hair loss experienced by men, and can be fully camouflaged using advanced Scalp MicroPigmentation techniques.

Almost all men will suffer with male pattern baldness (or MPB) at some point in their lives, ranging from a minor recession of the hairline to almost total hair loss on the head.

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What is Male Pattern Baldness (MPB)?

Also referred to as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern baldness includes all types of natural hair loss that are not tied to a medical condition or other outside stimuli.

Other forms of male hair loss exist including various forms of alopecia (excluding androgenetic), telogen effluvium, anagen effluvium and hair loss relating to physical trauma or medication. These are not classed as MPB, only naturally occurring baldness as a result of genetics is.

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?

Hair is manufactured by the body within hair follicles. Hair follicles are like tiny pouches just under the skin surface. A hair normally grows from each follicle for about three years before it is shed and a new hair grows from the follicle. This cycle of hair growth, shedding and new growth goes on throughout life.

The following is thought to occur in men as they gradually become bald:

  • Affected hair follicles on the scalp gradually become smaller than normal.
  • As the follicle shrinks, each new hair is thinner than the previous one.
  • Before falling out, each new hair grows for much less time than the normal three years or so.
  • Eventually, all that remains is a smaller follicle and a thin stump of hair that does not grow to the skin surface.

Male hormones are involved in causing these changes. Over time, changes in the body cause the conversion of standard male testosterone into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone. For reasons that are not clear, hair follicles are sensitive to dihydrotestosterone which causes the hair follicles to shrink. It is also not clear why different hair follicles are affected at different times to make the balding process gradual, or why follicles around the hairline and crown are more susceptible to this effect, known as miniaturization.

Can this condition be prevented?

In the majority of cases, the straightforward answer to this question is no. Male pattern baldness cannot be prevented entirely. Scalp micropigmentation is an effective camouflage for MPB, as is hair transplant surgery, but neither can stop the condition from occurring.

There are a large number of product manufacturers who would claim they can prevent the condition, but we disagree. Pills like Propecia for example, a drug designed to block DHT (known as a DHT inbibitor), are usually taken in response to hair loss, therefore the condition has already occurred and much hair has already been lost. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that Propecia will prevent further hair loss, in fact in the majority of cases, it won’t. Products like Rogaine foam, Provillus and Procerin are the same. They are used as a responsive measure, not as a preventative, and most of the time they simply do not work.

How is Male Pattern Baldness Measured?

There are various degrees of MPB that are measured using the Norwood Hamilton Scale. These range from a Norwood 1 (NW1) where no hair loss is experienced, through to Norwood 7 (NW7) which means total loss of all hair on top of the head, with or without the ‘horseshoe’ ring of hair at the back and sides. For more information see this blog post explaining the finer details of the Norwood Scale.

Stage 1

Full head of hair without any hair loss.

Stage 2

Minor recession at the front of the hairline.

Stage 3

Further loss at the front of the hairline, which is considered “cosmetically significant”.

Stage 4

Progressively more loss along the front hairline and at the crown.

Stage 5

Hair loss extends toward the vertex.

Stage 6

Frontal and vertex balding areas merge into one and increase in size.

Stage 7

The last stage of Male Pattern Baldness, in which all hair is lost along the front hairline and crown.

How can scalp micropigmentation help?

Baldness cannot be ‘cured’, however it can be camouflaged. Traditional solutions such as hair transplant surgery, temporary concealers and hair systems are options of course, but for a modern and stylish look for today’s man, more people than ever before are choosing scalp micropigmentation.

Scalp micropigmentation (or SMP for short) is the replication of thousands of tiny shaven hair follicles, achieved through the distribution of specially placed pigment deposits within the upper dermis of the skin. Usually applied over 2-3 treatment sessions to gradually build the required density, scalp micropigmentation provides an incredibly realistic illusion of real hair, in fact the illusion is so convincing, no-one needs to know unless you choose to tell them.

smp for male pattern baldness

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