Androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss, accounting for 95% of male hair loss cases.
While there are many possible reasons why someone may show hair loss, such as chronic diseases, skin diseases, reactions to certain medicines, seasonality, stress, malnutrition, environmental pollution and other aspects of modern life, the greatest percentage of male hair loss is due to heredity.
The estimated rate of inheritance of male hair loss is 81%. This means that genetic factors contribute more to the risk of male baldness than environmental ones. Hereditary predisposition is the most powerful factor for hair loss in men as the genes largely determine whether a man will show male pattern hair loss, the latter’s age of onset, pattern and degree of progress.
Regarding androgenetic alopecia, there is strong evidence that the pattern and the speed of development in each man has hereditary background.
Dr. Anastasios Vekris, Plastic Surgeon Scientific Director Advanced Hair Clinics
Male Hair Loss
The most common pattern of androgenetic alopecia is the frontal and temporal thinning, with a tendency to extend to the crown of the head. Over the years, the thin area on the crown of the head expands and in many cases ultimately unites with the front area. Hair loss with apparent thinning occurs in 25% of the male population by the age of 30 and in 50% by the age of 45-50.
Male hair loss mostly starts at the end of puberty and progresses rapidly in the ages between 20-30, while the shedding slows down after the age of 30-35. At older ages, hair loss is slowed down even further, following a path that coincides with the stabilization and gradual decline in levels of male hormones in the blood.
Androgenetic Alopecia appearance in Men
by the age of 30
by the age of 50
Men suffering from androgenetic alopecia inherit hair follicles that are genetically susceptible to the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a derivative or by-product of testosterone. Testosterone is converted to DHT by means of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which enters the follicles, causes the latter’s shrink and eventually causes changes in the follicles’ function, suppressing their growth. The hair follicles that are sensitive to the DHT hormone become thinner and their lifespan is reduced, resulting in shedding of the hairs and reduced density on the scalp.
More specifically, the action of the hormone DHT shortens the anagen, thus the growing phase of the hairs and expedites the telogen phase, in which the development stops. This process weakens the hairs, ultimately resulting in shedding. Men who show the first signs of thinning usually have their hair density reduced not due to shedding, but due to the progressive thinning of hair.
The hair follicles gradually degenerate, the life cycle of the hair is shortened, and every new hair that is produced becomes increasingly thinner and weaker, with an ever shorter life span. This occurs at a speed that differs from one man to another, until the follicle reaches its final stage of degeneration, in which the hair appears thin and transparent like fluff.
Hair Loss DNA Test
We can now identify and genotype most of the genetic sites that appear to be associated with the morphological characteristics of the hair and its possible pathogenesis (alopecia).