Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia (medical term), is a common genetically inherited disorder which causes a characteristic pattern of hair loss in men which mainly affects the hairs on the front and top of the scalp.
What causes male pattern baldness?
When testosterone gets metabolised in the body, some of it gets converted to another male sex hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) as a byproduct. DHT is then transported in the blood and goes and binds to DHT receptors on the surface of hair follicles on the scalp, as well as other organs all over the body. The follicles of men who suffer from male pattern baldness are sensitive to DHT, and when DHT binds to the receptors of hair follicles, it causes the follicles to shrink and produce thinner hairs. After many repeated cycles, the hair follicles shrink so much that they stop producing any hairs.
How do we grade the severity of male-pattern baldness?
Doctors and trichologists who study and treat male-pattern baldness find it useful to grade the severity of hair loss according to the Norwood Scale. The Norwood Scale starts at 1 (no hair loss) and goes up to 7 (severe hair loss). The aim of any hair loss treatment is to prevent further hair loss from occurring which will stop someone from progressing up the scale, and to regrow hair.
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