Androgenetic alopecia (ANA), known as male pattern baldness, causes the overwhelming majority of hair loss in men. Some estimates vary from 90-95% of hair loss victims are in fact suffering from Androgenetic Alopecia. This depletion is generally genetic in cause and, since it’s usually permanent, it may call for surgical hair transplants to remedy the condition. while some myths credit the father’s side of the family, modern genetics asserts inheritance can come from either side. Although the baldness gene is dominant, this does not condemn a child with one or two bald parents to a bare head. Parents with full heads of hair, however, may carry a balding gene and pass the condition on to their children.

The myth that bald men are more virile than others is rooted in hormonal influences on hair, as the author and a hair loss suffer myself, I don’t quite wish to give up on this theory just yet. The hormones guilty of facilitating male pattern balding are made up of strong bio- chemical material known to masculinise men. Two hormones in men are responsible for hair loss—testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). While these hormones cause sexual development changes in men; they also cause genetic male pattern baldness. Testosterone is the strongest of its progeny, DHT, which is responsible for secondary sex characteristics such as body hair, beard hair, acne, and changes in voice modulation in pubescent boys. DHt is activated by an enzyme, 5-a reductase (5AR), which breaks down testosterone. That’s how DHT is produced in males with loss resulting from a combination of hormones and genes (ANA).

By lengthening the resting stage of hair growth and shortening the growing stage in men with genetic predisposition, DHT accelerates the process of loss. The enzyme, (5AR), is more active in the areas of baldness. The only FDA-approved treatments for hair loss are drugs—finasteride and minoxidil. By blocking the effect of 5RA, these drugs diminish the amount of hair loss. The federal Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve dutasteride since there have been some indications that it may harm sperm production. Anabolic steroids have been shown to cause and increase hair loss in men with ANA . It’s also common for men on steroids to take a DHT blocker called finasteride (Propecia) to lower the effects hair loss.

Androgenetic Alopecia and Male Pattern Baldness