Why Do Men Go Bald?
Whether your hair loss can be fixed by topical solutions or a minimally invasive transplant, knowledge is the key to understanding male hair loss. Learn more about the hair follicle, male pattern baldness, and find out which stage of hair loss you may be suffering from.
How Hair Grows
Hair grows about an inch every couple of months and each hair sits in a cavity called a follicle. Hair typically grows for 2 to 6 years, remains at the final length for a short period, and then falls out. A new hair soon begins growing in its place. At any one time, about 85% of the hair on your head is in a growing phase and 15% is not.
Hair grows in naturally occurring bundles of one to four follicles called follicular units. Permanent hair loss occurs in men when follicles containing genetic sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone or DHT are triggered to atrophy or shrink over time, resulting in shorter and finer hair. The end result is a very small follicle with no hair inside. Ordinarily, hair should grow back. However, in men who are balding, the follicle fails to grow a new hair.
This genetic hair loss typically presents itself in a defined pattern called Male Pattern Hair Loss and can begin anytime after puberty.
What is Male Pattern Baldness?
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) or male pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss. It is usually diagnosed based on the appearance and pattern of the hair loss. Male pattern baldness is usually identified by the conversion of thick terminal hairs into short, thin, vellus-like hairs.
This reduction process (where hairs that were once thick become thin and very short relative to the previously thick terminal hair) increases the scalp transparency and lack of visual density in AGA. These vellus hairs are then lost over time to reveal a naked scalp. In addition, in AGA the normal 90% anagen to 10% telogen ratio is changed over to 80% anagen and 20% telogen. Although there is no increase in telogen, the shortening of the anagen phase leads to an increase in telogen hairs. About 25% of men who suffer from male pattern baldness begin the thinning process before they reach 21.
The genetic progression of male pattern baldness or androgrenetic alopecia is generally classified on the Hamilton–Norwood scale. The scale ranges from stages I to VII. This measurement scale was first introduced by James Hamilton in the 1950s and later revised and updated by Dr. O'Tar Norwood in the 1970s. Today it is simply referred to as the Norwood scale.
The Norwood Hair Loss Scale
The genetic progression of male pattern baldness or androgrenetic alopecia is generally classified on the Hamilton–Norwood scale. The scale ranges from stages I to VII. This measurement scale was first introduced by James Hamilton in the 1950s and later revised and updated by Dr. O’Tar Norwood in the 1970s. Today it is simply referred to as the Norwood scale.
By the age of 35, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss. By the age of 50 approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair.
Human Hair Growth
What’s happening to my hair?
The hair life span can be divided into three distinct phases: anagen (active growth), catagen (active loss), and telogen (resting).
On a normal scalp, 90% of hairs remain in the anagen phase – extending over a 3-year period.
The catagen phase lasts between 2 to 3 weeks. This is where the hair separates from the dermal root but stays in position with a thin strand of connective tissue.
The telogen (resting) phase is where the basal attachment becomes even more unnaturally thin, resulting in the hair shaft falling out completely. Normally, hair remains in the telogen phase about 10% of the time and the phase lasts between 3 to 4 months.
Solutions for hair loss.
From topical treatments to minimally-invasive transplants, we offer a range of solutions for male pattern baldness. Below, please find before and after hair loss pictures of actual NeoGraft® patients. But the best solution to your hair loss starts with a diagnosing the cause. Click here to find your nearest NeoGraft® certified doctor.
Before and After Photos - NeoGraft Automated FUE Hair Transplant System