Men’s Hair Loss & Male Pattern Baldness Treatment

What is Male Pattern Baldness?

Male pattern hair loss, also known as androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness, is a condition where hair follicles are lost on the front and top of the head. It is generally related to hormonal changes within the male patient and progresses with age. Typically there is a genetic predisposition to hair loss, meaning that if there is a member of your family with hair loss there is a likelihood that the condition will be passed on to you. Androgenic hair loss is the most common cause of hair loss in men, and affects up to seventy percent of males in their lifetime.

The individual hair follicles that make up a person’s hair are ‘miniaturized’ in the process of hair loss. The size of hair follicles should remain the same throughout a person’s lifetime, but in cases of male hair loss the follicles will shrink. Over time, the hairs become finer and finer until no hair is able to grow from the same spot. The pattern in which hair is lost differs from person to person, and the time it takes to lose the hair may occur over a few years or decades.

The Hair Growth Cycle

Hair typically grows one centimeter per month, resulting in approximately 6 inches of hair growth per year. Hair growth occurs in three distinct phases: the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases.

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Anagen Phase

The Anagen phase is the part of the cycle where hair actively grows. During this phase, the cells that make up the hair’s root will divide and grow. As the new hair forms, it will push up from the base of the follicle and emerge above the skin. This active growth phase will last somewhere between two to six years and is different for each person. Some people are not able to grow their hair beyond a specific length, and this means that they have a relatively short Anagen phase. Other people might be able to grow their hair very long and quickly, which would mean that they have a relatively long Anagen phase.

 

Hairs on different parts of the body also have different lengths of the Anagen phase. Eyebrows and beard hair are normally known to have shorter Anagen phases than scalp hair, meaning they are unable to grow as long.

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Catagen Phase

The Catagen phase is the part of the cycle where hair growth stops. The shaft of the hair shrinks and separates from the bottom of the hair follicle, yet it remains in place. This phase typically lasts around ten days, and is the shortest phase of the hair growth cycle.

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Telogen Phase

The Telogen phase is the part of the cycle where the hair sheds, and is known as the ‘resting’ phase. This is where the follicle is at rest in the scalp and is prepared to be shed. This phase should last around a hundred days, and between twenty-five and one hundred Telogen hairs are typically shed per day. A white bulb is formed at the base of the hair shaft, and you may see these at the root of the telogen hair once they have been shed.

Anagen Phase

The anagen phase is the part of the cycle where hair actively grows. During this phase, the cells that make up the hair’s root will divide and grow. As the new hair forms, it will push up from the base of the follicle and emerge above the skin. This active growth phase will last somewhere between two to six years and is different for each person. Some people are not able to grow their hair beyond a specific length, and this means that they have a relatively short anagen phase. Other people might be able to grow their hair very long and quickly, which would mean that they have a relatively long anagen phase.

Hairs on different parts of the body also have different lengths of the anagen phase. Eyebrows and beard hair are normally known to have shorter anagen phases than scalp hair, meaning they are unable to grow as long.

Causes of Hair Loss

Male pattern hair loss starts with the process of miniaturization causing hairs to become thinner by hormonal changes in DHT or genetics.

Hormones

As mentioned before, hormonal changes are the main cause of hair loss in men. Specifically, a hormone called dihydrotestosteron (DHT) may become too prevalent and shorten the anagen phase of hairs. This means that the hair does not have a chance to grow as long as before, and the telogen phase also is lengthened causing the hair to have longer periods of shedding. The hairs that continue to grow will typically be much finer.

The ways in which DHT affects a person’s hair varies from person to person. There may be more available DHT receptor sites at the hair follicle, the receptor sites might be more sensitive, more DHT may be produced locally: there are a variety of reasons why DHT causes more hair loss in some men than others.

Genetics

Your chances of experiencing hair loss increases if there is another family member with hair loss. The extent of hair loss may differ between family members, and the genetic component of hair loss may come from either side of the family. Both the father and the mother have the ability to pass on genes which result in hair loss.

Signs and Symptoms

In some men the first signs of hair thinning may be seen around the temples. Others may see hair thinning start in the crown. Abundant shedding is a common sign of hair loss as well, and lost hair follicles may be seen in the shower or on a pillow. The stages of thinning may progress to where small empty spots are seen along the hairline and scalp, indicating that telogen hairs have not grown to replace the shedded hairs.

Norwood Scale

The norwood scale is a tool used to measure the extent of hair loss in men and the patterns of loss typically seen in patients. The position of the scale may be a helpful indicator of how many hair grafts are needed in transplant cases.

Hair Loss Treatment For Men Options

If you’re noticing more hair in your comb or on your pillow, it might be time to explore your options. Hair loss treatments for men vary depending on what’s causing your hair to thin and how severe it is. Consulting a hair loss specialist can help you figure out the best approach for you, taking into account your medical history and personal preferences. Here are some common options:

  1. Surgical hair loss treatments 
  2. Non-surgical hair loss treatments 

Surgical Hair Loss Treatments

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) or Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) are surgical procedures where hair follicles are transplanted from areas of the scalp with abundant hair to areas with thinning or balding. Both male hair surgery techniques produce natural-looking results and can effectively restore hair loss in men. 

Non-surgical Hair Loss Treatments

Non-surgical male pattern baldness treatments can effectively manage hair loss and may be suitable for individuals who prefer not to undergo surgery or who have less advanced baldness. They include:

Medications

Minoxidil: This is an over-the-counter medication approved by the FDA for male pattern hair loss treatment. It is applied directly to the scalp to stimulate hair growth and slow down hair loss. Minoxidil is particularly effective for early-onset baldness.

 

Finasteride: This prescription medication helps to block the hormone responsible for hair loss and can prevent further balding. Finasteride (Propecia) was approved by the FDA in 1997.

 

Viviscal Professional hair growth supplements: Viviscal Pro is a 100% drug-free dietary supplement for hair growth. It is clinically proven to promote thicker and fuller hair.

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

PRP therapy involves injecting concentrated platelets from your own blood and natural growth factors into the scalp to stimulate hair growth. PRP slows down hair loss and supports thicker hair growth.

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP)

This non-surgical procedure involves tattooing tiny dots on the scalp to mimic the appearance of hair follicles. SMP creates the illusion of a fuller head of hair.

Hair Transplant for Men Techniques

There are typically two main types of hair transplant for men. 

  1. Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) 
  2. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) 

Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)

In FUT, a strip of scalp containing hair follicles is surgically removed from the donor area (usually the back or sides of the scalp). The surgeon uses local anesthesia to prevent discomfort. The strip is then carefully separated under a microscope into individual follicular units containing one to four hairs each. These follicular units are then transplanted into the recipient area (the balding or thinning area) of the scalp.

 

Recovery after FUT is short with many patients returning to shortly after the procedure. In three to four months after the procedure you will notice hair growth but the full result shows 12-18 months later. Although there’s linear scarring at the donor site (which can be concealed with long hair), the new hair growth will blend perfectly with existing hair. 

Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)

FUE involves harvesting individual follicular units directly from the shaved donor area using a small punch-like instrument. Each follicular unit is extracted one at a time and then transplanted into the recipient area. Unlike FUT, FUE does not require the removal of a strip of scalp, resulting in minimal scarring and a quicker recovery time. 

 

Both FUT and FUE techniques can produce natural-looking results when performed by a skilled and experienced surgeon. At Koher Medical, the choice between the two methods depends on the patient’s hair loss pattern, donor hair availability, and personal preference. 

Candidates for Male Hair Transplants

A hair transplant is not suitable for everyone. While it can be an effective solution for many men experiencing hair loss, some factors may affect candidacy, such as:

 

Extent of Hair Loss: Hair transplant for men works best for individuals with stable hair loss patterns and sufficient donor hair available for transplantation.

 

Type of hair loss: Men experiencing conditions such as alopecia areata or scarring alopecia may require different treatment approaches. 

 

Health Conditions: Certain medical conditions or medications may affect the ability to undergo surgery or affect the healing process.

 

Age: Younger men experiencing early stages of hair loss may not be ideal candidates because their hair loss pattern has not stabilized.

 

Hair Characteristics: The texture, color, and quality of the donor hair can also influence candidacy and the success of the procedure.

 

Positive Attitude: An ideal candidate for a male hair transplant should have a positive attitude and be committed to following pre-operative and post-operative care instructions provided by their surgeon.

Excellence in the Art of Hair Transplantation

Hair transplantation is a hair restoration surgery that works by moving hair from the back and sides of your head to the thinning or balding areas on the top of your scalp.Dr. Koher and the surgeons of Koher Medical are particularly experienced with this procedure, having over 35 years of experience and having performed over 15,000 hair transplants nationally and internationally.

If you’re looking for a solution to your hair loss, you can trust the surgeons and staff of Koher Medical to deliver a world class experience and state of the art cosmetic results. No matter what your hair loss situation, Koher Medical is ready and willing to offer our expertise and years of experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is recovery like after a male hair transplant?

After getting a hair transplant, you’ll feel some discomfort, swelling, and redness in the areas where the hair was taken from and where it’s been transplanted. In the first week, you might notice tenderness and see scabs forming as the grafts start to heal., After a week the swelling and redness dissipate.  

 

Most patients are completely healed a week after the procedure.  New hair will begin to grow 3-4 months following the procedure. Hair transplantation results unfortunately come slowly. Milestones are at 6 months and 12 months post procedure. We will have scheduled follow ups at those intervals to track patients progress.

Generally, hair transplants for men look natural when done by a surgical team with the necessary training and experience.  After the grafts have grown and healed, you won’t even be able to distinguish between your natural hair and your transplanted hair. However, if you require a significant quantity of hair grafts, having several hair transplant sessions may help you attain more natural results.

 

The growth of your transplanted hair takes many months, so initially, it may not appear very natural. But you’ll quickly discover that you can’t tell the difference between your natural hair and your new hair grafts after your grafts heal and your hair starts to grow.

On average, a male hair transplant may require anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 grafts for a natural-looking result. It’s best to consult with a skilled hair transplant surgeon who can assess your specific situation and recommend the right number of grafts for you.

The number of grafts needed for male hair surgery depends on several factors including:

  • The extent of your hair loss. 
  • The desired hair thickness. 
  • The size of the area you want to cover.

Yes. Male hair transplants are a permanent solution to hair loss. The hair follicles taken from the donor area are naturally resistant to the hormonal and age-related factors responsible for male pattern baldness. Once they have established themselves in the recipient area they maintain this resilience. As a result, the transplanted follicles keep growing for a lifetime.

Male pattern baldness, (androgenetic alopecia), cannot be cured in the traditional sense because it’s mainly influenced by genetics and hormones. However, there are treatments available that can effectively manage and slow down the progression of hair loss, and promote hair regrowth in some cases. Men who begin therapy as soon as they notice hair loss typically get greater outcomes. 

 

One common option is using medications like Minoxidil or Finasteride. These can help stop more hair from falling out and sometimes even encourage new hair growth. Additionally, advanced male hair restoration techniques such as hair transplants can provide long-lasting solutions by relocating healthy hair follicles to areas of thinning or balding.