MPB or Male pattern baldness is a very common condition, responsible for up to ninety-five percent of all hair loss by men. In the USA, MPB affects over half the male population age fifty and above. The term “male pattern baldness,” or in medical terms androgenetic alopecia, can generally be used to describe naturally occurring hair loss in males, not caused by any other medical issue, or as a result of other contributing factors. While male hair loss can also result from various variations of alopecia, certain effluvium conditions, side effects of prescribed medications or treatments, or simply stress, male pattern baldness is far and away the most common cause.
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Male pattern baldness or MPB can be described as a genetic disorder and is the result of hormonal changes that accompany aging in the male body. As part of the aging process, the body begins to convert testosterone into an altogether different hormone, dihydrotestosterone. The scientific community at large believes dihydrotestosterone can have a negative effect on hair follicles of men whose genetics predispose them to MPD or male pattern baldness.
In males with male pattern baldness, an abundance of dihydrotestosterone after time will cause the hair follicles to constrict, forcing thinner, shorter and less robust hair strands to be created as a result. As the affected follicles continue to decrease in size, hair in those areas will become progressively weaker until eventually, the production of hair will cease altogether.
The vast majority of men will experience some degree of baldness in their lifetime. While some men will only witness a relatively minor recession of their naturally occurring hairline, others can develop the dreaded M-shaped pattern, where the hairline can recede on both sides just above the temples. Some men will begin balding on the very top of the head.
The loss of hair as a result of MPD or male pattern baldness is not in itself an indicator of other underlying medical conditions – on its own, it does not pose any measurable risks to men’s health. Unfortunately, the almost always permanent aesthetic effects of MPB can produce anxiety, extreme self-consciousness, and a general loss of self-esteem among men impacted by the condition.