You are here: Home > Knowledge Base > Hair Care Information > Tips & Advice > Male Pattern Balding - A Myth?

Male Pattern Balding - A Myth?

Unfortunately, male pattern balding is not a myth and very real. In fact, the term "male pattern balding" come from the migratory spread of hair loss causing enzyme DHT (dihydrotestosterone).

Male pattern balding is not a myth and is an affliction suffered by millions of men and some women. Generally considered in part hereditary, male pattern balding also results from DHT, the enzyme that chokes follicle pores and limits nutrition, hydration and circulation to the scalp.

Men and women are susceptible to DHT converted from testosterone. An enzyme named 5-alpha-reductase types I and II convert the testosterone to DHT. This can cause loss of hair and thinning in men and women. It is believed to be a major factor in women's thinning hair when the production of estrogen is fluctuated with age or other circumstances and causes a general thinning over the entire scalp.

The process of follicle miniaturization does not occur over a specified period of time.

Once on the scalp the follicle will react to DHT in different ways. It may even cause the hair to thicken in some people. It may not affect the hair at all or it may cause the hair to thin and eventually die.

When DHT becomes more active, it reacts with sebum and cholesterol found on and within the follicle. This DHT/sebum/cholesterol mix is shed into hair follicles, where it slowly narrows the tiny opening, causing the follicle itself to become shorter and shallower within the scalp.

The lifespan of hair growing from this smaller follicle is shortened, making the hair fall out sooner than it normally would. What was once a long terminal hair is soon replaced by a miniaturized version of the original hair.

Over the years, miniaturization continues with each new hair, until the cells within affected follicles finally cease to produce hair and close up altogether. This usually takes quite some time. The result is male pattern baldness usually beginning at the crown and forehead and receding to the sides and back of the head.

Follicles have two kinds of protein molecules on their cell membranes. One group of proteins receives testosterone, while the other group repels it. In this way the follicle can balance the amount of hair growth direction that it receives from the body.

How many of each type of protein receptors a person has seems to be genetically predetermined. Hence, Male Pattern Baldness is a trait passed from generation to generation. Men and women with more testosterone-receptive proteins have an overload of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in their hair producing cells - and are more likely to develop hormone-linked hair loss as they go through life.

In men, these receptor cells seem to be located in certain areas of the scalp, yet are not found in others. This is why most men begin to get thinning hair first on the top of the scalp, then the front, then the sides. In women, receptor proteins are found in follicles throughout the scalp, which explains why hair loss in women is diffuse instead of affecting only certain areas.

Removing DHT from the scalp will help to release the stranglehold on the follicle but in many cases will not remove the plug that has formed to narrow the tiny opening. Thus the hair will not grow. Therefore removing and controlling DHT is not enough.

The follicle must be stimulated again. Hairs that have grown thin can begin to grow again once DHT is controlled and the follicle stimulated again. This gives the appearance of growing new hair but in fact it has taken a hair that has grown very thin and light in color and it allows the hair to nourish and become thick again. This is why we say one product is never usually enough! Several products must be used to treat the DHT problem in men and women. We will guide you to those products after we have determined that DHT is the primary cause for your loss. It is important to note that many times we see stress associated with DHT. This must be handled as well. We will guide you on that too!