Male Pattern Baldness

What is male pattern baldness?

  • Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern alopecia or androgenetic alopecia) occurs at any age. 
  • It affects almost all men at some point in their lives. 
  • Up to half of male Caucasians will experience some degree of hair loss by age 50, and up to 80% by age 70, while Japanese and Chinese men are less affected. 
  • Many studies show that hair loss can be associated with low self-esteem, depression, introversion and feelings of unattractiveness. 
  • The condition typically runs in families.
Norwood Scale

What are the symptoms of male pattern baldness?

  • Male pattern baldness is characterised by stages, first a receding hairline, then a total loss of hair from the crown, and ultimately, the classical horseshoe-shaped pattern of baldness.
  • Some men will get a single bald spot, for others it begins to recede forming an M shape. 
  • It can start in the teenage years, but more commonly occurs in adult men, with the likelihood of thinning/baldness increasing with age. 
  • Male pattern baldness, on both the maternal and paternal side of the family, is a strong predictor of what future generations can expect. 

What are the treatments for Male Pattern Baldness? 

Lifestyle and cosmetic treatments

  • Treating hair more gently 
  • Vitamin supplements such as B-Vitamins, iron, zinc 
  • Reducing stress  
  • Smoking cessation – smoking impairs the hair growth cycle and can cause severe hair fallout. 
  • Correcting any thyroid function issues or abnormal levels of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid identified through blood tests.  
  • Cosmetics to disguise hair loss or else the use of a hairpiece  
  • Micropigmentation (tattoo) to resemble shaven scalp
  • PRP Plasma injections are also performed at Aurora Dermatology. 

Find out more about PRP for male pattern baldness here.

Topical treatments

  • This can include Minoxidil (Regaine), which comes in liquid, foam and shampoo forms. 
  • You may see results after 6 months of use, but hair will return to pre-treatment appearance if not continued long-term. 
  • To be most effective this should be applied twice daily for men. 
  • It is often easier to apply when the hair is wet. 
  • This treatment slows down hair loss and requires at least six months of treatment to prevent further hair loss. 
  • Possible side effects include scalp irritation and unwanted hair on hands and face. 

There is some evidence that ketoconazole shampoo may also be of benefit, perhaps because it is effective in seborrhoeic dermatitis and dandruff.

Oral treatment

  • Although topical Minoxidil has FDA approval for treatment of androgenetic alopecia, oral Minoxidil is currently only FDA approved for treatment of high blood pressure at a high dose. It is currently used for treatment of hair loss on low dose. 
  • Minoxidil helps stimulate hair growth. It is a lifelong medication with side effects including dizziness, lowering the blood pressure and increasing unwanted hair on face or body. Patients may experience hair shedding at the start of the treatment. 
  • Finasteride and Dutastride are blocking enzymes that convert testosterone to dihydrotestosterone.
  • They reduce levels of hormones that cause male pattern baldness, with often improved hair growth after about 4 months of taking it. Again, if you stop this medication any previous hair loss is likely to return. 
  • Again, If you stop taking this medication any previous hair loss is likely to return. 
  • Rare side effects include sexual dysfunction and lack of libido.

PRP

  • This is a concentration of platelet cells separated from extracted blood, which are then spun through a centrifuge and injected into the scalp area. 
  • These platelets contain growth factors that can improve growth of the skin and hair, and also restart hair growth by stimulating stem cells to form new collagen. 
  • Stage of baldness and suitability for this treatment will be assessed by Dr Parisa. 
  • The procedure is performed 3 to 4 times, 4 weeks apart. 
  • Find out more about PRP for male pattern baldness here. 

FUE  Hair Transplant 

  • For hair loss that is severe or not responding to other therapies, surgical transplantation of hair follicles to areas of hair loss can be undertaken.
  • At Aurora Dermatology, Dr Parisa performs the FUE hair transplant procedure, that involves surgically removing hairs from the back of the head and implanting them into areas of the scalp affected by hair loss and thinning. The procedure is permanent and hair is expected to last for years. 
  • This is often a treatment of choice for male patients with androgenetic alopecia and generally combined with oral therapy for optimal results.
  • The procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and takes about 6-8 hours, with generally 1  to 3 sessions required depending on location and severity of hair loss.   
  • The procedure is generally considered very safe, with side effects including very rarely an infection or tissue death where the surgery was done. 
  • There may be some swelling, bruising and sensitivity that lasts for a few days after surgery. 
  • The procedure involves Dr Parisa shaving hair where the follicles will be removed and using a micropunch tool will remove follicles from the skin. 
  • She will then make a series of tiny incisions where the extracted follicles will be inserted.
  • The area will then be cleaned and bandaged and recovery and return to work is 2-3 weeks.

What is Dr Parisa’s hair expertise?

Dr Parisa Arianejad (FACD, MD) is one of Australia’s leading lights in hair restoration surgery. 

She has a fellowship in Dermatology from the Australasian College of Dermatologists. 

She also runs a specialised hair disease clinic at Westmead Public Hospital and is a member of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the global medical body dedicated to promoting the gold standard of medical practice and medical ethics in hair restoration.

Dr Parisa has trained under world-leading professionals in hair disease treatment and is highly experienced in treating hair disorders from the common to the complex – including male pattern baldness, alopecia areata, receding hairline as well as pregnancy and menopausal related hair loss.

Disclaimer. Individual results may vary. All procedures have risks, discuss your hair loss symptoms with your doctor.