Male pattern hair loss, also known as
androgenetic alopecia, affects all men to some extent as they get older. Your hairline might gradually recede at the temples and the hair at the back of your head can get thinner. Sometimes, you lose your hair over the entire crown of your head, leaving a horseshoe pattern of hair around the back and the sides. Significant balding affects about one in five men in their 20s, and one and three men in their 30s and nearly half of men in their 40s. Testosterone is a male sex hormone that’s very important for adult male features, such as facial and body hair. Testosterone also acts on different organs in the body, including the hair follicles and the cells in the prostate. The balding process is gradual and you’ll only lose hair on your scalp. Men usually seek hair loss treatment for cosmetic rather than medical reasons. Some medicines can stop or slow hair loss and even create new hair growth. Another treatment option is hair transplantation, which involves taking tiny plugs of hair from the areas that continue to grow and inserting them into the bald areas. This can cause minor scarring and there’s a very small chance of skin infection. A lot of people accept male pattern hair loss as a normal part of aging but for some it can be distressing, particularly if it happens at an early age. Losing your hair can make you feel less confident. You might find it helpful to talk to a counselor or even a psychologist, or to family members and friends, that’s if you’re worried about hair loss. To learn more about this and other
men’s reproductive and sexual health issues, go to healthymale.org.au or speak to your doctor.