It is estimated that up to 70 percent of men will suffer to a lesser or greater degree with this particular form of hair loss.
It is more prominent in the more mature man, but distressingly so, it can sometimes begin when a man is very young, in his early 20s. The next question must be then, what are the causes of male pattern baldness?
It is referred to as male androgenetic pattern baldness because it is related to a genetic component causing an oversensitivity to the male hormone testosterone, or more accurately, the androgen known as DHT, explained in more detail under the section, what is DHT?
Regarding hair restoration, more recent stem cell research points to the fact that balding men still have the same number of hair making stem cells as someone who is not bald, but there are just fewer mature progenitor cells. This substantiates what we know already, that the presence of DHT amongst the over sensitised follicular cells is causing the action of shrinkage in the follicle. It also implies that the problem lies in activating the stem cells to convert to the mature progenitor cells.
There are already numerous hair loss drugs that have the action of blocking DHT within the hair follicle itself to aid in the prevention of shrinkage, but researchers are now looking more closely at creams and products which may work directly on the hair producing stem cells to encourage the conversion of immature cells in to the more mature progenitor cells acting as a form of alopecia treatment.
What this will mean in reality is that although balding men appear to have no hair in certain areas on their scalp, i.e., on the receding front hair line, or on the crown of the head, they actually have such fine hair produced it is not visible. If it was possible to encourage conversion to more mature hair making cells within the follicle, thicker shafts of hair would be produced which would be visible giving the appearance of a fuller head of hair again.