Home Uncategorized Receding Hairlines and Thinning Crowns Characterize Pattern Baldness

Receding Hairlines and Thinning Crowns Characterize Pattern Baldness

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hair-loss-treatment1Pattern baldness, known clinically as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common form of hair loss in the world. It usually starts with thinning hair on the temples and crown or top of the head. As it progresses, it causes more hair loss and a visible scalp.

A receding hairline is a distinguishing characteristic of male pattern baldness. As the gradually thinning hair recedes from the forehead, it forms a line that resembles the letter “M.” Women with female pattern baldness normally retain their hairline, but their part on top of the head broadens.

Men and women who notice an unusual amount of hair loss while washing or combing their hair may require medical attention. Sudden hair loss, whether or not it includes a receding hairline and thinning crown, could indicate an underlying medical condition.

What Causes Pattern Baldness?

Hormonal factors are the leading cause of hair loss in male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness. In those who are genetically vulnerable, certain androgen hormones trigger a permanent pattern of hair loss. This is more common in men than in women.

Often, women experience temporary hair loss due to the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy, childbirth or menopause. Men are more apt to develop a receding hairline and permanent thinning on the crown. Concerning pattern baldness, other causes are less common but possible. They include thyroid problems, scalp infections, skin disorders, medications and emotional trauma.

Dihydrotestosterone and Pattern Baldness

Androgenetic alopecia stems from too much dihydrotestosterone in the scalp. Known by its abbreviation, DHT, dihydrotestosterone is a byproduct or derivative of testosterone. The conversion process involves 5 alpha-reductase, an enzyme involving steroid metabolism.

When too much DHT exists in the scalp, the hair becomes brittle and breakable. Miniaturized hair follicles produce fewer and fewer strands of hair. As the growth phase diminishes, the hair falls out and no new hair replaces it.

In men, the “M” shape formed by the receding hairline eventually morphs into a “U” shape that resembles a horseshoe wrapped around the head. The top of the head may become completely bald. In women, the part widens as the hair continues to thin.

Treating Pattern Baldness

Pattern baldness is not a disease, so it does not affect physical health. However, it can wreak havoc on the emotions. If it causes emotional distress, the hair loss sufferer can contact his or her doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

People who inherit the genes that cause male or female pattern baldness can do nothing to prevent hair loss. Medications, supplements and surgery can slow the progression of thinning hair and receding hairlines, but there is no cure.

Medical doctors often refer their hair loss patients to a dermatologist for specialized care. They may also recommend a psychotherapist to help with the emotional distress. Improving emotional and physical health can make the hair loss bearable.


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