Recognise male pattern baldness
What is male pattern baldness?
A lot of men know the struggle of male pattern baldness (MPB), also known as androgenic alopecia. MPB occurs when the male hormone testosterone converts to DHT via the 5 alpha reductase enzyme. After this conversion, DHT will be transported to the muscle, the heart and to your hair follicles. Your hair follicles are sensitive to DHT, some people are more sensitive than others.
After binding to the hair follicle, DHT will cause calcium build up / fibrosis in the scalp. Due to the fibrosis in the scalp, the hair follicles will lack bloodflow and so lack oxygen. This way the hair follicles will shrink and eventually the hair will fall out.
Different stages of androgenic alopecia
Male pattern baldness can be classified in different stages. In the image below you will see the Norwood-Hamilton scale.
Dr. James Hamilton was the first doctor that noticed and classified the different stages of male pattern baldness. Hamiltn observed men and noticed a pattern in hair loss in men. In 1975 dr. Norwood, a dermatologist, re-structured the Hamilton scale after observing 1000 men that suffered male pattern baldness. Dr. Norwood added more patterns to Hamilton’s classifications. The Norwood-Hamilton scale is a widely used instrument to determine the stage of male pattern baldness in men.
How can I recognize male pattern baldness?
Firstly, you can compare your hair line to the Norwood-Hamilton scale. If you are classified in phase 1, you don’t have to worry (yet). If you are classified in phase 2, you have to keep an eye on your hair and see if the hair loss will worsen
An other indicator of male pattern baldness is an itchy scalp. If you notice that your scalp is itchy during the day, mostly at the vertex and crown, then you probably are suffering some sort of hair loss. The itchy scalp is a sign of inflammation.
Hair stroke test
You can also test male pattern baldness by stroking with your hands through your hair. If you repeat this three times and all three times you have had three or more hairs, you probably have male pattern baldness. How ever, this is just a indication to male pattern baldness.
When showering, you can keep an eye on how many hairs you lose. Normally, men will lose about 5-10 hairs in the shower. But if you notice a lot of hairs in your hands when shampooing your hair, you probably have male pattern baldness. Another way to measure hair loss in the shower, is to use a drain hair catcher.
Shiney fore head
A shiney fore head is also a sine of male pattern baldness. The shiney skin is caused by fibrosis of the scalp. Because of the fibrosis, the skin will tighten and cause a shiney look.