What Are The Stages of Male Pattern Baldness?

Ali Raza
8 Min Read
What Are The Stages of Male Pattern Baldness?

Losing your hair as you age has long been a fact of life for men. It’s no surprise that men think this widespread problem is unavoidable when around half of all men in the United States suffer from male-pattern baldness by the age of fifty. However, despite its ubiquitousness, male pattern baldness is not an unavoidable genetic sentence.

If you want to treat and interrupt the condition, you must first understand the different stages of male pattern baldness and what treatments might prove effective during each one. Here’s what you need to know about this common condition, its stages, and its potential causes.

The First Stage: Thinner Hair at the Temples

The first of the stages of male pattern baldness is the least noticeable of the bunch. During this stage, your hair might thin somewhat at the temples. This usually won’t draw attention until it’s progressed into Stage Two, but it is an early warning sign of androgenetic alopecia.

What Can You Do About It?

Since there’s little hair lost at this point, it can be hard to identify the cause. Your best bet will be to research your family’s genetics and see if male-pattern baldness runs in your blood. This is where natural treatments like fortifying hair oils will prove most effective.

The Second Stage: Thinning to an M-Shaped Hairline

During the second stage of male pattern baldness, the hair at the temples continues to thin, now joined by the hair at the forehead. This, combined with some minor thinning at the crown, leads to the development of a more M-shaped hairline. Your forehead and temples will become wider and more visible at this stage.

What Can You Do About It?

If your balding is genetic in nature, you can pursue one of the many natural remedies for men. However, in these early stages, it’s important to consider that the cause might be environmental, rather than genetic. Try to do what you can to reduce environmental stressors known to cause hair loss, like smoking and pollution.

The Third Stage: M, U, or V-Shaped Hairlines With Visible Balding

During this stage, your hairline continues receding and balding becomes noticeable. Your forehead appears wider as your hairline takes on a V, U, or M shape. The hair at your scalp might also thin and form bald spots during this stage.

What Can You Do About It?

At this point, you need stronger intervention than natural remedies for male pattern baldness can provide. Fortunately, DHT blockers like RU58841 can help slow the process by blocking receptors for a chemical that triggers male pattern baldness.

The Fourth Stage: Massive Hair Loss in the Back

During stage four, the male pattern baldness progresses to the back of the head. Any bald spots already present become larger, and the hair on your crown and the back of your head thins out faster than before.

What Can You Do About It?

Given the amount of hair loss, finding a real, impactful solution can prove difficult. Treatments like finasteride might be able to help reduce the symptoms you experience. Make sure to discuss such treatment with your doctor before you begin!

The Fifth Stage: Horseshoe Hairline

At this point, your scalp has taken on the classic “horseshoe hairline” associated with male pattern baldness. During this stage, the hairline has receded far enough that treatment can prove difficult. The tips to help you hide a receding hairline won’t avail you here.

What Can You Do About It?

It’s at this stage that you need to take more drastic treatment measures to see any results. Hair implants and scalp micro-pigmentation may prove viable options, depending on your budget and access. For hair implants, hair from other places on your body gets grafted onto your scalp, while for scalp micro-pigmentation, you get a colored tattoo that creates the illusion of fuller hair.

The Sixth Stage: Enlarging Bald Patches and Visible Scalp

During the sixth stage of male pattern baldness, the scalp becomes increasingly visible as your hair continues to thin. By this point, the hair loss has progressed to the sides of the head.

What Can You Do About It?

By this stage, your only real option is a surgical procedure known as scalp reduction. This procedure takes out the areas of your scalp with little to no hair and stitches the sections that still have growth together. This, combined with a hair transplant, might help restore a sense of fullness to your scalp.

The Seventh Stage: Complete Hairline Recession

During the seventh and final stage of androgenetic alopecia, the hairline recedes to the crown, and what hair remains on the sides is too thin to do anything with. If you’ve reached this stage, most of your hair is gone for good.

What Can You Do About It?

Once you’ve reached this final stage, your best recourse is acceptance. You can shave your head and embrace baldness, wear wigs or toupees to cover it and find hats that you love wearing to hide it.

What Causes Hair Loss in Men?

Now that you understand the different stages of male pattern baldness, let’s talk about what might cause hair loss in men. We’ve spent most of our time discussing genetic balding above, but a variety of other factors could cause it, including:

  • Environmental stressors like pollution
  • Rashes and diseases of the scalp
  • Cancer or thyroid conditions
  • Medications you may be taking
  • Anabolic steroid use

Make sure to discuss your hair loss with your doctor so that you can rule out any of the more serious causes.

Looking for More Ways to Cope With the Stages of Male Pattern Baldness?

If you or someone you love are going through the stages of male pattern baldness, it can be difficult to find ways to cope.

Do you need help figuring out how to style your hair around your bald spots? Are you looking for other hair loss treatments that may help you? If so, then check out the Health and Lifestyle sections of our blog today for more informative articles like this one!

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