Why do men lose hair?

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Men lose hair. This is something normal as men get older, but some are starting experiencing hair loss when they are teenagers.

Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of hair loss in both men and women. In men, this condition is also known as male-pattern baldness. Hair is lost in a well-defined pattern, beginning above both temples. Over time, the hairline recedes to form a characteristic “M” shape. Hair also thins at the crown (near the top of the head), often progressing to partial or complete baldness.

The pattern of hair loss in women differs from male-pattern baldness. In women, the hair becomes thinner all over the head, and the hairline does not recede. Androgenetic alopecia in women rarely leads to total baldness.

How many men lose hair?

Androgenetic alopecia can start as early as a person’s teens and risk increases with age; more than 50 percent of men over age 50 have some degree of hair loss.

What’s the cause?

Men normally lose their hair when three main factors interact: genetics, age, and hormones.

A variety of genetic and environmental factors likely play a role in causing androgenetic alopecia. Although researchers are studying risk factors that may contribute to this condition, most of these factors remain unknown.

  • Male pattern baldness is triggered by the genes you got from your parents. Exactly how it is inherited isn’t clear, but it does tend to run in families.
  • Researchers have determined that this form of hair loss is related to hormones called androgens, particularly an androgen called dihydrotestosterone. Androgens are important for normal male sexual development before birth and during puberty.


Many men see hair loss as a natural part of growing older, and they do not perceive the need for treatment. However, hair loss can trigger negative psychological effects, such as low self-esteem. In some, it can contribute to depression. Some treatments are available that may help reduce hair loss. Some of them are:

  • Medication (Pills, lotions or foams)
  • Hair transplantation
  • Laser and light treatment

Other types of hair loss may be temporary. They can be caused by an illness, stress, cancer treatment, weight loss and iron deficiency.

Source: ghr.nlm.nih.gov, medicalnewstoday.com, webmd.com, nhs.uk, healthline.com