Everybody can recognize it. It's that familiar "horseshoe" pattern of hair, with hair still left on the back and sides, and no hair at the top and front. And most people can spot the first inklings of it: thinning at the front, in a typical "M" shape. But did you know it has a name? It's called male pattern baldness. Sometimes doctors call it "androgenic alopecia," which is a fancy way to say "hair loss caused by male hormones."
Whether you view the prospect of losing your hair as a dodged bullet, a frightening possibility, a foregone conclusion, or your genetic rite of passage into manhood, we've got some interesting tidbits, statistics, and science to help you understand a bit more about male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness is common. In one study of healthy 18- to 49-year-old men, 42 percent had moderate or extensive baldness. Not surprisingly, baldness was most common in the older men and less common in the younger men.
That may or may not make you feel better (if you've already lost your hair), or it might terrify you (if you haven't yet lost your hair).
Male pattern baldness is not a sign that a man is unhealthy. It is not a sign of nutritional deficiencies, nor is it the result of toxin exposure. It doesn't mean you failed to take care of your body or your hair. It doesn't mean you used the wrong shampoo. In fact, unless it bothers you cosmetically, there's no reason you need to treat male pattern baldness at all.