What is male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness gets its name from the pattern of hair loss that men often experience. This begins with a receding hairline, followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples until the bald patches meet. It is also known as 'androgenic alopecia' or simply 'male hair loss'.
How common is male pattern baldness?
Baldness in men is a very common condition, affecting around 6.5 million men in the UK. Most men will experience male pattern baldness to some degree by the time they are in their 60s. Other men will experience it as early as their 20s and 30s. Frequently, the first sign of male pattern baldness is a receding hairline, followed by a gradual thinning of the hair and then more widespread hair loss.
What causes male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness is a genetic disorder which causes the hormone testosterone to be converted into DHT. DHT has an adverse effect on hair follicles (also known as the hair roots) and subsequently slows down or even stops hair production altogether. The hair loss treatments available through this website (Propecia and Finasteride) contain the same active ingredient (finasteride), and work by blocking the effect of DHT on the hair follicles.
Male hair loss can also be caused by severe stress, side effects of medical treatments, shock, illness or hormone imbalance.
Hair loss treatment for men
The most effective hair loss treatment available in the UK is finasteride (Propecia is a popular branded version, but generic finasteride is a slightly cheaper option). It works by blocking the effect of DHT on the hair follicles, meaning that they can continue to produce hair.
Finasteride normally takes 3-6 months before any effect is seen, and the balding process will usually resume if treatment is stopped. Nevertheless, it is a popular and successful treatment in men suffering from male pattern baldness.
Other treatments for baldness include aromatherapy, homeopathy, acupuncture, wigs, hairpieces and hair transplants. Not all of these are clinically proven to be effective.
Minoxidil, a lotion applied daily to the scalp, is a medically recognised alternative to finasteride. However, only 15% of men who use minoxidil will experience hair regrowth (compared to two thirds of those who use finasteride) making it a statistically less successful treatment. This is why we have chosen to offer both Propecia and generic finasteride through our online treatment service.
How effective is finasteride at treating male pattern baldness?
The effectiveness of finasteride often depends on the length of time it is taken, but the evidence available suggests that 90% of men who use it see an improvement, while two thirds will benefit from renewed hair growth.
Finasteride is particularly effective in men who are experiencing mild or moderate hair loss.
You will probably have to take finasteride for at least 4 months before you see any effect, and if you stop taking it the hair loss process will resume.
Can male pattern baldness be cured?
Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition, meaning that it cannot be cured. It can, however, be treated, and finasteride is very effective at preventing further hair loss or reversing it.
Don't be embarrassed. Get medical advice online.
Does the thought of talking to a doctor face to face about hair loss make you feel uncomfortable? If so, you can register with us and seek professional advice from our GPs without having to step into a clinic or book an appointment. Propecia or Finasteride can either be delivered to your home or collected from your local LloydsPharmacy store.