Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL), The Cause and Risk Factors

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The progression of Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL).
Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL) is a progressive condition.

What is MPHL?

MPHL or androgenetic alopecia (baldness) is the most usual hair loss cause, representing more than 80 percent of all hair loss case among male.

Others hair loss causes are including:

  • Telogen effluvium. A temporary state which usually happened because of stress such as pregnancy, trauma or surgery.
  • Alopecia areata. A state whereby the body immune system self stressing the stages of hair root growth (the hair part buried in follicle under the skin). Alopecia areata causes hair to fall in a spot form and could affect any hair-bearing area including facial hair and reproductive organ area.
  • Scalp condition. Fungal infection or psoriasis disease which is a kind of chronic skin disease to scalp, could also cause hair loss.
  • Present medical problem. Diseases such as hypothyroidism.

Understanding the Normal Hair Growth Cycle

There are three stages of normal hair growth cycle:

  1. Anagen (growth)
    Hair have just grown from the follicle base (an opening at the surface of the skin where hair through it). This normal growth phase usually takes a period of years and the result is fully grown hair.
  2. Catagen (rest)
    At this stage, hair stop growing and the hair root start to contract. Follicle base start to break and the hair move up in follicle, far from the root and vein which provides nutrients.
  3. Telogen (regeneration)
    The matured hair currently sticks loosely to hair root. It usually will drop after a few months or after being ejected by new hair which grows under it.

What Cause MPHL?

MPHL happened caused by the interaction of male’s scalp hormones with the genetic risk, which influence the normal hair growth cycle.

In other word, MPHL have connection with two core factors which are the gene and hormone.

What really happen to the hair if I have MPHL?

  1. The male hormone or androgen present in hair follicle, especially the testosterone hormone. Also present is a kind of enzyme which is known as 5-alpha-reductase (5aR).
  2. When testosterone interacts with the enzyme, the hormone will be converted to dihydrotestosterone or DHT.
  3. When excessive DHT exist in hair root, anagen phase of hair cycle is shortened. As the result; shorter, fine and slightly visible hair.
  4. This usually happened at the vertex which is the highest part on the head and on the head line – most classical hair loss pattern among male.

Other MPHL Risk Factors?

  • Gender – man are generally have more tendency to suffer hair loss problem because of the greater amount of testosterone hormone they produce.
  • Family history – MPHL’s occurrence among father, relative, grandfather and both sides mother and father could expose the individual to this condition.
  • Age – it is estimated about 30 per cent of 30 year old males will face hair loss in some forms while 50 percent will experience it when their age hit 50 years.
  • Stress – continuous and chronic stress can accelerate MPHL.
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