Information About Male Pattern Hair Loss
Male Pattern Hair Loss Frequently Asked Questions:
The following are frequently asked questions on male pattern hair loss. The information provided is not meant to be a substitute for the information obtained at an evaluation and by discussion with a physician, but merely to encourage understanding of this condition. No questions regarding individual scenarios will be answered by the AHRS. No changes in treatment should be undertaken by a patient without discussion first with the patient's physician.
Contrary to popular belief, male pattern baldness (MPB) is not inherited only from the mother's side. The exact inheritance pattern of MPB is still debated. It is believed to be most likely a dominant trait, involving more than one gene, and inherited from either parent.
There is no cure for MPB. As a result, all medical treatments need to be used indefinitely. If the treatment has been discontinued, all the benefits will be lost. Upon discontinuation, you do not lose "all your hair", but simply will resume the state of hair loss, you would have attained if you had never used the product.
(Go to Pharmacia.com for further information on Rogaine)
Your hair loss in the frontal hairline is most likely due to MPB. However, there are other causes for hair loss in the frontal area and it is important your physician confirm the diagnosis. The fact that your father is bald increases the likelihood you will also express the trait. The degree of how severe the problem will be is unpredictable. Your father may be very bald, but you may only develop some thinning on the crown and frontal hairline area. Nobody can predict with certainty how "bald" and individual will become. You can prevent it my considering two medical options. Propecia is a pill you can take once daily. Rogaine is a lotion you can rub on your scalp twice daily. Both have been scientifically proven to prevent further hair loss in the majority of men with early MPB.
(Go to Merck.com for further information on Propecia)
There are only two medical treatments that are approved by the US FDA for the treatment of MPB. These are Propecia(finasteride) and Rogaine (topical minoxidil solution). Propecia is a prescription. Rogaine is non-prescription/over the counter. Both these medical treatments have undergone rigorous medical testing to prove without doubt that they have a positive effect on MPB. This is called "evidence-based" medicine. All other treatments have not yet gone through this degree of rigorous testing and have not been approved by the US FDA for the treatment of MPB. Most physicians and scientists will not agree that a product "works" on MPB until it has gone through all the appropriate scientific tests to prove that it can prevent hair loss or grow more hair.
It is always best to have some information before a consultation. It is wise to read up on the procedure so you know what questions to ask the hair transplant surgeon. A good website is the International Society for Hair Restoration Surgery. At the consultation, the hair transplant surgeon will go over the procedure with you at length. He/she should be able to show you lots of before and after photos of their work. After learning about the procedure and the seeing the surgeon's results, you will be able to make an informed decision as to whether you wish to proceed with this popular procedure.