Hair Loss in Men (Androgenetic Alopecia)
Medical Author: Alan Rockoff, MD
Some men never go "bald" but everyone's hair thins out over the years. The term androgenetic refers to the fact that common balding requires both male hormones (androgens) and a genetic tendency to lose hair. Because there are many genes involved, however, you can't look at your parents and know how much hair you will lose or how fast you will lose it. In particular, the idea that hair loss is passed down from the mother's side of the family is folklore, not fact.
The problem of hair loss has resulted in many other myths and misconceptions. For instance, wearing hats does not "choke off" hair roots and promote baldness. Likewise, longer hair does not put a strain on roots.
Once you think your hair is thinning, it's worth a check to be sure. Even men who never lose much hair develop some receding at both temples during adolescence. Boys' hairlines are straight across; adult men have more of an M shape.
Many conditioners, shampoos, vitamins, and other products, as well as procedures involving lasers and heat, claim to help hair grow in unspecified ways. These are harmless but useless and not worth the investment. To slow down hair loss, there are just two medically proven options:
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