There are many causes of hair loss in men, including diseases, nutritional deficiency, hormone imbalance and stress. However, by far the most common cause is what is called androgenic alopecia. Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. The term androgenic refers to genetic predisposition to balding and the influence of androgens, or male hormones, those play a part in this type of hair loss. Aging also contributes to balding.
- Genetic factor– Role of genetic factor is not clearly defined. If there is a family history of baldness, then likelihood of developing baldness increases. But it is not definitive.
- Androgenic hormones– Androgenic hormones are androstenedione, testosterone, and dihydrotestosterone. Androgens are produced by the testicles and adrenals in men, and by the ovaries and adrenal glands in women. These hormones are quite important in both sexes, but occur in different concentrations, being much more predominant in males than in females. This, in part, is responsible for the typical differences between the genders.
- Aging There is no specific age at which balding occurs. It is a process that can be rapid or slow, it can begin toward the end of life or in the late teens, and it can progress in a predictably inexorable fashion, or it can stop and start, seemingly stabilize, and then begin again.
Exposure of the hair follicles to DHT, in a genetically susceptible person, over a period of time, leads to androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. In certain cells of the hair follicle, there are high levels of 5-alpha-reductase enzyme. This enzyme converts testosterone to DHT. Prolonged exposure of hair follicles to high levels of DHT leads to baldness.