Androgenetic alopecia (AGA), also known as male-pattern baldness in men, is a prevalent form of hair loss affecting both genders in Singapore.
The condition causes hair to fall out in a distinctive pattern, beginning above the temples, resulting in a receding hairline that gradually forms an “M” shape.
Hair also becomes thinner at the crown, eventually leading to partial or complete baldness.
Androgenetic alopecia is a prevalent condition that causes hair loss in men and women, and it is estimated that around 63% of men in Singapore are affected by it.
Did you look in the mirror and notice a weird pattern appearing from your forehead? Then you might have androgenetic alopecia and you should consult a doctor immediately.
Who is more susceptible to androgenetic alopecia?
Our hair often goes unnoticed until we notice a clump in our hairbrush.
Studies reveal that half of all men will suffer from partial or complete hair loss by the time they reach 50 years old.
Shockingly, in Singapore, males can start experiencing hair loss or male pattern baldness as early as 15 or 16 years old.
You might feel surprise that androgenetic alopecia is responsible for 95% of hair loss in men.
Additionally, hair loss can serve as an indication of underlying medical conditions.
Various factors, including your immune system, genetics, lifestyle habits, and trichotillomania, can all contribute to baldness.
Causes of androgenetic alopecia:
Male pattern baldness can be attributed to a variety of factors, which include:
The likelihood of developing male pattern baldness increases with age.
Roughly 25% of men experience the first signs of hair loss before age 21.
By age 50, 50% of Singaporean men experience androgenetic alopecia.
Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a type of androgen hormone that plays a role in the physical development of people during puberty.
This includes the growth of hair on the face, scalp, chest, underarms, and genitals.
Researchers suggest that a link may exist between DHT and hair follicle shrinkage.
Males at birth have an X-chromosome from their mother and a Y-chromosome from their father. The AR gene on the X chromosome instructs the body to produce androgens, while the sensitivity of the AR gene helps determine the likelihood of developing male pattern baldness.
For example, some people are more prone to cicatricial alopecia, a condition in which inflammation damages the hair follicles and causes hair loss in that area. Hair loss may also occur if you have underlying skin cancer.
Alopecia can also be caused by a common scalp disorder known as Telogen Effluvium, which results in excessive hair shedding. This condition can develop due to various factors, such as emotional and physiological stress, trauma, and the use of certain drugs.
Does this sound like you? You need to consult a doctor.
How does androgenetic alopecia develop over time?
Androgenic alopecia is caused by hair follicles becoming sensitive to androgens such as dihydrotestosterone (DHT), resulting in shorter growth and a longer resting phase. This leads to progressive thinning and shortening of hair, eventually causing the follicles to shrink and stop producing hair.
Androgenetic alopecia follows different patterns in men and women, with men experiencing hair loss starting at the hairline and temples and women experiencing more diffuse hair thinning on the top of the head.
The progression of androgenetic alopecia, both male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness, may be influenced by various factors such as age, hormonal changes, and underlying health conditions.
Symptoms of androgenetic alopecia:
Symptoms of male pattern baldness include:
- Hair thinning or loss on the crown
- Hair thinning or loss near the temples
- Receding hairline and overall reduced hair density
Male pattern baldness does not cause you pain. You can notice the early stages as early as your teenage years and into your 20s and 30s. Hair loss on the crown usually appears circular, while a receding hairline often occurs in an “M” shape. As the hair loss progresses, the areas of hair loss around the crown and temples may meet, forming a “U” shape.
Stages of Androgenetic Alopecia:
Male pattern baldness has seven stages, which you can identify using the Hamilton-Norwood scale:
First stage: Little or no hair loss or hairline recession.
Second stage: Slight hair loss near the skin between your ears and forehead (temples).
Third stage: Deep hairline recession around your temples, and your hairline may have an “M” or “U” shape.
Fourth stage: Very deep hairline recession and hair loss at the top of your head (crown).
Fifth stage: Your hairline recession connects to the bald spot on your crown.
Sixth stage: The hair between your temples and crown is thinning or gone.
Seventh stage: No hair on the top of your head and a thin band of hair around the side of your head.
How to Diagnose Androgenetic Alopecia?
Your healthcare provider may use a densitometer to examine your scalp and measure the thickness of your hair follicles. If your healthcare provider suspects your hair loss is not due to male pattern baldness, they may:
- Examine your scalp for signs of infection.
- Take your hair sample and send it to a lab for analysis.
- Take a scalp biopsy to check for skin disease or alopecia areata (a medical condition in which an autoimmune disorder may lead to hair loss and patchy skin).
- Conduct blood tests.
Most men consider hair loss a normal part of aging and don’t think they need to do anything about it. But losing hair can make some people feel bad about themselves and even depressed.
One can choose any of the following options to treat androgenetic alopecia.
- Medications: OTC medications like oral and topical minoxidil and other oral prescription medications, for example, finasteride, is commonly used to treat male pattern baldness.
- Hair transplantation: During hair transplantation or hair restoration, skin grafts containing healthy hair are taken from other body areas and implanted into bald or thinning areas of the scalp.
- Platelet-rich plasma: Your blood is drawn from the body, processed, and injected into the scalp to promote hair growth.
- Styling techniques: Certain hairstyles, wigs, or hair weaves can be used to hide your male pattern baldness
Follow the following tips to avoid androgenetic alopecia.
- Eating extra protein can promote hair growth, especially for vegetarians and vegans. The recommended daily intake is 40-60g of protein.
- A Mediterranean diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and protein can help minimise hair loss.
- Certain vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, B, C, D, E, zinc, and iron, support healthy hair, skin, and muscle tissue.
- Stress management can also help prevent male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness by reducing androgen activity.
The only way you can medically treat androgenetic alopecia is by seeing a doctor.
Act now to stop your hair loss
If you are facing issues relating to androgenetic alopecia – at SIRE, you can get access to licensed medical professionals who are experienced with dealing with sensitive men’s health issues.
You get to speak to a doctor based in Singapore, who understands the local culture and stigma revolving around hair loss.
You can do everything from home, because after your consult, the treatments are even shipped discreetly to your home.
Book an appointment now.