Male-Pattern Hair Loss

A loss of hair from the scalp can occur in males and

females. Androgenic alopecia refers to male-pattern hair loss. Here we discuss cosmetic aids for hair loss in men.  For medical management, it is best to seek a dermatologist who can offer prescription treatment.

How does hair loss occur in males? Androgens and genetics can play a role.  An androgen is a steroid hormone that regulates male characteristics, including facial and body hair growth. The risk of hair loss increases with a positive family history of alopecia. In men, the hair starts thinning at the temporal areas and progresses to the crown area. Based on the Norwood classification as shown in the above photo:

  • Type 1 is minimal bitemporal (both temple areas) receding of the hair line
  • Type 2 is a greater extension of Type 1
  • Type 3 is hair loss from the crown area (bald spot/vertex) and receding hair from the forehead area
  • Type 4, 5, and 6 is a greater extension of Type 3
  • Type 7 is the most severe, with a larger balding area and hair preserved only around the back of the head and sides of the hair

What can you do about male-pattern hair loss? There are some cosmetic aids that can camouflage your bald spots and hair loss. If hair loss is spread across the scalp, or it’s incomplete in areas, then powders can be used. Colored scalp sprays or pastes can also be tried.

You can use tinted cosmetics such as DermMatch, a concealer that colors the skin to match your hair color.  This product uses no hair dye, and uses colorants from plant and mineral sources. There are also hair fiber products like Caboki which uses hair like fibers made from plant fibers and natural minerals. Caboki is shaken onto the thinning areas and clings to your hair roots and adjacent scalp. Toppik has a colored hair thickener spray to hide thinning hair and bald spots.

Lightening your thinning hair can create the illusion of volume. This will make the hair appear thicker and fuller. Honey and lemon juice are some of the natural products that can be used for their bleaching properties.  For chemical products containing bleach or peroxide, visit your hair salon for best results.

Creative hairstyles can also help mask hair balding and thinning. A combover, crew cut, spikes brushed forward, military cut, shaved sides, short hairstyles and short haircuts, skin fade, short mohawk, and bald shave are some of the different styles that can be done to mask receding hairlines, bald spots, and thinning hair.

For more extensive loss, hair pieces or wigs can be used. Wigs or Toupees can be synthetic or real hair constructed on a mesh base (wig cap) or as a vacuum wig, which is a silicone wig cap that is colored to match your skin color. Also, there’s “man weaves”, or hair units, which use a bonding agent on the scalp to attach the hair pieces to be installed. You have to cut all of your hair before the hair unit is installed. A man weave can last up to 4 months.

If all else fails, hair transplant surgery can be performed in a doctor's office by a surgeon. Consult a doctor for more info. 


Other info:

Aveda has a product line called Aveda Invanti Men that offers a solution for thinning hair. It comes with an exfoliating shampoo and a scalp revitalizer. 

Dove has a thickening cream called Dove Men + Care Thickening Cream, ​which uses a water-based formula that gives your hair a thicker look and feel.

Men's Rogaine Foam is FDA approved to regrow hair and can be purchased over the counter.



Androgenic Alopecia. In Epocrates. Retrieved from https://online.epocrates.com/diseases/22351/Androgenic-alopecia/Prognosis#dx_navSections.