Male Pattern Baldness

posted in: Style advice | 7

OK. This is a post for male readers. It was proposed by a man. If he had not suggested it I would not have done the research – which has really opened my eyes.

First what is MPB?

This is the normal pattern of hair loss in around half of all men, generally associated with ageing. The “pattern” of hair loss is common to the vast majority, in that it starts at the temples where the hair thins and then recedes, followed by thinning at the back of the head. and on to the crown. Eventually the two spots join up and create baldness across the top of the scalp, with hair retained in a ring (egg in a nest look), which may then remain, or be lost completely.

Male Pattern baldness
Male Pattern baldness

Although most women and unconcerned about hair loss in men, many men find it deeply depressing and would do just about anything to arrest it. Personally I find bald men as attractive as hairy ones, if not more so. I really don’t think it particularly undermines men’s attractiveness, but then, in general, I don’t think women are quite as worried about the physical appearance of their partners as men may believe, or fear. If you are balding, then a good body, an engaging personality and plenty of money are of course helpful, as these three demonstrate. You can see they are all very confident of their attractiveness.

Of course many of us dislike wrinkles, going grey, hair loss and becoming less flexible as we age.  Staying fit and healthy will not avert ageing but can slow it down. But being “prematurely” grey or bald can be ageing due to the association of these characteristics with ageing. My father who happened to have thick, longish (very grey) hair until his death was always irrationally proud of it and mildly bullied his balding friends.

Druce Barlow
My father flying a model plane

Nevertheless the anxiety that plagues a number of men who are otherwise completely sane and normal is rather sad, and I wondered what the options are. Apparently the following option are available:

  • drugs eg Finisteride
  • lotions eg  Regaine
  • products eg caffine shampoo,
  • weave/wig/toupee
  • surgery
  • good hair cut

I am going to say at the start that the only one I would recommend is the last one – a good hair cut. However if your baldness is due to ill heath or treatment for a serious disease then wearing a wig may help you feel considerably better. This article is addressing everyday normal balding.

Many celebrities have had hair transplants. Today, given the sophistication of surgical techniques, it can look relatively natural for a period. However everyone seems to be in on the joke. Those before and after photographs are testimony to the surgeons artistry and the ego of the victims. When you know what you are looking for, especially with the help of the internet and the Daily Mail, it is not too hard to spot. Look for a “filling in” effect and a very defined hair line. It is probably better that these operations are now out in the open for footballers like Wayne Rooney so that there is more transparency (excuse the pun) and so ordinary men don’t feel so bad about their concern.

An alternative that has been ridiculed for years is the wig that sits on the bald patch. Although a bad “rug” is a very unpleasant look, and almost impossible to take seriously when you spot someone wearing them. However, like the hair transplant, great strides have been made, especially in China, in the wig making and weave industries.

However to my mind a good haircut is the best solution. Ask your trusted hairdresser to help you with this. Tell him or her you are concerned about thinning and ask them to tell you honestly at what point you should shave it all off. While the hair volume and hair line is decreasing it will look better short – you cannot compensate by fluffing it upwards, or growing it longer. There is actually nothing sadder than a bald man with a pony tail.

bald man, pony tail
Bald pony





7 Responses

  1. Johnson John

    Haha great one. In the gravatar here I’m the bald one. My mother always pushed me to get it ‘done’. Since I never believed in showing off something that I don’t have; she wasn’t lucky with her suggestion. And right now I am at a point, where if I grow back all my hair – then I will feel that ‘oh i’m bald’. And that is gonna embarrass me more than what I am now. Well the number of goodies behind natural shortcomings are always better and higher than the number of goodies behind the natural availabilities.. 😉 Thanks for sharing FABRICKATED!

  2. Beth

    Oh that ponytail!!! There is actually one more thing that you can use – Nanogen or Topik or other brands of hair fibres that you sprinkle on your remaining hair to make them appear thicker. It’s amazing. Of course they only work for men who are only at the beginning of the balding process.

      • Beth

        Haha you don’t touch it! Having said that, it does stay in place and is waterproof if you use the spray. But then, my boyfriend uses it and then styles his hair with gel and hairspray anyway so you wouldn’t run your hand through his hair even if he didn’t have Nanogen in it if you see what I mean. I definitely think it’s not for all men and totally depends on your hair style but it is an option for some 🙂

  3. neucarol

    Right on about ponytails!
    Two of the worst offenders are both from my home State of MN (hope it’s not catching)–a former Gov and a CNBC Financial TV personality.

  4. Stephanie

    I agree 100% about not being concerned about a man’s hair. G is quite particular about how his hair is styled and cut, as a result of the fact that he has a bald area. I seriously don’t find anything about baldness unattractive, although your dad’s hair in the photo is very nice, too! Being in the pharmacy game, G gets a lot of requests from men in regard to medications for hair loss, which he is not in favour of. One of our friends, who is nearing sixty, hounds him at every meeting. It seems a shame, as he is a very interesting man and doesn’t need hair to be attractive! PS Yes, no ponytails!

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