Male Pattern Baldness: The Real Cause and the Real Solution

posted on:
February 22nd, 2021
posted by:
Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

The odds seem to be very much stacked against you. Statistics show that over 50 million men are currently struggling with hair loss. In fact, roughly 85% of all men will experience hair loss problems of some sort during their lifetime, and male pattern baldness is the culprit in 90% of those cases.

The most frustrating part of male pattern baldness is that there is an entire aisle at the drug store dedicated to helping it… and none of it seems to help. 

At Toronto Plastic Surgeons, we have encountered countless men that are tired of over-the-counter products that overpromise. Our job is to walk them through why male pattern baldness happens, and why most solutions are ineffective against it.

And that’s what we’re going to cover today.

Male Pattern Baldness Causes

Science still doesn’t fully understand exactly what causes male pattern baldness.

However, from a broad view, hair loss comes from your hair follicles shrinking. This reduction in size forces the hair that grows to be thinner and finer. After a while, the follicles shrink to the point where hair cannot grow at all.

You can go bald for any number of reasons, but classic male pattern baldness doesn’t appear to be brought on by anything other than genetics. Your genetics are tied to your body’s levels of a sex hormone called androgens, which regulate your hair growth.

Outside of male pattern baldness, there are dozens of other things that can cause hair loss that include:

  • Cancers and cancer treatments
  • Sustained levels of stress or traumatic events
  • Fungal conditions of the scalp
  • Nutritional disorders or problems
  • Steroid use
  • Negative reactions to certain medications
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Prolonged hat/helmet wearing
  • Significant weight loss
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus

Male pattern baldness differs from alopecia areata, which is a condition that causes your hair to fall out. However, in those cases, the hair tends to fall out quicker in large patches. At the same time, the hair can grow back eventually. However, there is also a disease called scarring alopecia that destroys your hair follicles. Scar tissue forms in their place, causing permanent baldness.

It’s perfectly normal to lose about a hundred or so hairs every day. Most of us do. These are the loose hairs that you see on your clothing and your keyboard. However, when hair starts to fall out in greater volume, and leave behind bare areas, it could be time to seek professional help.

You may have heard that the baldness gene comes from the mother’s side of the family. However, there doesn’t seem to be a definite answer there. The gene is simply in your family and you can seemingly get it from either side. It’s also not unusual for baldness to hit one sibling and leave another one completely untouched. Which can be maddening for the balding brother in the family.

So, what can you do about it?

FUE Hair Transplants: A Permanent and Effective Solution

Later in this blog, we will explore the various treatments and products that do not work effectively on male pattern baldness. However, we will begin by exploring one that does work, hoping that you will skip the ineffective options.

Our Toronto hair transplant clinic has been able to create some incredible success stories by using FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) Hair Transplant technology. Unlike some of the tools and techniques that have been used in the past, FUE hair transplants don’t have any of the unsightly scarring that used to be a major deterrent.

The technology uses robotic and/or automated micro-rotatory punches to harvest hair follicles from the parts of your scalp with a plentiful volume of hair, and then implant those follicles onto the areas where the hair is thin or missing, giving you more volume.

The treatments can be done with two different types of technology:

  • ARTAS (robotic)
  • NeoGraft (Automated)

A neoGraft hair transplant uses an automated rotary punch. On the other hand, ARTAS hair transplants use an advanced robotic device.

Either procedure provides an incredibly targeted and advanced treatment that gives you:

  • Permanent results! With no need to repeat the treatments
  • More volume in the areas you need it the most
  • Proven results in areas that other treatments can’t reach
  • None of the stitches or unsightly scarring that has been associated with other types of transplantation

The best part is that you don’t have to do much of anything after a hair transplant surgery of this type. But our procedures do come with extensive post-op care that includes some low-level light therapy and a nutrient shampoo.

You may see UV lights and UV light helmets on sale on the internet that promise to regenerate hair growth. They can cost anywhere from $800.00-$1000.00. But save your money. These are highly ineffective because they simply don’t have the same level of power as our in-office equipment. Reading the online reviews for these products will quickly show you how many dissatisfied customers they have.

You are far better off going with a FUE hair transplant and choosing a solution with proven and permanent results.

FUE Transplants For Women

Our clinic also offers expert hair transplants for females using the same FUE technology.

It’s estimated that about 40% of all women will deal with some sort of hair loss by the age of 40. This can be caused by hormonal changes (most often testosterone converting to dihydrotestosterone or DHT), pregnancy, certain diseases, and some medications.

If you’re struggling with a high forehead that seems to be getting higher each day, a FUE hair transplant can help to reduce its size by expertly lowering the hairline. Next, your surgeon will harvest the follicles from the back, or sides, of your scalp and graft them to the front to give you a fuller and more youthful look.

A-List Hair Transplant Celebrities

Despite their carefully cultivated public images, male celebrities are certainly not immune to the effects of male pattern baldness. Many of them have had hair transplants over the years to keep their youthful good looks.

Start by looking at pictures of Elon Musk in the mid-90s. Notice something different? His image is a far cry from the current billionaire playboy and Tony-Stark-in-real-life image we’re all used to seeing today. He has never looked better and he actually looks younger than he did when he founded PayPal.

You could also say that the greatest comeback in the history of English football came off of the pitch. Manchester United star Wayne Rooney wasn’t shy about his procedure and proudly tweeted to the world, “Just to confirm to all my followers I have had a hair transplant. I was going bald at 25 why not. I’m delighted with the result.”

Meanwhile, American football GOAT Tom Brady has never come right out and admitted that he’s had a hair transplant, but he was seen leaving a hair loss clinic a few years ago. Also, if you look at the volume of his hair today (at age 43, no less), compared to where it was a few years ago, it’s very clear he’s had a hair transplant.

Why Most Hair-Loss Products Don’t Help

The hair loss aisle is full of over-marketed and underperforming hair restoration products. If you’re reading this blog today, the odds are good that you have tried one or two, and they didn’t live up to the hype.

The product currently taking up the most amount of shelf space at the drug store is Rogaine, which you have no doubt heard of. Does it work? Well, it can. However, there are limitations.

The first issue is actually hidden in plain sight. Look at the Rogaine packaging. The diagram on the box shows you where it’s designed to stimulate hair growth: The top and crown of your scalp.

This means it’s not designed to help men that are experiencing a receding hairline that seems to move back a little bit more every day.

The second problem with Rogaine is that you need to use their product every single day for 4 months straight before you see any results. Imagine how you would feel if you didn’t see any results after using something for 120 straight days.

At the same time, if you do see some good results, you need to stay committed to your routine, which can be time-consuming, expensive, and flat-out annoying. If you start slacking or stop using Rogaine, your results will fade almost immediately.

We have also heard customers complain that they almost seem to develop some sort of immunity to the treatment, and the results will simply fade over years of usage.

Do Hair Loss or Volume-Adding Shampoos Work?

Some hair loss shampoos can help you deal with hair loss if you have certain conditions. But, unfortunately, none of those conditions include male pattern baldness.

These shampoos are designed to help men dealing with conditions like dandruff or psoriasis. They may help you fight skin inflammation on your scalp, which can help you regrow some volume of hair. If your hair loss isn’t being caused by dandruff or psoriasis, these shampoos won’t do much more than smell differently than your usual products.

Meanwhile, over-the-counter volume adding shampoos can’t actually add any new volume. If they did, you wouldn’t be reading this blog. Volume adding shampoos remove the things that can weigh your hair down. They can make it look like your hair has more volume, because flat hair looks like thin hair.

What About Vitamins and Other Supplements?

Like all of the other products we just talked about, hair loss vitamins and supplements come with a Could and a But. They could work for you, but probably not.

You may have heard that you can take vitamins D, C, A or E to help treat hair loss. And you might have heard the same thing about biotin or folic acid. Now it’s time for the Could and the But. If you’re deficient in any of these vitamins, it may cause hair loss and taking that vitamin supplement could help you regrow the hair you lost. But if you’re deficient in any of these vitamins, you’re probably already dealing with a number of other issues.

For example, if you’re vitamin D deficient, you could experience:

  • Bone softening and reduced bone density
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer

Hair loss could be the least of your problems.

The second issue with taking these vitamins is that your body can only hold a finite amount of a given vitamin, with no storing of any excess. That means that if you’re already getting enough vitamin A, your body is simply going to expel any excess amounts of it through urine. You will just pee the vitamin away.

If anyone ever tries to convince you that vitamins helped them regrow their hair, ask them what else they have been doing. Because it’s incredibly unlikely that the vitamins were the only cause.

Ready for Something That Actually Works?

As we said earlier, many of our patients come to us after wasting their money on ineffective over-the-counter solutions. So why not save yourself the time, money and frustration? Come see us when you see the first signs of male pattern baldness, and skip the trip to the drug store. Even if we’re not 100% sure on the causes of male pattern baldness, the solution is clear.

Dr. Stephen Mulholland has been performing FUE hair transplants for over a decade and is widely recognized as a ground-breaker in this field. He helped develop and define the NeoGraft and Artas procedures. At the same time, his experienced team of FUE experts have performed over 1 million successful hair grafts.

“After thinking about it for years and doing my research, I finally decided to get the FUE procedure done… I’ll admit that I was sceptical in the first 6 months after the procedure but after a full year people don’t even recognize me.” – A satisfied review from

Let our team show you what’s possible! Get in touch with us today to start the journey to a new you!

Posted by:

Dr. Thomas Bell, MD

Dr. Thomas Bell has been one of Canada’s most renowned cosmetic surgeons for 35 years. He prides his excellence on the harmonious balance of vision, aesthetic appearance, and patient care.

More on Dr. Bell

You May Also Be Interested In

November 30th, 2021

The Most Common & Most Desired Nose Shapes: Which Nose Is Yours?

Read More
January 25th, 2023

How to Reduce Swelling After A Rhinoplasty

Read More
December 21st, 2021

These Are the Surgeries People are Pairing with Breast Augmentation

Read More

You're only a step away from a new life!

Schedule a consultation