5 Causes of Male Pattern Baldness and How to Prevent Them

Male pattern baldness—or if you want the medical term, androgenic alopecia—is an extremely common problem among men of all ages. Most common in adult males over the age of 40, this hair loss condition can come with a wide variety of struggles and discomforts.

Although male pattern baldness is not a serious medical condition, experiencing its symptoms firsthand can contribute to low self-esteem, anxiety, and even depression. But through learning more about this problem, men can be better equipped to handle its symptoms and side effects.

If you or your partner is fighting the battle of the receding hairline, here’s everything you need to know about the most common causes of male pattern baldness and how to combat them.

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?

Characterized by the extreme thinning of hair, a receding hairline, or a bald patch that develops around the crown of the scalp, male pattern baldness can be caused by many different issues. Some of which are avoidable, others not so much.

In the following five points, we’ll expand on the various ways that male pattern baldness can be triggered, as well as the different methods men can use to alleviate its symptoms.

  1. Genetics – Out of all the culprits behind male pattern baldness, genetics is the most common. The balding gene is extremely pervasive and affects roughly 80% of all men. That’s a lot! So, if you’re a man experiencing baldness, you’re not alone.

If either of your parents possesses the gene that causes male pattern baldness, the chances of you developing it are extremely high. Unfortunately, genetically induced male baldness does not have a cure. But there are some things you can do to cope with the symptoms:

  • Wearing a wig or toupee – Plenty of men (and women) all over the world use wigs and toupees to hide the fact that they have lost some of their hair.
  • Shave your head – This is by far the most common and effective way to deal with balding. Not only does it completely remove the stigma around male hair loss, but it is extremely easy to accomplish and looks very masculine and fashionable. 
  • Get a hair transplant – This is an extreme but effective way to deal with baldness. It’s a type of surgery that grafts hairy parts of your head to balding patches, thus covering them up.

Other than that, there isn’t much to do about balding other than learn to embrace yourself the way that you are. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.


A lack of certain nutrients can cause baldness and hair thinning on the scalp. This is because for hair to grow at a healthy pace, your body needs access to the right nutrients and minerals that facilitate healthy, consistent hair growth.

Some of the nutrients most essential to hair growth include vitamin D, iron, protein, zinc, and selenium. The good news is that baldness caused by malnutrition can be quite easily remedied through an increased uptake of the above nutrients.

High-stress levels

Stress is the enemy of many natural bodily processes, and hair growth is one of them. High-stress levels push your hair follicles into a resting state, meaning that they stop putting energy into growth when you are highly strung.

Unfortunately, this can have a prolonged effect on hair growth (or lack thereof). Cortisol, the stress hormone, is also known to cause blood pressure fluctuations, which as we addressed in the anticoagulant section, can be problematic for regular hair growth.

If you think that stress might be the reason behind your baldness, you may want to seek out therapy for stress management and seek out relaxing activities such as meditation, yoga, more regular exercise, or a reduced workload.

Scalp agitation

And finally, scalp agitation is one of the lesser-known but still prevalent causes of male pattern baldness. This can come in the form of extremely tight hairstyles that pull and damage hair follicles, or incessant scratching due to scalp eczema.

When the scalp is irritated too much, it stops producing healthy hair follicles, thus slowing growth. You can address this problem by being gentler on your scalp and seeking out treatment for any scalp skin conditions that may be impacting your follicular well-being.

Use of anticoagulants (blood thinners)

Certain medications can also contribute to male pattern baldness; in particular, anticoagulants. For example, medication prescribed to people with blood clots causes the blood to thin out, which can prevent hair follicles from receiving the oxygen they need to grow at a healthy pace.

If you are taking any anticoagulant medications for your health, you can speak to your doctor about switching to one that is more conducive to hair growth. You can also chat with a medical professional about medication that can treat the symptoms of hereditary male pattern baldness, as this is readily available and can make a difference.

How Does Male Pattern Baldness Impact Men’s Mental Health?

A receding hairline may not be a life-threatening condition. However, it can bring with it a whole of uncomfortable (and at times, downright miserable) emotions and thoughts. Naturally, these can negatively impact men’s mental health. This can manifest as:

  • High stress and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Psychological disturbance
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased libido

For many people, hair is a symbol of strength, beauty, and power. When hair loss occurs, it can make people feel inadequate and lacking in self-confidence.

Understanding more about what causes this problem can equip men to avoid the common triggers for hair loss and lead a lifestyle that promotes the sustainable growth of natural hair.

Bald Is Beautiful

Male pattern baldness is a widespread hair loss issue, most prominent within the adult male demographic. Recognizable through a rapidly receding hairline, bald patches, and hair thinning—all of which can be frustrating and even scary to experience.

This common hair loss problem can be caused by genetics, malnutrition, certain medications, stress, or unusual scalp agitation. While genetically caused male baldness is almost impossible to cure, the other causes on this list can be treated and even eradicated with the right approach.

With a healthy diet, the right medication, improved mental health, and a relaxed approach to styling, most men can keep baldness at bay and enjoy a healthy head of hair for years to come.