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Male Pattern Baldness: Early Warning Signs

Androgenic Alopecia, or male pattern baldness, is a very common condition, experienced by more than two-thirds of men over the course of their lives – with the likelihood of hair loss increasing with age. Androgenic Alopecia is caused by elevated levels of the hormone DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), which is produced by the interaction of the hormone testosterone and the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, in the blood.

Hair Loss SignsMale pattern baldness is widely thought to be genetically determined. It can start as young as 20 years of age, but more commonly occurs amongst men between the ages of 25 and 35; after which point, 2 in every 5 men will have begun to experience some hair loss. If you are concerned about the role male pattern baldness may have in your life, it is advisable to keep an eye on your hair for the very first symptoms.

What not to look for

There are a number of common myths about early hair loss indicators – these include being able to count more than twenty hairs on your brush after using it, finding hairs on your pillow in the morning, or starting to lose your hair in clumps.

The first two on this list are not seen as signs of male pattern baldness, as the condition is less about the hair you shed and more about whether or not those hairs are being replaced. In people who have Androgenic Alopecia, the hair follicles shrink, meaning that the replacement hair thins before vanishing altogether.

Losing clumps is also unlikely to be an indicator of male pattern baldness, but for a different reason. The condition generally leads to more gradual symptoms, so very drastic hair loss may well be the sign of a different kind of hair loss.

What to look for

However, there are genuine early signs that can indicate Androgenic Alopecia. These stem from the fact that – as the name male pattern baldness suggests – men with the condition lose their hair in a consistent way.

The first sign is a gradual retreat of hair away from the forehead in a distinctive “M” shape, known as a receding hairline. If the hairs at the base of your fringe are thinning, or being shed without being replaced, you might be suffering from Androgenic Alopecia. From there, the hair is lost from the crown of the head, leaving a distinctive bald pate, before spreading until eventually only a distinctive “horseshoe” of hair is left upon the sides and back of the head.

Male Pattern Hair Loss can appear in many different patterns however, with the possibility of general thinning around the top of the scalp or a balding patch around the crown becoming prominent.

How do I know for sure if it’s Male Pattern Baldness?

The sure way to know if it’s genetic is by observing whether the hair loss is all over your scalp or just on the top. Male Pattern Hair Loss will not affect the back or sides so you can be almost certain of the condition if your thinning is confined to the top of the scalp.

If you notice these symptoms, it may well save you time, effort and frustration later on if you seek professional help as soon as possible. Even proven treatments can be ineffective once you have lost all of the hair from a certain area, and we have found that those clients who see the best results are those who take action swiftly – by contacting us – as soon as they notice that they are losing their hair. You can view our archive of success stories and photos for hundreds of testimonials from satisfied customers.

The Belgravia CentreThe Belgravia Centre

The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.

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22nd April, 2016 at 11:05 am

Carl Sargunar

I am losing my hair at the front and sides and I was wondering if you could recommend any products to try or suggestions. Thank you

22nd April, 2016 at 1:39 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Carl, this sounds like a receding hairline - Belgravia's specialists recommend treating this type of hair loss with appropriate formulations of high strength minoxidil from the wide range available from our in-clinic pharmacies. You can find out more about receding hairline treatments on our blog or can receive personalised advice and treatment recommendations from one of our specialists you can either arrange a free consultation or, if you location prohibits this, you can complete an Online Consultation.

16th May, 2016 at 7:58 am

David dylan

After cuttin my hair very low, i noticed that at the side of my head i had not much hair growin. Although i never had full hair at the side or front of my head, it was worse this time is there a way i can grow it out back

23rd May, 2016 at 11:16 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi David, one of our senior hair loss specialists has answered your question - we hope this is helpful to you.

22nd June, 2016 at 11:24 pm


Hello.. My hair was generally thick at a stage, but recently I've been noticing my hair thinning. I have no receding hairline, but often find hair falling, and these hairs are falling from the roots, it's been a while since I noticed this. One thing to take note of is that I blow dry my hair and iron it often, and thus this leads to confusion as to whether this could be hair damage, or hair loss. I'm 24 years of age, and I'm beginning to worry. Could this be male pattern baldness? My hair feels dead and thin, could it be hair damage instead? What could it be?

27th June, 2016 at 9:42 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi there, One of Belgravia's hair loss specialists has answered your question over on our blog - we hope you find this information helpful.

11th July, 2016 at 2:21 pm

Matthew Lenn

Hello, After buzz cutting my hair and then letting it grow out to roughly 2 inches I have noticed there are lots of small hairs on the top of my head that refuse to grow past the initial buzz cut length. I can feel them with my finger tips while running them over my scalp. There has got to be over a hundred of them. What is happening here? Regards, Matthew Male 35 years old

12th July, 2016 at 5:30 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Matthew, Here's an explanation for you - we hope this is helpful.

3rd August, 2016 at 12:56 pm

sayed ali

just what to find out i have very itchy scalp also it stings aswell an hair is gone lightalso forhead side going light

3rd August, 2016 at 1:50 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Sayed, we hope the following information on an itchy scalp and hair loss is useful to you.

21st August, 2016 at 11:42 pm


The hairline on one side is farther back than the front part of my hair and the other side of it, my little sister that is 4 also has this, is it a sign?

22nd August, 2016 at 9:09 am

Ranjit Shaw

Recently I lost over 60 pounds of weight after exercising and extreme dieting in about 5 months. For the past month and half experiencing a lot of hairfall. I am 20 years old. Hairfall is consistent throughout the scalp but more at the top. My Doctor says that there is no link between hairfall and extreme dieting and says it is genetic male baldness and prescribed mino quilib. I am now freaking out. Do you know what type of hairfall am I experiencing.

24th August, 2016 at 5:46 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Dillon, No, that sounds like it's just the natural shape of your hairline and not a sign of hair loss. If you are worried then keep an eye on it and if it does start to look as if it's moving backwards, we recommend you get a professional diagnosis from a hair loss specialist.

25th August, 2016 at 11:40 am


Hi Ranjit - here is a full response to your query which will hopefully explain the links between excessive exercising, rapid weight loss and hair loss.

29th September, 2016 at 7:20 am


I am 20 years old and over the past year I have noticed much less hair on the top of my head... my hair line has not changed however the crown of my head is beginning to feel and look very thin with noticeable small patches. I am really worried as to what I should do to ensure that if is in fact Male Pattern Baldness, I take the necessary steps as soon as possible.

5th October, 2016 at 1:44 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Izzy, please find a response to your query here

24th November, 2016 at 7:42 pm

Matthew Tyrrell

I've always had a high hairline and I have quite a lot of hair, not thick, but I've always had non-thick hair. However, I've noticed that my hairline is quite high on the sides of my head whenever I pin them back to examine. I don't know if I'm losing my hair for sure but I fear I am. It's one of my biggest fears in life.

24th November, 2016 at 7:44 pm

Matthew Tyrrell

Oh, and I forgot to mention I'm 22. Both my dad and brother have lost theirs, but my dad constantly reminds me that he and my brother were both younger than me when they started losing theirs.

28th November, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Matthew, here's a full response to your query from one of our hair loss specialists - we hope this is helpful.

6th February, 2017 at 10:31 am


Hi, i am 16 and i feel like the hair around my scalp is thinnibg out, it feels a lot thinner than the hair on the top on my head, when i run my hands through it you can clearly see my scalp, i dont know whether i am just being paranoid or i am starting to go bald,please get back to asap, many thanks archie

6th February, 2017 at 11:15 am

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Archie, we cannot give you any helpful information based on what you say here so if you would like to put your mind at rest we recommend you have a free consultation either in person at one of our Central London hair loss clinics, or online using the consultation form on our website.

4th March, 2017 at 6:43 pm


H'lo! I have very thick hair, to the point my barber typically will take shears to it to thin it out. So far I don't notice any thinning, or receding, but, my hair seems to coming out a lot on my hands when i wash and style my hair. It seems like not many of them have the root at the end, but it is pretty worrisome. How do i know if this is a sign of balding? Thanks!

6th March, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Sarah Belgravia

Hi Joe, it is normal to lose around 100 hairs per day and if there are no obvious signs of hair thinning, a lack of density or a receding hairline, then it is likely that this is just normal hair loss. We cannot diagnose any hair loss condition from the information you give here but if you would like a specialist to assess you, you are welcome to have a trichocheck either at one of our Central London hair loss clinics, or online if that is easier due to your location.

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