How Does Male Pattern Baldness Usually Start?

Recently the back of my head has been experiencing irritation. It was a burning sensation then it became a stingy feeling and thinner hair. This occured when I used a product, doo gro oil, on my hair. I went days with reoiling my hair with an abundant amount with never washing it off. Then one day the back of my head was burning so bad. I ended up cutting my hair and the feeling went away. But when I was growing my hair again, the feeling came back along with my hair thinning. Is this MPB?

Doctor Answers 3

Male Pattern Baldness

It is hard to determine how much of your hair loss is due to MPB, and how much due to irritation-  a type of chemical burn alopecia.  I suggest you meet with a qualified hair specialist.

Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Male Pattern Baldness

This does not sound like male pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness--or androgenic alopecia--is simply the gradual (or sometimes quick) loss of hair in certain DHT sensitive areas. These area include:

  • The hairline
  • The temple points
  • The mid-frontal scalp
  • The vertex/crown

Rather than feeling a physical sensation, MPB is a cosmetic condition you begin noticing when looking in the mirror. Referring to your family history of male pattern baldness is a good indicator as to whether you're likely to develop the condition.

Sanusi Umar, MD
Redondo Beach Dermatologic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

How Does Male Pattern Baldness Usually Start?

It sounds like the "doo gro oil" was the offender for the irritation. I have not heard of male pattern baldness (MPB) causing such symptoms as burning. MPB can start in the teens or as late as the sixties. It is a response to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which comes from testosterone. Some men have more DHT than others. Those using anabolic steroids, of course, have much more, which explains their hair loss. Some hair follicles are genetically coded to respond to DHT by losing their ability to grow hair. Typically the hair in the back and on the sides does not respond to DHT, and , therefore, is a good donor site for harvesting hair for a hair transplant. These follicles will continue to grow hair for decades, if not the life-time of the patient.

In the meantime, I would suggest using Rogaine 5% foam and Propecia, and not some unproven product. Rogaine and Propecia will help thicken your hair, but will not resurrect the hair follicles that have stopped growing hair all together.

E. Ronald Finger, MD
Savannah Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.