What is the difference between female pattern baldness and male pattern baldness?Home / Hair Loss / What is the difference between female pattern baldness and male pattern baldness?
Some hair loss is an inevitable part of the aging process. As we grow older, our hair cycle begins to slow down and we may lose more hair than we replace. This happens to just about everyone. It's just nature taking its course. However, permanent hair loss may develop due to a medical condition causing pattern baldness. In men, it is called male pattern baldness (MPB) and in women, it is referred to as female pattern baldness (FPB). In both cases it is caused by the hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone). In both men and women, when DHT is formed, the DHT will attach itself to a hair follicle. This will result in the loss of nutrients to the follicle and its associated hair strand. Eventually the hair strand falls out and the follicle shrinks and dies.
The difference between the two is primarily in the type of pattern that emerges as hair loss progresses. Though both men and women can have both MPB and/or FPB, it is usually men who have MPB and women who have FPB. MPB is characterized by a receding hairline and temples and the formation of a bald spot at the crown of the scalp. As MPB progresses the bald spot becomes larger and the hair line moves higher and higher until the hair at the top or vertex of the scalp is completely gone. In even the most severe cases of MPB hair remains intact at the sides and at the back of the head.
In FPB, there is essentially an overall thinning out of the hair on top of the head while the hair line remains intact, except in the most severe cases. Usually in FPB, one still has enough hair that it gives coverage to the scalp (i.e. no slick bald spots typically form), however if you part the hair you'll notice a bigger gap at the part. If you are suffering from any type of hair loss, seek medical attention. Only a doctor can determine the causes of hair loss. If the cause requires medical attention, hair loss specialist John Kahen, M.D. can offer you advice as to what treatments would work best for you.