Males usually develop a receding hairline, which develops into the typical ‘M’ shape as they begin to lose hair from the lateral sides of the forehead. At the same time, a progressive bald patch develops on the crown of the head. When these two areas join, they leave the remaining hair in a horseshoe-shaped area.

Male hair loss occurs when the hair follicles shrink and produce increasingly finer hair. Finally, they yield no hair at all. The causes can range from genetic predisposition to changes in the levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone. Though it is also marginally present in females, testosterone determines the physical differences between men and women – including the degree of ‘hairiness’. For instance, an excess of it can cause an abnormality termed ‘hirsutism’, or abnormally prolific hair growth.

Close to 65% of males suffer from hair loss to some degree or the other. For those who do, it may have more serious ramifications than merely cosmetic ones. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School linked it to a higher incidence of heart disease. The study proposed that male hair loss on the front of the head indicates a 9% increase in such a risk, while hair loss on the crown indicates a risk factor as high as 23%.

The options for treating male hair loss are presently limited to the use of oral finasteride, topical application of minoxidil, natural hair transplants, and the like. Of course, camouflage via hair weaving, wigs, and toupees are alternatives - probably the most cost-effective and least risky ones.
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