Common Baldness Overview and Treatments
Male pattern baldness or permanent pattern baldness refers to common baldness and is the type of hair loss that commonly afflicts men. This is usually an inherited trait, passed from father to son. Generally, the earlier a man starts losing his hair, the more extensive the resulting hair loss. In male-pattern baldness a man's hair line begins receding before baldness appears at crown of the head. In both men as well as women, common baldness accounts for 90% of hair loss. Though the exact causes are uncertain, experts think heredity, hormonal changes, and age are contributing factors.

Unlike hair loss as a result of medication, disease, or other non-hereditary causes, common baldness is permanent. In women female-pattern baldness causes thinning over then entire scalp. Hair represents more than just hair. It is a conspicuous physical characteristic. Hair has wide-ranging cultural associations, it often represents youth, fashion, and sexuality. It is unsurprising that hair loss can be psychologically devastating to many people when it happens to them.

The average person loses between 50 to 100 strands of hair daily. This typically has no effect on overall hair quantity because new hairs replace those that have been shed. However, as a person gets older, this changes as the natural re-growth process slows down and ceases completely. It is then that thinning and baldness become evident. It is always advisable to speak to your physician about sudden hair loss to rule out medical causes. Like the skin and nails, hair goes through rest and growth cycles. If the cycle is disturbed by illness or stress, hair loss can can result.

Certain types of hair loss may be treatable. To rule out any medical causes, your doctor may ask you specific questions concerning your diet, any medication you may be taking, and whether or not you have suffered a recent illness. He or she may also question you about the specifics of your hair care routine. For women, menstrual cycle, menopause or pregnancies may be considered. An examination will be necessary to attempt to determine the cause of your hair. To further ascertain the cause of your problem blood tests and biopsies of the scalp may also be required.   

Depending on what type of hair loss you have suffered, specific treatments may be available. If your doctor believes your hair loss is being caused by a medicine you are taking, a different type of medication may be prescribed. Recognizing and treating illness and infections can also put a cease to the hair loss. Hair loss may be interrupted by correcting the body's hormonal balance. Certain medications, such as Minoxidil, might be prescribed to help slow the development of common baldness. This medicine, applied to the scalp, is available over the counter. It has been successful for both women and men. Prescription-only Finasteride is available in pill form. It is used only for men.

In order to see results, it may take up to to six months. If there is no available medication for your type of hair, there are alternatives. You might experiment with hair weaves, artificial hair replacement, different hairstyles, wigs, or hairpieces. The current offerings are very natural looking may effectively disguise your hair loss.