Male Specifics

malespecificsThe male hormone testosterone circulating throughout the body has receptor sites to which an enzyme attaches itself. The specific enzyme is called 5-alpha reductase. It is formed in scalp tissue and in the sebaceous glands which are adjacent to each follicle. When this enzyme attaches itself to the testosterone, it triggers the conversion of this hormone into DHT (dihydrotestosterone). Certain cells that comprise the hair follicles in turn have receptors to which this DHT attaches itself. The number of these receptors and their sensitivity varies depending on where the hair follicles are on the scalp. Follicles in areas of the scalp that become characteristically bald probably have more receptor sites and these receptor sites tend to be more sensitive to DHT. DHT once it becomes attached to the hair follicles has an adverse effect on these follicles in several ways:

  • It shortens the growing (anagen) stage of the follicles and possibly lengthens the resting (telogen) stage.
  • It causes a shrinking (miniaturization) of the follicles so that they can no longer produce a hair thick in diameter.
  • It may cause a constriction of the capillaries that nourish the follicles.

The Ogata male pattern baldness classification systemIn 1953 Ogata published a detailed pattern baldness classifiaction system based on the study of Janapese men. He classified six basic hair loss development types shown below. The classification system is somewhat different from classification systems produced based on Caucasian men suggesting the devleopment of pattern baldness in Japanese men may be distinct from Caucasians.
The first column shows a normal hairline for Japanese men according to Ogata. The second, third, and fourth columns respectivly represent early, intermediate, and late stages of pattern baldness.


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