Alopecia and Male Pattern Baldness: What’s the Difference?

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It goes without saying that most of us don’t like to lose our hair, no matter how it happens – whether it's due to alopecia or male pattern baldness. However, we typically accept that having a few hairs fall out each day is a normal part of life in this human experience.

When the hair loss becomes more aggressive, and baldness begins to appear, that is when people generally start to feel a little different about themselves – typically in a negative way. We all understand that hair loss is a normal part of life, but when it happens to you personally, and you start to see bald patches appearing on your own head rather than somebody else's, your sentiment regarding the normalcy of hair loss often changes.

Frankly, losing your hair is a highly traumatic experience for many, despite its commonality. For men, baldness is often associated with age and masculinity. Losing your hair can make you feel older and less attractive. For women, hair loss is often seen as a symbol of reduced femininity. Losing your hair can make you feel like you’ve lost some beauty. 

When you start to lose your hair, it can be difficult to come to terms with it. You may feel like you are losing your youth or your sex appeal. But don’t worry – there have been countless scientific advancements in the past 30 years and there are now many well-vetted scientific treatments available to assist with alopecia or male pattern baldness.

The treatment process begins by knowing how and why your baldness is happening, because the most effective treatment for you will depend on your specific type of hair loss. 

Is alopecia the same as male pattern baldness? Let's examine the differences and attempt to understand the nuances between alopecia and male pattern baldness, then discuss the ideal treatments for each condition.


The term alopecia is somewhat confusingly used as both an umbrella term for any kind of hair loss, and also used to refer to a specific autoimmune disorder. In this case, we're referring to the auto-immune disease. The autoimmune form of alopecia balding specifically refers to a disorder that creates baldness that is not patterned or orderly – hair typically falls off in clumps in various parts of the scalp without much rhyme or reason.

Essentially, your immune system turns on your hair follicles, shutting them down and causing hair to fall out with no new hair to grow in its place.

The hair loss is usually temporary, but if alopecia is not treated, flare-ups can recur periodically until eventually you cannot regrow any hair.  There is no cure for alopecia, but there are medical treatments available to manage hair loss and restore the scalp to some measure of health.

Male Pattern Baldness (MPB)

The most common type of baldness in men is male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia. This type of baldness is caused by a combination of genetics and hormones. It usually starts with a receding hairline and then proceeds to thinning on the crown or top of the head.

MPB is caused by hormones and genetics. Men who have MPB are more likely to lose their hair if their father or grandfather was bald. MPB is a gradual process and can take years to happen. Male pattern baldness affects about 50% of men by the time they’re 50 years old.

As the name suggests, male pattern baldness, unlike alopecia, occurs in a pattern. Male pattern baldness also is not due to a medical condition or disease, but it’s usually genetic and hereditary.

Male pattern baldness has a rhythm to it. – First the hairline recedes, then hair at the crown of the scalp falls out and finally a horseshoe pattern of hair forms around the head. It is much more common than alopecia. The hair loss also does not come and go in stages like alopecia does.

Male pattern baldness can’t really be cured (yet) since it is a genetic issue, but there are a variety of different treatments that can help – including several hair-replacement procedures, like follicular unit extraction (F.U.E.) RESTORE’s state-of-the-art F.U.E. technology uses highly specialized equipment to safely and comfortably remove hair follicles, one at a time, from the back of the head.

Then, each hair follicle is implanted into your balding areas. Thanks to our expert artistry, the result is soft, natural and undetectable. After all, it’s your own hair, just transplanted from one spot to another.

Knowing the actual cause of your baldness can help you address it in an effective way so you don’t allow it to adversely impact your life. Alopecia and male-pattern baldness come from different places and they do not have to end with the same result.

Any baldness you see should be checked by a medical professional first, and then you can consider your options and get a professional opinion about all of the options available so you can make an informed choice about the best way to attack your baldness.

Treatment for Alopecia and Male Pattern Baldness

Now that you understand the difference between alopecia vs male pattern baldness, just know that there is no current cure for either alopecia or MPB, but there are treatments available that can help with hair growth.

If you’re worried about hair loss, the best thing to do is to contact a hair restoration specialist to discuss your options. RESTORE Hair has helped thousands get their hair back through advanced methods of hair restoration. Contact a specialist to discuss your hair restoration options at RESTORE Hair today!

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