Online Doctor

Hair Loss

Throughout your life, you will lose hair on a regular basis - but most of it grows back. However, some people experience male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), a genetic condition that causes the hair follicles to shrink and slows down the growth of new hair.

Typically beginning as a receding hairline in an M shape, the hair on the scalp gradually becomes thinner, leaving only the hair around the sides of the head.

As one of the most common conditions in men, hair loss can occur in young males, too, with 16% of 18-29-year-olds experiencing moderate balding—over 50% of men aged 50 experience balding, which can cause self-esteem issues (NCBI).

At Pharmacy Online, we offer a range of treatments for hair loss. From tablets to topical solutions, our treatments are clinically proven to stimulate hair growth and reduce the effects of male pattern baldness.

Male pattern baldness versus average hair loss

Did you know the average person sheds up to 100 hairs daily? Hair, as with most things, goes through a life cycle, and we grow new strands to replace the lost ones.

However, male pattern hair loss occurs with excessive shedding but minimal regrowth. While alopecia can cause hair loss over the entire body, male pattern baldness gets its distinct name from how people with the condition shed hair.

The Norwood Scale

Characterised by its distinctive M shape, males lose hair from the crown and temples instead of the back and sides of their head. The Norwood Scale is used to track hair loss and grade it from one to seven, with seven being the most advanced stage.

  • Stage One: There are no signs of balding, but the adolescent hairline is transitioning to an adult one.
  • Stage Two: As the temples deepen, the hairline can recede across the brow crease.
  • Stage Three: Many consider stage three the start of male pattern baldness, with more receding and thinning hair.
  • 3 Vertex: The 3 Vertex stage is where hair loss begins on the crown and becomes more noticeable.
  • Stage Four: Further hair loss begins to appear at the front of the head and crown. However, there's also a bridge or strip of hair that separates the bald spots.
  • Stage Five: When stage five occurs, the hair loss worsens, and the gap separating bald spots becomes smaller.
  • Stage Six: The gap is completely gone, although the crown and sides still have hair growth.
  • Stage Seven: As the worst stage of male pattern baldness, there's some hair around the sides and back of the head, but baldness along the crown.

The causes of male pattern hair loss

Generally, male pattern baldness is a result of both genetic and hormonal factors. While it tends to predominantly impact older men, teenage boys can show signs of the condition, which will worsen as they age.

Genetics & hormones

If other family members experience hair loss, it's more likely to impact you. For example, someone with a parent or grandparent who suffers from male pattern baldness has a higher chance of experiencing it than someone without a family history.

Your genetic profile will determine your sensitivity to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a testosterone-based hormone. As an androgen hormone, DHT is responsible for many features that separate males from females, but high levels can reduce hair follicles and disrupt the growth cycle.


As many men grow older, their hair falls out, and male pattern balding begins to appear. However, it can also happen in teenage boys, gradually worsening with age.

Other causes of hair loss

All hair loss can damage a person's confidence, but some forms don't fit the criteria for male pattern baldness. It's also important to remember that females can suffer from hair loss too:


Chemotherapy is an effective treatment for slowing down and treating cancer. However, it also causes hair loss in 99.9% of people, with 98% experiencing the regrowth of scalp hair once they finish their cancer treatment.

Autoimmune conditions

An autoimmune condition occurs when the immune system attacks healthy cells, resulting in various symptoms. Hair loss is one of the most common side effects, especially when a person is suffering from thyroid disorders, Lichen Planopilaris and lupus.


Some people notice hair loss when they're under excessive stress, including grief, issues at work and postpartum hormone imbalances. In most cases, stress causes temporary hair loss, and it regrows once the stress disappears.


Medication for high blood pressure and blood thinners can sometimes cause hair loss as a side effect. Diffuse hair loss causes loss throughout all areas of the scalp, making it different from pattern baldness. Asking your doctor to decrease your dosage or switching to a new medicine usually results in hair regrowth.

Can females suffer from pattern baldness?

Yes, female pattern hair loss is a common condition, but it occurs in different ways than male pattern balding. The hair loss typically begins in the centre of the scalp and slowly worsens as it spreads across the scalp, with post-menopausal women being most at risk.

While female pattern hair loss has similar causes as its male counterpart, the pattern is significantly different, with stages including:

  • Stage One: A tiny bit - or no - hair loss.
  • Stage Two: Some women notice a small gap in the hair parting.
  • Stage Three: The gap widens, and women experience minor hair loss on the sides of their parting line.
  • Stage Four: As the shedding worsens, a gap appears at the front of the hairline.
  • Stage Five: The balding begins to advance and becomes more recognisable.

If females experience pattern balding, they'll need treatment as the hair won't grow back. According to Harvard Health, around one-third of women experience the condition, with women over 40 being most at risk.

Diagnosing male and female pattern hair loss

Pattern baldness is easy to identify as it has distinct characteristics. Booking an appointment with your GP or other healthcare professional will allow them to look at where you're losing hair and diagnose pattern hair loss.

You'll answer questions, including when you first noticed the hair loss and whether it occurs in your family. Some will also use a densitometer, which measures how thick your follicles are.

If your GP isn't sure pattern baldness is causing the hair loss, they might also order some tests to check for other conditions, including:

  • Looking for other scalp conditions and potential infections
  • Doing blood tests
  • Sending a sample of your hair off for analysis
  • Performing a scalp biopsy

Once you have a confirmed diagnosis, you can explore options for treating hair loss and promoting regrowth.

Cosmetic and surgical hair loss treatments

Some people treat hair loss with various cosmetic and surgical solutions, which can offer good results. However, these treatments are expensive and might not have the desired results.

Before considering investing in any of the following, it's important to do your research and consult a professional.

Hair transplants

Some people with permanent hair loss opt for hair transplant surgery, which is a complex procedure. A specialist will take a skin graft from an area of your body with healthy hair follicles and then move it to problem areas on your scalp.

This method, known as Follicular Unit Transportation, boosts hair growth in months, but patients are left with a linear scar. For this reason, many people are turning to Follicular Unit Extractions.

FUE procedures are when surgeons remove each hair follicle and transplant it to the bald areas, which doesn't leave a scar.

These surgeries often take several hours, with swelling and bruising being common. The hair can take a year to develop, but some people find the results differ from what they expected.

Red light therapy

Commonly known as low-level laser therapy, red light treatments are popular because they're non-invasive and don't require any recovery time. The procedure involves using a red light to stimulate hair growth through cellular production and increased blood flow.

Caps, combs and helmets with red lights embedded in them can gradually encourage your follicles to promote hair regrowth, but the procedure doesn't always offer consistent results.

If you use low-level laser therapy regularly, you might see some positive changes, but it does take time, and frequent usage is key.

PRP Therapy

Platelet-rich plasma therapy is a relatively new hair growth treatment that has demonstrated positive results for people (NIH). The therapy involves collecting a small amount of your blood and using a centrifuge to isolate the plasma and its rich platelet content.

A specialist will then inject the plasma into your scalp skin, which can stimulate growth. However, while this method has benefits, you'll need regular sessions to see results, and it's best during the early stages of pattern baldness.

With sessions ranging from between £180 to £600, you might spend thousands on injections but only see minor improvements.

Medications to treat hair loss

Often considered a first line of treatment, medications can stimulate hair growth and prevent further balding. There are two main medicines offered in the UK: minoxidil and finasteride. Both have their benefits, but women should avoid finasteride.


Minoxidil is highly effective for treating hair loss in its early stages. Originally developed as a medicine for high blood pressure, it gained recognition for its ability to stimulate hair follicles and is popular for male pattern baldness.

As a clinically proven treatment for androgenetic alopecia, applying topical minoxidil can slow hair loss and prevent the progression of pattern balding. However, it won't treat moderate levels of baldness and is best as a first-line or preventative treatment.

Women can use minoxidil, and there are special formulations available. Men can use Regaine Foam to combat hair loss, and the side effects are usually minimal. The treatment might cause unwanted hair growth in some cases, but it's rare.


Finasteride is a prescription medication used to treat male pattern baldness. Available in tablet form under the brand name Propecia, the medicine prevents the hormone DHT from being created, allowing hair follicles to grow to their standard size.

Studies show that people can also experience hair regrowth over time, with results being most common in the first and second years of treatment (PubMed). As a medication formulated for men, most healthcare professionals advise it's not suitable for women.

Finasteride can potentially harm a foetus and fertility, but some doctors will prescribe it in post-menopausal women with extreme female pattern baldness. However, due to the high-risk warnings and potential side effects, women should find alternative treatment options.

Access hair loss treatment options with Pharmacy Online

Hair loss is a highly treatable condition. The right medication can treat various types of hair loss, reducing the effects and giving you more confidence.

Pharmacy Online is a fully registered UK pharmacy offering a range of effective treatments that encourage hair growth. Whether you're looking for topical treatments or tablets, we have various options.

Complete a short online assessment

As a reputable pharmacy, we ask you to complete a short assessment to determine your eligibility for different hair loss treatments. Once you've answered the questions, a medical professional will issue a prescription.

We ship all medicines in discreet packaging directly to your door. If you have any questions about our treatments or aren't sure where to start, please contact our dedicated pharmacists.


The most common cause of hair loss in men is the genetic condition known as male pattern baldness. Other possible causes include: 

  • Hormone imbalance
  • Illness 
  • Chemotherapy 
  • Certain blood thinners and high blood pressure medications
  • Autoimmune disease 
  • Medical conditions 


Hair loss in males can be reduced by using a drug type known as alpha-reductase inhibitors. These work by reducing testosterone production, which can be the cause of hair loss, as it encourages the shrinking of hair follicles.

At Pharmacy Online, we have different hair growth tablets and treatments available to you – speak to a member of our team today to get started.


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