Baldness, the lack or loss of hair. Two primary types of baldness can be distinguished: permanent hair loss, arising from abnormalities in or destruction of hair follicles, and temporary hair loss, arising from transitory damage to the follicles. The first category is dominated by male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia), which occurs to some degree in as much as 40 percent of some male populations. The hair loss in male pattern baldness progresses gradually, beginning with a characteristic recession of the hairline at the front or thinning of the crown hair and proceeding, in extreme cases, until only a thin rim of hair remains at the sides and back of the head (the “Hippocratic wreath”).