Hi, I am new here to the forums and I'm coming here kind of just to figure out what I can do about my situation. I'm 21 years old and experiencing significant hair loss, presumably due to male pattern baldness. I'm pretty sure I'd be the perfect model for the worst hair loss at the youngest age EVER. It started a few years ago...looking back at pictures, I think I can say it started when I was 17. My hairline began receding and thinning at the corners of my forehead, and then it just took off crazy fast. I have lost almost all the hair on the top of my head. I still have hair...it grows...but it's so thin and weak and light in color that it's almost unnoticeable from a distance. The person who told me it was likely male pattern baldness was my dermatologist. He took one look at it and could say so just by the pattern of it. I was actually going to this dermatologist for acne issues at the time. I had acne in my teens and tried a bunch of different over-the-counter treatments before going to see him. He first put me on an antibiotic called doxycycline, but that didn't get rid of my acne. Then we tried another one called minocycline. That didn't work either. So we finally went to the "last resort"...isotretinoin (which used to be branded as Accutane). That was a complicated process because they require you get blood tests and everything to ensure the drug doesn't harm you. (the truth is there is no evidence at all that it harms you, it's just that some people had severe side effects or committed suicide while on it, so they have to monitor it closely) Isotretinoin worked and got rid of my acne completely, and with very minor side effects. Unfortunately my acne came back a little 6 months later and I went on a 2nd course of it. My hair loss was going on during all this time...during the antibiotics and then isotretinoin. At first I thought maybe the medications were causing it, but the dermatologist assured me it was very unlikely. He said it's almost certainly genetic and offered to put me on Minoxidil or propecia if I wanted. I declined because at that point I had already lost so much hair and I didn't want to waste time and money on that when it would never regrow all my hair. I guess it is male pattern baldness because I can see evidence of it in my family, although NOT on my mother's side. My dad actually lost pretty much all the hair on the top of his head in his 20s. Up until just recently, I never even knew this because he wears a glued-on hairpiece made of real hair that looks totally natural. He never told me about it until now. It's one of those ones where they attach it and it stays on for a few weeks, and you can shower, swim, and do absolutely everything with it on, and then they refresh it every few weeks. He didn't even tell my mom until years after they met. And my grandfather (my DAD's dad) also had lost pretty much all of his hair on the top by the time he passed away in his 60s. What I've realized is that my hair loss has significantly hurt my life. I don't have the best facial features as it is, and a full head of hair would help cancel that out, but with this balding head of mine, I look sick and old. I'm 21 and I'm supposed to feel young and attractive and I don't. I'm in good physical shape because I workout and play sports, but it doesn't matter. My face and head are not good looking and it has hurt my social life and my luck with girls. I wear hats every single day just to look decent and during the occasional event I cannot wear one (like a job fair or job interview), I feel so ugly and unconfident, it's terrible. I tried shaving my head entirely with a razor a few weeks ago, but I don't look good with a shaved head because my facial features don't work well with it and also because I'm not tan enough. My head is white and sickly looking. And the other problem is I have a small scar on the back of my head from a cut when I was little, and it bleeds whenever I shave my head and is really hard to stop, and then there's dried blood on my bare head. I can't go out like that. I attached a few pictures...take a look at them. I've also noticed strange things going on with my hair in general besides the hair loss on top. Like, on the sides by my ears...that's where it's the thickest, but it's also patchy. The back of my head is uniform but seemingly lighter in color than the sides. WTF is going on with my hair??? It seems so chaotic. So I'm here mostly to introduce myself, see if the users on a hair loss forum can offer me any advice or support, or information of any kind. I've seen news lately about potential breakthroughs in science (with certain chemicals and drugs) that might make a cure for baldness possible in the future. But how soon? Haven't they been saying that forever? I try to keep my confidence up, but every time I look in the mirror I fall down into a low place mentally because of my balding at such a young age. I've watched hundreds of YouTube videos already of people saying it doesn't matter; just shave your head, workout and you'll be fine. And I actually see a handful of guys in college that are also going bald but they look good with shaved heads...I simply don't. It works for some people, but not me. And so I feel like I can never escape this horrible place I'm in.