It's the bane of many men's existence, but there could be a cure on the way.
Male pattern baldness occurs in 80 percent of men under 70, according to WebMD, and doesn't discriminate--Prince William, not yet 30, famously sports thinning locks.
But researchers think there could be hope on the horizon for those despairing the loss of their hair.
A new study, published in the March 21 issue of Science Translational Medicine, finds that balding men have higher levels of a protein called prostaglandin D2 on their scalps. The protein is known to block hair loss.
If the protein is found to directly correlate with baldness, it would be a huge breakthrough, as no direct cause for male pattern baldness has ever been determined.
Study author Dr. George Cotsarelis of the University of Pennsylvania says scientists are now working to determine of blocking the gene that triggers the protein would reverse balding or prevent it.
If it's found to reverse balding, Cotsarelis says it could lead to a topical treatment that stimulates hair growth.
That treatment could be available in five years.