Balding refers to the process of hair thinning or disappearing entirely. The most common balding is male pattern baldness, a condition that is defined by a person's genes and not by external factors. Male pattern baldness follows a receding hairline pattern, as well as a thinning on the crown.
Baldness starts when the hair follicles, which are small holes in the skin where hairs are produced, begin to shrink. As the follicles shrink, hair becomes thinner. Over time, the hair follicles simply stop producing hair, resulting in permanent baldness. The most common pattern seen in male baldness forms the shape of an M on the forehead.
Balding can also occur as a result of other conditions, like alopecia. This is a condition that results in large parts of the body stopping the production of hair entirely. Some medical treatments can also cause balding, including chemotherapy that is used to treat cancer.