Male Pattern Baldness (androgenetic alopecia) may be traumatic for many reasons. Hair feels much thinner than before? The bald spot on the crown feels bigger and bigger? Then you’re probably suffering from hair loss, which commonly affects a large proportion of men. How much, how fast and when varies from person to person. For some, hair loss begins at a young age and for others, much later in life.
What Types Of Hair Loss Are There?
Hereditary hair loss is arguably the most common type of hair loss for both men and women but is much more common in men. Depending on how it looks in the family, hair loss can begin as early as the teenage years.
Alopecia Areata is a skin disorder that causes patchy hair loss and is more stressful mentally than physically. The disease is an autoimmune disease and is available in three variants, Alopecia Areata, alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis. The former involves patchy hair loss, the next is means hair simply falls off, and the latter means that you lose all body hair. The disease is not hereditary and does not have to be permanent, so there is a chance to get back hair.
There are also other diseases and medical treatments that can improve hair growth, and it is best to always ask your doctor for advice. After all, each person is different from the next.
Why Men Suffer From Hair Loss?
When talking about male pattern baldness, DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is often mentioned. This is when male sex hormone inhibits hair follicle and cause the hair loss itself. This is sometimes not caused by any serious hormonal disorder, and in the assessment of male hair loss treatments, doctors do not believe that this is a true disease. However, suffering from hair loss is stressful psychologically.
If you suffer from hereditary hair loss (the most common form), you usually see no signs of any noticeable disease. But surely the hairline is creeping back on top of the head. This leads to low hair density and finally the hair disappear altogether.
Treatment of Male Pattern Baldness
Research on male pattern hair loss have increased as the men become more aware and concerned about their appearances. Today there are a number of methods that deal with male pattern baldness. Is it a minor problem? One can adapt to the amount of hair or shave off his hair. For those of you who feel that you really want to do something about your hair loss, there are different ways to go.
- Drug treatment for male pattern baldness
There are approved drugs, both non-prescription and prescription with proven efficacy against male pattern baldness. Discuss with your doctor what options may be appropriate for you.
It is good to discuss your symptoms with a doctor first because even the non-prescription treatments can cause side effects and it is important to rule out cardiovascular disorders before treatment with minoxidil which is available as an over-the-counter drug.
- Hair transplant surgery
Plastic surgery has in recent years become increasingly popular. There are various methods, the most common is to take a piece of hair from the neck which is divided into small pieces containing about 1-3 hair follicles. These are then transplanted to the bald areas. Because the hair follicles in the neck are not affected by the male sex hormone so you don’t lose the transplanted hair.
In most hair transplant cases, the doctors tend to recommend continuing with drugs after the surgery. Because the best results are to be able to keep some of the usual hair along with the transplant. The effects of hair transplantation vary depending on the quality of hair in the neck and scalp elasticity.
Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Hair Loss
1st What is male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia, is when the hair thins and eventually falls off altogether. It can affect men of all ages, and it is common for the hair on the scalp and temples to thin out. Then the hair gradually fall off until the two areas meet, causing the characteristic rim (horseshoe shape) of remaining hair in bald men.
2nd What causes male pattern baldness?
Many medical experts believe that the cause is hereditary and is caused by an imbalance in the levels of DHT, dihydrotestosterone. Because of these genetic factors, the hair follicles in men are very sensitive to DHT, and it can cause them to shrink. In the end, the hair follicles get so small that they can no longer function as they should.
3rd What other causes can result in hair loss?
Many other factors may weigh in, both physical and mental. Stress, depression and anxiety can all cause you to start losing hair faster than normal. Hair loss can also be caused by diseases and imbalances in the levels of hormones. Other causes may be:
- Disturbance of hormone balance
- Diseases and infections
- Psychiatric disorders that cause nervousness and stress
- Toxic substances
4th Can male pattern baldness be cured?
Since male pattern baldness is genetic, as opposed to a viral illness or lifestyle disease, there is no cure. However, there are a number of treatments that can help you from losing too much hair, stop hair loss and get your hair to start growing again. You will most likely need to talk to your doctor to find the best option.
5th What topical treatments are available?
The best-known topical treatment is minoxidil (marketed as Rogaine); and is a cream that is applied to the scalp. Minoxidil is available in concentrations of 2% and 5% and can take as long as up to a year for hair growth results. Minoxidil must be applied twice daily and is unsuitable for male under 16 years of age.
6th What are the surgical procedures for hair loss?
Cosmetic surgery may be the only permanent solution to the problem of male pattern baldness; although some of these operations have to be done several times. The most well known is hair transplant surgery. Where the doctor take hair from an area of good hair growth to an area that is thinning out or even completely bald.
7th What are the prescription medications?
Propecia is the most effective prescription medication available for the treatment of male pattern baldness. Propecia has helped in most cases to stop hair loss; and over two thirds of these patients experience significant positive changes in the regrowth of hair. Propecia comes as pills where you must take daily. Side effects are rare, but can include a decrease in sex drive in about 2 of every 100 patients.
8th When is it best to start with Propecia?
There is no specific time that is better than anyone else; but it’s best to start taking Propecia as early as possible. If you start treatment as soon as you feel that your hair becomes thinner, the better chance that you can regain all your hair back.
9th How can I slow down hair loss?
Even if you cannot guarantee results, one can follow a diet with plenty of zinc, copper, iron, calcium and vitamins B-12 and B-7 to help inhibit hair loss. Vitamin A helps your scalp to produce sebum, a natural oil that stimulates hair growth.
10th Are there natural treatments for male pattern baldness?
The most common treatment is saw palmetto, a palm oil which contains Finasteride, the active ingredient in medications like Propecia. Studies have shown that palm oil is an effective anti-androgen, which works like Propecia by lowering the levels of DHT in the body, which causes hair follicles to not shrink as much.