A significant percentage of men will experience “male pattern hair loss” as they get older. Male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) is usually characterized by a receding hairline that starts at the temples, or a patch of baldness that occurs on the back of the head. Over time, the hair begins to gradually thin, resulting in partial or complete baldness. Male pattern hair loss is most often a result of hereditary factors, and is associated with hormones called androgens. These hormones disrupt the growth cycle of hair follicles, causing hair production to progressively decrease. It is known that androgen levels are a key factor in male pattern hair loss. Higher levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the scalp area are strongly linked with baldness: in men with hair loss problems, consistently high levels of DHT are seen. Some treatments for men are also effective for treating women with hair loss. Hair loss should not be treated as a purely medical problem. It can negatively affect one’s self-esteem and be a cause of social anxiety. Fortunately, advancements in topical and oral medications and restorative options such as hair transplantation have helped individuals reduce hair loss and restore fuller hair.
Common features of male pattern hair loss include: Gradual or sudden thinning of hair, beginning at the temples or the top of the head The rate of hair loss in an individual is unpredictable
Male pattern hair loss is typically caused by the presence of higher levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the scalp area. Hairs have a cycle of growth, rest, and shedding. DHT can often disrupt the natural life cycle of hair, causing the time of growth to shorten. During each regrowth cycle, the hairs become thinner and smaller in a process called miniturazation Cases of sudden or extreme hair loss may also be brought on by poor diet, medication or an underlying medical condition. And should not be thought of as male pattern baldness.
Use gentle shampoos and conditioners to cleanse the hair. After washing your hair, let it naturally air dry. Hot air dryers can often damage hair and cause it to break. Activities such as over-brushing or over-styling the hair can often lead to more hair loss. Use a large-toothed comb to minimize the risk of breaking or pulling out hair. Avoid hairstyles that pull on the hair such as ponytails. Cut back on hair styling products that contain alcohol, which may irritate the scalp.
The best strategy is to consult a dermatologist when you first notice any signs of excessive shedding to make certain that an underlying medical condition is not the actual cause. Only a qualified physician can dispense proper advice and medical treatment to minimize or reverse hair loss.
Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a common over-the-counter treatment for hair loss in both men and women. It has been shown to effectively decrease hair loss and increase hair density. Minoxidil can come in a foam or liquid and is applied directly to the affected area.
A doctor may prescribe Propecia, which stops the conversion of testosterone into DHT, which is commonly believed to promote hair loss. 1 mg per day has proven decrease in hair loss and increase in hair density in a large sample of treated men, and is shown to be more effective than Rogaine alone, or a placebo.
Hair transplantation is an alternative with more permanent effects. There have been significant advances in both the methodology and the practice and art of hair transplantation, allowing this procedure to recreate hairlines and hair density that looks natural. However, this procedure can be quite costly and require multiple visits for treatment.