Hair Loss – What Can You Do About It?
Hair Loss – What Can You Do About It?
Male-pattern baldness, also called male pattern hair loss, is a condition in which hair begins to thin in all or most of the hair follicles, usually starting at the front of the scalp and proceeding back gradually to the sides and back of the head. Male-pattern baldness is often caused by an inherited high sensitivity to DHT. DHT is generated from testosterone, and is responsible for the formation of sperm.
Male-pattern baldness has been considered as the basis of hereditary baldness – if your father or mother suffer from male pattern baldness, you are also likely to suffer from it. However, in recent years, the correlation between baldness and heredity has been debated. Studies have shown that heredity is not a factor in 90% of cases. Instead, DHT is the culprit. This androgenetic alopecia is believed to be caused by an excess of DHT being absorbed into the skin, with the follicle eventually become sensitive to DHT and ceasing production of new hair.
In males, the body produces the hormone testosterone, which is essential for the growth of hair
In males, DHT is converted from testosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase. When DHT binds to the receptor site on the scalp, it causes the follicle to shrink, making baldness or thinning hair more obvious. This androgenetic alopecia is believed to be related to an excess of DHT in the scalp, with testosterone being the contributing factor. However, this theory is not entirely accurate due to the fact that there are also a variety of other factors that contribute to androgenetic alopecia.
One of these contributing factors is the way many men and women react to finasteride. Finasteride is often prescribed for people suffering from male pattern baldness, as it can have severe side effects that some people find unbearable. For these individuals, the use of topical minoxidil alternatives may be recommended instead. These topical treatments are made from a natural ingredient called ketoconazole and have been proven to be as effective at treating male pattern hair loss as finasteride.
Male-pattern baldness can also be attributed to the way some people react to treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy
Both of these treatments, when used over time, can lead to significant hair loss. Although they destroy individual hair follicles, they do not cause complete baldness in most people. Instead, they result in a type of hair called diffuse alopecia. This results in a gradual thinning of the scalp and does not cause baldness or total loss of hair.
Some of the symptoms of androgenetic alopecia are similar to the symptoms of premature hair aging. People who have excessive hair loss may also experience depression and stress, and some even become anxious and tense. Fortunately, there are now several products on the market that are designed to help people cope with androgenetic alopecia.
Minoxidil is one of these treatments
It works by blocking the production of DHT, which is the primary chemical in male pattern baldness. DHT is believed to be caused by excess testosterone levels in the body. In addition to helping prevent the loss of hair, it also helps raise high levels of DHT so that testosterone levels can return to normal. However, some people find that it takes a few months of treatment for the balding to cease.
Another product on the market, called propecia, blocks the production of testosterone as well. This is used for men who are undergoing loss of baldness as a side effect of DHT deficiency. Propecia works by preventing the production of DHT and testosterone, and as a result, the bald spots are eventually replaced by new growth. While this method is not considered a permanent cure, it can be used for a long time to control baldness.