Male Pattern Baldness: Causes and Cure at RichFeel
Male pattern baldness is one of the most common causes of hair loss in men. Worldwide, almost 62% of men in the age group of 20 to 40 years report significant loss of hair. Male pattern baldness begins with loss of hair from the front or crown area and follows a typical pattern. Experts have identified nine prominent stages through which male pattern baldness progresses. The main cause of male pattern baldness is the action of androgens on hair follicles. Apart from this some lifestyle factors such as poor nutrition, too much stress, smoking habits, and others too can contribute to hair loss in male pattern baldness. This article describes in detail the causes, risk factors, and treatment options to prevent hair loss and subsequent male pattern baldness.
What is Male Pattern Baldness?
Male pattern baldness is also known as androgenetic alopecia. It begins with loss of hair from front side causing the receding of hairline. The hair thinning starts as the gap between two hair increases and eventually exposes the scalp. The hair on the temples and crown portion start to become baby-like or Vellus; as the baldness proceeds through its advanced stages it disappears. At the final stage of male pattern baldness just a band of hair is left on the back and on the sides of the head. The rest of the head looks completely bald.
Who’s at Risk of Developing Male Pattern Baldness?
Men who have family history of baldness are at higher risk of developing male pattern baldness. The susceptible men start losing their hair in late teens and early twenties. And, affected men start showing signs of baldness by the time they reach their 30s.
What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?
The main contributing factor to male pattern baldness is the action of male hormones on the hair follicles. In men who are genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness, the androgens act on the hair follicles and destroy them. This is the reason male pattern baldness also gets the name androgenetic alopecia.
Experts also suggest that lifestyle factor such as poor nutrition, lack of sleep, low water intake, smoking, and mental stress too can trigger hair loss and contribute to male pattern baldness.
Common causes which trigger baldness in men who are genetically predisposed are,
- Emotional stress
- Erratic diet habits
- Low water intake
- Lack of sleep
- Irregular lifestyle
- Use of anabolic steroids or other supplements to gain lean muscle mass
What are the Treatment Options to Deal with Male Pattern Baldness?
Male pattern baldness and the hair loss associated with is a cause of much concern. Hair is a crowning glory and it is also tied to a person’s physical appearance and sexual identity. Therefore for ages experts have been on a lookout for techniques and treatments to cure hair loss. Our ancestors described some traditional remedies including herbal oils, snake venous, and some physical exercise to address hair loss and prevent baldness. But, unfortunately these claims have no clinical evidence.
Recently experts have identified some treatment options to prevent hair loss or control degeneration of hair follicle. The modern treatments mainly include agents that act against male hormones. Recently scientists have also discovered the role of prostaglandins in treatment of male pattern baldness. Hair transplant is the permanent solution to cover scalp which is exposed due male pattern baldness and it is also the most popular of all treatments for hair loss and baldness. Following are the available treatment options for male pattern baldness.
Anti-male hormones or DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) blockers are prescribed to control male pattern baldness and are are available as,
- Pharmacological forms-finepecia, propecia and finasteride
- In the natural forms-food supplements such as Green Tea and extracts of plant Serenoa repens (berry fruit)
Minoxidil is mainly prescribed control hair loss in men under the age of 40 years. Although minoxidil is used to stimulate hair growth the use of this medication does not cure completely baldness, instead it only increases the blood flow to the affected hair root showing a little improvement initially but is of no use in advanced stages. The hair becomes Minoxidil dependent and sheds off on stopping Minoxidil.
Hair wigs is perfect option for those who wish to have the entire density of hair restored instantly. Hair wigs are available in different styles, types, and price range. Some professional hair clinics offer hair wigs that are made up of processed human hair that are chemically treated. The hair wigs also come with variety of attachments such as clips or skin friendly adhesives.
Hair Thickening Fibre
This is a temporary camouflage method that includes sprinkling micro hair fibre on the hair that is thinning. The hair thickening fibres cling to the hair giving it a fuller and natural look.
Surgical Hair Transplant
Hair transplant is a surgical procedure and a perfect hair treatment for men to cure male pattern baldness. The surgical transplant includes hair grafting at bald patches. Surgical hair transplant is performed under local anaesthesia and done using two methods, Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). The FUT method is also known as the strip method and involves making an incision on the scalp at the back side that has a band of hair to remove a layer of skin containing hair follicles. These hair follicles are then extracted and planted at the bald area. The incision is put together using surgical sutures. Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) is less invasive and does not make an incision on the scalp. The procedure uses a special finest mechanized extractor to remove individual hair root from the donor area. The extracted hair is then implanted using a unique implantation tool in the recipient site.
Other Reasons for Hair Loss
Hair loss due to male pattern baldness follows a typical pattern. The bald patches start at the temples, crown and side portions. However, if the hair loss occurs suddenly instead of gradual development of bald patches over time, it can be due to some other reasons. Other reasons for hair loss include,
- Medical conditions like anemia or hormonal imbalances
- Chemotherapy treatments
- Taking medications such as blood thinners or steroids
- Scalp infections like dermatitis
- Mental Stress
Are There Any Complications From Male Pattern Baldness?
Male pattern baldness may not be a sign of any serious illness and may be mainly due to genetic predisposition. However, loss of hair is associated with increased risk of diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, or prostate cancer in men.
Hair Loss Treatment Results for Men
Hair loss treatments usually show positive results to control hair loss. However, it is not possible to reverse the male pattern baldness unless you go for hair transplant. Here is how the hair loss treatment for men shows their results.
DHT blockers: The DHT blockers control the conversion of testosterone into DHT. The DHT blockers also control the process of hair thinning and hold the hair in a condition for long period of time. Therefore DHT blockers are used to control hair loss that occurs in male pattern baldness.
Minoxidil: Minoxidil rejuvenates the dormant hair follicles by increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients. It promotes hair growth only after regular usage for about 6 months or more. However, if the application of minoxidil is discontinued hair loss can be seen again.
Hair Wigs: The modern hair systems or wigs can give natural-looking hair. The hair in the wigs is matched to your natural hair colour, texture and density. Since the hair cuticle is removed, it prevents tangling and also makes it easier to comb and style hair.
Hair Transplant: Surgical hair transplant gives a permanent solution to male pattern baldness. After the hair is transplanted in bald patches new natural hair growth can be seen in 6 to 8 months. Hair transplant treatment gives you your natural hair back and so helps to boost your confidence.