Male pattern baldness is something that affects nearly every male and it isn’t a topic that is easily discussed. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, more than 50 percent of men over the age of 50 will be affected by male pattern baldness to some extent. Androgenetic Alopecia is the medical name for hair loss in a well-defined pattern beginning above both temples with the hairline receding or thinning hair at the top of the head. Male pattern baldness can begin as early as the teenage years, but most commonly occurs in adult men and can take 15-25 years to go bald.
Causes of Male Pattern Baldness
The main cause of male pattern baldness is genetics. It is inherited through the family’s genes and DNA. Men who have close relatives on the maternal side of the family with male pattern baldness are at a higher risk than other men. Another factor baldness in men is taking too much of the chemical hormone, Dihydrotestosterone or DHT, which causes thinning and baldness. More recently, research has found that male pattern baldness is associated with men’s sex hormones called androgens, which has many functions including regulating hair growth.
How It Starts
The hair on our heads have a specific growth cycle that is a product of our hormones and genes. With male pattern baldness, the growth cycle weakens producing finer and less strands of hair. Over time the actual growth cycle for that specific hair ends and no new hair grows in its place.
What You Can Do
There is no known way to prevent male pattern baldness. But there are many different approaches to treatment from holistic to medical that are offered.
- One theory is that reducing stress by participating in relaxing activities will slow the hormones that speed up male pattern baldness.
- There are shampoos that are on the market to preserve and thicken the hair. Men’s Cuts carries Nioxin and Bosley shampoo and products designed to help maintain and thicken thinning hair for men. It is very important to note that when using any products for thinning, it is a life style change. It requires consistent use.
- Eating correctly might help. Eating protein-rich foods and healthy fats can make the hair that is there thicker and shinier. Consuming protein-filled food including spinach, chicken, fish, eggs and pork are just a few items that can help the hair look better.
- Once the hair follicles are completely dead, the only solution to treat male pattern baldness is grafting or some type of hair transplant. In the past, doctors used plugs that resembled crowns for hair transplants, which were not very attractive. Today, there are many more visually pleasing options. Doctors can surgically remove a strip of hair from the back of the head, dissect the hair graft under a microscope and then plant the individual grafts onto hair-thin areas on the scalp with tiny incisions. Once the incision heals, then the hair grows and looks natural.
- Once the hair follicle is completely gone and the scalp is smooth and shiny, a hair graft may be the only solution as well as hair plugs.
- There are medications, such as finasteride (commonly known as Propecia) and minoxidil (commonly known as Rogaine) that are on the market to treat male pattern baldness. They both work to lower the DHT levels and can achieve a measure of regrowth. Propecia is a daily medication, while Rogaine is a cream that has to be administered to the balding area every day. However, just like using the hair treatment shampoos, it is a life-long commitment. Once the medication is stopped, hair grown stops and within months, the hair growth that was started will be gone.
Men’s Cuts Can Help
Men who still have hair growth on the perimeter of the crown and the back of the neck can still benefit with a scalp massage, trim and hot lather neck trim. Just because you have less hair doesn’t mean you can’t continue grooming practices that keep you looking your professional best.
It could take some time to overcome hair loss, but overall this could be the best treatment. Consult with your hair stylists to find hair styles that are more suitable for your specific hair loss and your face. The stylists at Men’s Cuts are here to help men with limited hair loss find a style that can sometimes hide hair loss. Make an appointment today to see how you can look your best through hair loss.