Baldness or fast approaching baldness is often a phenomenon noticed amongst men between 20 and 60 of ages. The phase of approaching baldness is quite painful psychologically for those suffering from it. While there are various factors leading to baldness in men, the most commonly seen amongst them all is Male Pattern Baldness. Also known by the terms like Androgenic alopecia, androgenetic alopecia or alopecia androgenetica, male pattern baldness is when the hair loss starts happening in a sort of pattern.
Usually, the hairline starts receding, while the hair on the crown and the sides of the scalp also start thinning out. The result might be hair growth in only a part of the scalp. In extreme conditions, at times, male pattern baldness might also lead to the baldness of whole scalp.
Before moving on to understanding its causes, let us first understand how the situation of male pattern baldness works. Typically, a strand of hair grows for 2 to 6 years before falling off. A new hair then re-grows from the follicle. In male pattern baldness, the hair follicle starts shrinking and the new hair also starts thinning. The life cycle of this hair also reduces, hence the incidence of hair fall increases. Taking around ten to fifteen years to fully take its effect, the shrinking hair follicle shrinks to such levels that finally no re-growth of hair is possible, thus leading to the bald patches.
A lot of research has been conducted on male pattern baldness and it has been noticed that many genetic, hormonal and lifestyle reasons lead to this condition in males.
– Research indicates that in most men, the male pattern baldness is genetic in nature. The X-chromosome in men is what largely determines the baldness pattern in men, while there are other genes also, which are related to male pattern baldness. Researches also prove that a variant of the androgen receptor is the one leading to the condition of baldness.
– many hormonal changes in men during puberty or later in lives result in male pattern baldness. Research has proved that men with high levels of free or unbound testosterone are more prone to developing male pattern baldness. An enzyme in the scalp and follicle called 5alpha-reductase results into the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). At times, the follicles become extremely sensitive to this converted dihydrotestosterone and get damaged.
– while the genetic and hormonal factors are the ones most influencing the advent of male pattern baldness, it has also been noticed that few lifestyle related factors also lead to the hastening of the procedure. A high calorie, fat diet and a lazy lifestyle, result in the setting of the male pattern baldness. At times, stress has also been noticed to accelerate the hair fall amongst men.
While the factors resulting in male pattern baldness might be more, the ones above mentioned are most common. Once you visit a doctor, he will suggest you various tests and ask for your family’s genetic history.
As the causative is identified, one can start working towards solving it. Few of the most commonly used and effective treatments employed in order to treat Male pattern baldness are – Minoxidil, which comes in the form of solution and is directly applied on the scalp. The solution results in arresting the process of testosterone conversion and hence, reduces damage to the follicles, enhancing the hair growth. Another prescribed medicine in town is Finasteride, which comes in the form of tablets and works in almost the same way as Minoxidil. Even though both the medicines are quite effective, once you stop consuming these, the effect might pass too.
Some people also go in for hair grafting or transplants, which have also proved to be extremely effective in curing baldness. While many others, who cannot afford these sure-shot medicines, also try for wigs or a change in hair style.
In order to save yourself from the male pattern baldness, start caring for your lifestyle. Exercise and aerobics have been proved to reduce the levels of free testosterone in the male body, thereby reducing the hair fall and damage to the follicles. Eat traditional, non-complex food, while also reducing usage of chemicals on your hair. In case you are worried about the hair fall, contact the doctors immediately and seek for a treatment. Further, try using soft shampoos, or shampoos containing chemicals like minoxidil in them.
The problem of hair loss is not a problem any more, what with so many geniuses of the products in the market, serving millions and helping the hair grow back!