If your hairline is receding or your crown is thinning, you may be wondering why and what is causing your thinning hair. You may also be wondering what you can do, if anything, to reverse this trend.
Continue reading to learn more about why men lose their hair and treatments that may help slow the balding process.
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What Causes Baldness in Men?
Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, is the most common cause of baldness in men. As a result of this inherited trait, men’s hairlines recede and their crowns thin due to a genetic sensitivity to testosterone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
So, how does this hormonal byproduct contribute to hair loss?
DHT-sensitive hair follicles, on the other hand, tend to shrink over time. Each hair’s life span decreases as the affected hair follicles shrink. The affected follicles eventually stop producing hair, or at least the type of hair you’re used to.
Hair loss in men with male baldness typically follows a predictable pattern. The two most common types of hair loss are as follows:
- There is a gradual thin patch of hair on top of the head and around the temples. It may eventually form a “horseshoe” pattern around the sides and back of the head.
- Hair recedes from the front of the hairline, pushing the hairline further back.
A Norwood classification system is used to assess men’s degree and progress of baldness. It is divided into seven stages that assess the severity and pattern of hair loss and baldness.
Although male baldness is the most common cause of hair loss, it is not the only condition that can cause hair loss. The conditions listed below can cause varying degrees of hair loss. Some types of hair loss are irreversible, while others are:
1. Alopecia Areata
This condition causes your immune system to attack healthy hair follicles, resulting in hair loss. Hair usually falls out in small patches on your head, but it can also affect other body parts. For example, you may notice a bald spot in your beard, eyelashes, or brows. The hair may or may not regrow.
2. Telogen Effluvium
It is common for excessive hair shedding to occur 2 to 3 months after facing a shock or stressful event. Hair loss can be caused by an accident, surgery, illness, drastic weight loss, or psychological stress. Hair typically regrows in 2 to 6 months.
3. Nutritional Deficiency
Iron and other nutrient levels must be optimal for good overall health and hair growth. Protein, vitamin D, and an adequate intake of other vitamins from your diet are also necessary for healthy hair. A lack of one or more of these nutrients may result in more hair loss than usual.
Male baldness can be treated with both prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Minoxidil and Finasteride are two medications that have been shown to treat or prevent further male pattern hair loss (Rogaine, Ioniten). A prescription is required for finasteride, which is available in pill form. Minoxidil is a topical treatment that is available without a prescription. Minoxidil 5% can help you stop hair loss and help in hair regrowth.
Either treatment can take at least 6 months to produce results.
2. Laser treatment
Low-level laser therapy can be used to stimulate hair follicles and increase circulation in the scalp. Despite the fact that this is a relatively new treatment option, it has been found to be safe and tolerable. In addition, it is a less invasive option than hair transplant surgery.
Although research on laser therapy and hair growth is limited, some studies have shown promising results.
For example, a 2013 study of 41 men between the ages of 18 and 48 discovered a 39 per cent increase in hair growth for participants who underwent laser hair surgery.
3. Hair Transplant Surgery
Follicular unit transplantation (FUT) and follicular unit extraction (FUE) are the two most common hair transplant procedures (FUE).
FUT is characterised by the removal of a section of skin from the back of the scalp where hair is still growing. This section of skin is divided into hundreds of tiny pieces known as grafts. These grafts are placed in areas of the scalp where hair does not grow.
FUE involves the surgeon extracting individual healthy hair follicles from the scalp, creating small holes where hair isn’t growing, and inserting the healthy follicles into these holes.
If you have a bald spot or a receding hairline, it is most likely genetic.
In 95 per cent of cases, baldness is caused by androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness, a hereditary condition. It can affect at any age and can begin before they reach the age of 21.
Although there is no way to prevent male pattern baldness, there are ways to slow hair loss. Medication such as Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) and minoxidil (Rogaine, Ioniten), laser therapy, and hair transplant surgery are some options.
If you’re worried about going bald, consult your doctor or a dermatologist. They can collaborate with you to determine the best treatment options for you.