Male Hair Loss – April 19th, 2009

Hair loss usually develops gradually and may be patchy or diffuse (all over). The average scalp contains about 100,000 hairs. Baldness typically refers to excessive hair loss from your scalp and can be the result of heredity, certain medications or an underlying medical condition. Baldness or hair loss is typically something only adults need to worry about. Hair loss during adolescence can mean a person’s sick or maybe just not eating right. Some medications or medical treatments, like chemotherapy treatment for cancer, also cause people to lose their hair. Some hair loss sufferers make use of clinically proven treatments such as finasteride and topically applied minoxidil (in solution) in an attempt to prevent further loss and regrow hair. Hormonal problems may cause hair loss. Many women notice hair loss about 3 months after they’ve had a baby. This loss is also related to hormones. During pregnancy, high levels of certain hormones cause the body to keep hair that would normally fall out. Some medicines can cause hair loss. This type of hair loss improves when you stop taking the medicine.
People with hair loss may sometimes be more likely to have a negative body image than those without hair loss. The infection is easily treated with antifungal medicines. Finally, hair loss may occur as part of an underlying disease, such as lupus or diabetes. Both men and women tend to lose hair thickness and amount as they age. Inherited or “pattern baldness” affects many more men than women. Medicines that can cause hair loss include blood thinners. Certain infections can cause hair loss. Fungal infections of the scalp can cause hair loss in children. About 25% of men begin to bald by the time they are 30 years old, and about two-thirds are either bald or have a balding pattern by age 60. Male pattern baldness (also known as genetic hair loss or alopecia androgenetica) is the most common form of hair loss in men. Men – and some women – lose hair as they grow older. Male pattern baldness represents about 90% of all hair loss cases. The result is either a receding hairline or thinning hair at the crown of the head. Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) has a characteristic pattern of hair loss; it begins with a slight recession at the front hairline and is followed by thinning on the crown of the head.
Alopecia Areata is an extremely common condition and will affect 1% to 2% of the population at some point in their lives. Men with male-pattern hair loss may have an expectation of hair loss if they have male relatives who lost hair in a recognizably male pattern. For men who are experiencing thinning hair, their follicles on the top of the head are genetically vulnerable to baldness. Over time, these genetically vulnerable follicles are acted upon by the hormone DHT. This hormone binds with the receptor sites of these vulnerable follicles and causes a miniaturization of the hair shaft and follicle over time. Male pattern hair loss (Androgenetic Alopecia) is an inherited condition manifested when androgens are present in normal amounts. The gene can be inherited from the mother or father’s side. The onset, rate, and severity of hair loss are unpredictable. The severity increases with age and if the condition is present it will be progressive and relentless. Hair restoration surgery works by relocating the bald resistant hair follicles from the back of the head to the balding areas on top.
1. Wigs and hair transplants are, obviously, the most direct form of treatment.
2. Herbal preparations that contain zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamin E and other substances in various combinations can help.
3. Minoxidil is a lotion available from the pharmacist that you rub on to the scalp.
4. Finasteride (Propecia) is the latest drug treatment.
5. Rogaine, or minoxidil, which is a topical product, liquid, which is applied directly to the scalp twice a day.

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