What is Male Pattern Baldness And How to Stop It
One common condition that affects millions of males every year is androgenetic alopecia
Most people, however, know this condition better by the term male pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness is a medical condition that only affects men. It most commonly occurs in Caucasian males. However, it occasionally affects males of other races as well.
This condition manifests itself as a thinning of the hair follicles that occurs slowly over time. Eventually, these follicles may become so thin that they no longer have the ability to grow hair. This loss of hair can begin as early as a male’s teens. However, the condition increases in frequency and acuteness with age.
The hair loss associated with this disease usually starts as a thinning of the hair that occurs along the sides of the skull as well as near the temple. As it progresses, hair dissipates in an M shaped pattern up the head.
Despite how common male pattern baldness is, how the disease happens in each individual is not predictable. In certain cases, it will progress to complete baldness. In other cases, it will only progress a certain distance up the scalp, leaving hair on the sides and the back of the head.
At what age it starts varies as well. Certain males begin experiencing this hair loss during their adolescent years. However, others may not experience it until their 40’s or 50’s. How fast the hair deteriorates also varies. Certain men who start losing their hair during their teens may still have a good deal of hair into their 80’s. Others may become completely bald more quickly.
Despite the variance in how this condition occurs in different men, a number of successful treatments have been developed for male pattern baldness. One such treatment is Minoxidil which is available for application directly or as Minoxidil Shampoo. This drug is applied directly to the affected areas of the scalp. It has been proven to stop more hair loss from occurring. In certain patients, it has also been shown to re-grow hair in spots where it had fallen out.
However, the time span in which Minoxidil is used is extremely important to stop and reverse a receding hairline. It works best when it is applied after the first signs of hair thinning and falling out. If left untreated for too long, the loss of hair could be permanent and untreatable. Minoxidil is also something that must be used indefinitely. If one stops using it, the condition will reappear and the hair will continue falling out again.
Other more indirect methods of treating the symptoms of this disease have also been developed. One such treatment is hair transplant. During a hair transplant, hair follicles are moved from another place in the body to the scalp.
Hair transplants have been proven to allow hair to grow again in spots that had become bald. However, many recipients of hair transplants have not been pleased with the appearance of the new hair or this method’s thoroughness in curing baldness. Surgery to transplant hair is also prohibitively expensive.
Androgenetic alopecia or hereditary male baldness is caused by the presence of a certain kind of male hormone known as dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone is a kind of testosterone. This from of testosterone, however
does not have to be at elevated levels to cause a man to lose hair. It is not known for certain what factors make one man lose hair due to this hormone while others may never go bald. Genetics is believed to play a large part however in male pattern baldness.