Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Bald Truth About Men’s Hair Loss

Hair loss is a fact of life for men with pattern baldness. Significant hair loss affects more than half of all men, not only in the United States but around the world. Many things can cause men to lose their hair, but most baldness involves heredity and hormones.

The average life cycle of human hair is five years. Men can lose up to 100 hairs a day. In normal conditions, this hair loss is eventually replaced with new hair. In men with pattern baldness, permanent hair loss may be inevitable.

While age can play a role in men's hair loss, it cannot always predict when baldness will occur. This is because male pattern hair loss has more to do with hormones than with age. Because it involves genetic factors, men as young as their twenties and thirties can experience pattern baldness.

Androgenetic Alopecia
Androgenetic alopecia is the clinical term for pattern baldness. It represents almost 95 percent of all hair loss in men. Despite its common occurrence, it can devastate a man’s appearance, confidence and self-esteem. Fortunately, there are several solutions for male baldness.

The most effect treatments address the underlying cause of pattern baldness: dihydrotestosterone or DHT. This potent androgen hormone is a derivative of testosterone. While it is necessary for the development of male sex characteristics, too much of this androgen in the scalp can cause permanent hair loss.

Excess DHT binds to receptors in the scalp hair follicles. This causes them to miniaturize or shrink, making hair growth difficult and hair loss inevitable. Treatments that block DHT or the enzyme that causes it can prevent hair loss or slow its progression. Some products can even grow new hair.

Non-Surgical Treatments
Minoxidil and finasteride are two non-surgical options for male pattern baldness. Both of these drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hair loss. They are marketed under various well-known brand names.

Minoxidil is an over-the-counter formula that actually regrows hair. It is available in two strengths: a five-percent solution for male pattern baldness and a two-percent solution for female pattern baldness. Some people have scalps that are sensitive to minoxidil, but the drug is effective for most men.

Finasteride is an FDA-approved oral medication. It contains effective DHT blockers that stop hair loss from progressing and prevent further hair loss. It also encourages new hair growth. Unfortunately, finasteride can also unwanted sexual side effects like low libido and impotence.

Laser and Surgical Treatments
The FDA has cleared certain laser therapies to treat male pattern baldness. There is some evidence that lasers can improve blood flow to the treatment areas and stimulate hair growth. Some hair restoration clinics provide hand-held, at-home laser treatments.

Like all surgeries, hair transplants and scalp reductions involve the risk of infections and complications. However, the latest surgical procedures create natural hairlines and lasting effects. They are the most permanent solution for male pattern baldness.

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