Causes of Male Baldness and Hair Loss
Male pattern baldness, or Androgenetic Alopecia is common among men all over the world. Hair thinning or baldness in men is also called male pattern or common baldness. The main reason behind hair loss in men is the presence of the male hormone DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, created by the body as a by-product of the male hormone testosterone. DHT acts on genetically susceptible scalp hair follicles, and works towards the front, top and crown of the scalp, moving backwards, which gives a common balding pattern in men where the back and sides of the scalp retain their hair.
Men with a family history of hair loss are more susceptible to hair thinning and baldness. Whether the hair loss comes from the mother’s side or from the father, it can be inherited either way. However, recent studies show that due to the influence of x-chromosomes, hair loss inheritance gets more weight from the paternal side. Men predisposed to hair loss due to genetics and family history have a much stronger effect of DHT; it dwarfs the hair follicle, resulting in the hair to become almost nonexistent. In some men, hair fall and thinning can start as early as in the teenage years. If treatment is started at the right time, the effect of DHT can be controlled, to delay hair loss and prevent the hair follicle from thinning.
Propecia is a once-a-day pill developed especially for the treatment of male pattern baldness in men and should not be used by women. It has proven to re grow hair in 48% of patients and stops hair loss in 42% cases. However, this medication should be started early, as soon as any kind of hair loss is visible. Propecia and other oral and topical medications will not work once the hair follicles have died away. They also take several months of use before any visible effects of the medication are visible. However, these drugs should be taken after consulting with your health care professional, to make sure you will not suffer from any adverse side effects.
Other causes of hair loss in men include stress, trauma, anxiety, depression, severe illness, extensive surgery and use of certain medications. Men suffering from an illness or disease will notice higher than normal rate of hair fall. However after recovery, lost hair does come back. Similarly, severe medical treatments like radiation therapy and chemotherapy can also cause extensive hair loss. Major surgery, stress and anxiety are also common causes of baldness. Hormonal imbalance and glandular problems can also cause hair loss in men. For example, an under active or over active pituitary or thyroid gland activity is also a common cause of hair loss. Taking steroids, anti depressant drugs and high doses of Vitamin A in the diet also lead to hair fall. Poor nutrition and lack of protein in the diet are also reasons for hair loss, especially in under developed countries. Diseases like diabetes and lupus also lead to hair thinning and hair loss problems. The above mentioned reasons are not only common to men, but are also a cause of hair fall in women as well. Certain skin and fungal infections of the scalp, like eczema and ring worm, can also lead to baldness and preventive measures should be taken at the right time to stop further hair fall, before it is too late.
Hair fall in both men and women is a gradual procedure, and patients are often able to distinguish it when they see more than normal hair fall while combing, brushing or washing hair. Men however are able to identify hair loss at an earlier stage when compared to women. Although it may look natural to some people, who will not take any preventive measures, others who are more concerned about their looks will go for treatment at the right time. If however, oral drugs and medication does not work, hair transplant is always an option for men to get back any lost hair due to male pattern baldness. However, men going for hair transplant surgery should consult an experienced hair transplant surgeon in their area and should be aware of the results of hair restoration surgery before they go for the procedure.