Male Pattern Baldness
Balding, male pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia is the most common type of hair loss in males. Hormones and genetics are the cause.
Hair is dead but the follicle or cavity from which it grows is alive. Throughout our lives we are constantly losing hair but it is constantly replaced with new hair. The follicle shrinks as you age and hair thins. In some of us, the hair does not grow back. Why? Probably because of dihydrotestosterone, a male hormone. This very same hormone, a derivative of testosterone, is what causes hair to grow during puberty. Although there are no conclusive studies, there is an increase in the enzyme 5-alphareductase in these culprit follicles. This enzyme converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone.
Many men embrace their baldness. They may shave their entire head or manage the hair that resides. Either way, proper grooming is important. Cleanliness is always at the top of the list. Keep your hair trimmed and the hairlines sharp.
Shampoos to Prevent Hair Loss
Finding a shampoo that can remove dyhydotestosterone can reduce or slow down hair loss. Some of the ingredients that can break down DHT are azeleic acid, saw palmetto, and zinc sulfate. HairGenesis makes shampoos that address hair loss and claim to be effective.
Arbonne International makes Thermal Fusion, a topical hair and scalp revitalizer. Thermal Fusion is not a shampoo - use it after shampooing then wash it out - rather it is a treatment that uses heat and herbal DHT blockers to encourage hair growth.
There are two main drugs used in male pattern baldness treatments:
- Minoxidil (Rogaine) -- a solution that you apply directly to the scalp to stimulate the hair follicles. It slows hair loss for many men, and some men grow new hair. The previous degree of hair loss returns when you stop applying the solution treatment.
- Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) -- a prescription pill that inhibits the production of the male hormone dihydrotestosterone. Like minoxidil, you are more likely to have slower hair loss than actual new hair growth. In general, it somewhat more effective than minoxidil. The previous degree of hair loss returns when you stop taking the drug.
Hair transplants consist of removal of tiny plugs of hair from areas where the hair is continuing to grow and placing them in areas that are balding. This can cause minor scarring in the donor areas and carries a modest risk for skin infection.
Although the reasons for male pattern baldness are well know, the cure for hair fall and balding is elusive. Treatment for hair fall can be expensive.