What is Male Hair Loss?
Male pattern baldness is a common, genetic condition that leads to permanent hair loss. Male pattern baldness affects 50% of men over 50 years of age but can also affect men in their 20s.
The hair loss in male pattern baldness starts as a thinning of the hair at the sides and on the top of the head. It’s this “pattern” that defines the condition and separates it from other types of hair loss.
Whilst this form of hair loss in men isn’t serious and doesn’t need treatment, it is permanent and can be distressing. The loss of hair can affect your confidence and self-esteem. However, there are several treatment options available to stop your hair loss and even regrow new hair.
What causes male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition meaning it’s in the genes you got from your parents. Hair follicles on the head convert the hormone, testosterone, into a different form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It’s believed that the gene for male pattern baldness causes the follicles to become sensitive to DHT and start to shrink. Eventually, the follicle stops working and no hairs will grow from it.
Other causes of hair loss
It’s normal to lose hairs: we all lose around 50 to 100 every day without noticing. And hair loss is normally not something to worry about.
However, hair loss can sometimes happen because of a medical condition:
- Medication or treatment, such as chemotherapy
- Weight loss
- Iron deficiency
- An illness
- Skin condition such as alopecia
- These types of hair are usually temporary. If you experience sudden hair loss or hair loss in clumps, you should see to your GP.
- What treatments are available for male hair loss?
- There are types of treatment available to men with male pattern baldness. Some treatments may take several months before any improvement is noticeable:
- Topical medication – creams applied to areas of thinning hair
- Oral medications – daily tablets to help reduce hair loss
- Light treatment – laser therapy designed to stimulate the hair follicles
- Hair transplant – a surgical procedure to add hair cells to thinning patches
- Scalp reduction surgery – bald scalp sections are removed and scalp with hair is stretched and stitched together.
- Wigs & hairpieces – synthetic or natural human hair that are worn over the scalp.
It’s important to stay vigilant over the promises of miracle cures for male hair loss when searching online. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true it probably isn’t a trustworthy product.
We offer a reputable form of oral medication to treat male hair loss with proven effectiveness: Finasteride, sometimes sold under the brand, Propecia.
What are the side effects of hair loss medication for men?
All medication comes with side effects, and it’s important to consider these when taking any medication. The side effects of Finasteride are uncommon and usually mild: rash, low mood, reduced sex drive and erection problems. If you have any concerns about side effects of any medication you take, please speak to your GP or pharmacist.
How much hair loss is normal?
On average, we shed around fifty to a hundred hairs each day. But because there are around 100,000 constantly renewing hairs on the head, it isn’t bothersome. Hair loss is not usually anything to be worried about, but occasionally it can be a sign of a medical condition.
Some people can experience noticeable and sometimes permanent hair loss. Often this happens gradually with age, but if hair loss happens suddenly, or occurs in random patches, it can be a sign of a medical condition requiring treatment. It’s therefore important to seek out consultation if you experience hair loss.
Hair loss in women
Androgenetic alopecia (also known as female pattern baldness, or female pattern hair loss) describes when women permanently lose hair with age. Unlike men, there is more of an overall effect of thinning hair. This tends to be most noticeable around the parting, with hair loss around the hairline being rarer in women.
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