Hair Loss FAQs
The 10 most frequently asked questions about hair loss
- What is male pattern baldness?z
- What causes male pattern baldness?
- What other factors cause hair loss?
- Can male pattern baldness be cured?
- What over-the-counter treatments are there?
- What surgical options are available for male hair loss?
- What prescription treatments are there?
- When is the best time to start treatment with Propecia?
- How can I slow down hair loss?
- Are there herbal treatments for male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness is also known as androgenic alopecia, and is a condition that causes a man’s hair to thin and eventually fall out. It’s one of the most common types of hair loss that affects men, and usually causes the scalp to bald in a signature pattern. It can affect men of all ages; however it’s more noticeable in older men because the condition has had more time to take effect.
The cause of male pattern baldness is largely hormonal, and caused by DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in a man’s system. DHT is created when testosterone is converted by enzymes. DHT can cause hair follicles to shrink and become inactive. It’s present in all men, however not all men lose their hair; this is because some men are genetically predisposed to be more sensitive to the affects of DHT.
There are many different types of hair loss that can all be aggravated by different environmental, psychological and physical factors such as stress, depression, anxiety, illness and hormonal imbalance. The following could also be the cause of hair loss:
- Hormonal Imbalance
- Illness and infectious diseases
- Nervous disorders
- Toxic substances
- Injury and impairment
There is currently no cure for male pattern baldness as it’s a genetic condition and lifestyle adjustments can’t really prevent it. There are, however, various prescription or non-prescription treatments available that can help slow hair loss and even stimulate growth.
One of the most popular over-the-counter treatments is Minoxidil which is sold as Rogaine or Regaine and applied topically to the areas affected by hair loss. Although it’s effective, it can take time and will require repeated application for a significant period of time.
Surgery is one of the most effective solutions to male pattern baldness; however the procedure may have to be repeated at a later date. There are three different types of surgeries, namely transplant, scalp reduction and flap surgery. A hair transplant involves a surgeon moving non-DHT-sensitive hairs from the back of the head to the front. Scalp reduction is when a small bald patch is cut away and an area with hair is stretched this area. Flap-surgery, similarly to a scalp reduction, involves an area of the scalp with hair being stretched over an area with thinning hair.
Propecia contains finasteride and is currently one of the only male pattern baldness treatments available and also one of the most effective. During clinical trials Propecia stopped hair loss in 99% of men taking it and more than two-thirds of these men also noticed significant hair growth. Propecia is a daily treatment that doesn’t tend to cause side effects, although two out of every 100 men may experience a temporary drop in libido
There is no ideal time to start using Propecia, but the earlier in life you start treatment, the more successful treatment will be. Providing you are over the age of 18 and in good health, you can start using Propecia as soon as you start to notice your hair thinning.
Apart from prescription medications or over-the-counter remedies, there isn’t much that can be done to slow down male pattern hair loss. Making sure you that you maintain a diet rich in zinc, copper, iron, calcium, Vitamin- C and B-vitamins can, however, improve scalp health and boost the circulation of blood and nutrients to your hair follicles, potentially making them more resilient.
There is no clinical proof that herbal treatments are effective, however, some men find that herbal remedies containing ingredients such as saw palmetto do make a difference. Herbal treatments can either work by improving circulation of nutrients to the hair follicles to prevent them from falling out or can also have an anti-androgen effect, which stops DHT from affecting hair follicles.