Male Pattern Baldness: What Is it and How to Treat It
Starting to slowly grow a horse shoe on top of your head? You’re not alone. By age 30, over 50% of men start seeing thinning hair and balding. And of that 50%, more than 95% is caused by male pattern baldness. What is male pattern baldness and how do you treat it?
What Is Male Pattern Baldness and What Causes It?
Male pattern baldness (also known as androgenetic alopecia) is when progressive, natural thinning of the hair occurs that eventually leads to baldness. Hair loss and thinning usually begins at the temple and gradually recedes backwards, creating a “horseshoe” shape of hair left on the head, with the crown becoming bald.
The reason, mostly, is because the hair follicles begin to shrink and then close off for good. This occurs when a chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) attaches itself to the hair follicle, slowly causing the follicle to shrink and eventually close off. Men hair loss experts think roughly 95% of cases where a man starts to lose his hair or starts to thin is due to the effects of DHT on the follicles. So, where does DHT come from and what is it?
DHT is a bi-product of testosterone. It’s an essential human chemical that helps men develop facial hair during puberty. However, later in life, it wreaks havoc for hair follicles. When DHT attaches itself to hair follicles that are genetically predispositioned to succumb to it, DHT will restrict the follicle from receiving nutrients, slowly causing the follicle to shrink (thinning your hair) and eventually closing the follicle entirely (hair loss). Unfortunately, scientists are still stumped on how to actually prevent this from happening.
If that’s not enough, androgens, which regulate hair growth, also play a part in male pattern baldness. As you get older (starting with puberty), an increased level of androgens grows in your body, simultaneously stimulating facial hair growth, while slowing down hair growth on your head. Mix that in with DHT shrinking your follicle, and you get a terrible cocktail for hair loss.
How to Treat Male Pattern Baldness
Medicines: There are a few medicines on the market that can help stop hair loss and even grow hair. They do however, carry many side effects and when they are not being taken anymore, hair loss continues.
Hair transplants: Hair transplants involve removing tiny plugs of hair from areas where hair is still growing and placing them in the areas of your head that have stopped growing hair. Hair transplants, while offering a natural look, can be expensive and leave scarring
Natural Means: While natural means won’t stop male pattern baldness, it can help slow it down and help the hair that you do have to keep growing strong, healthy and full. Minimizing the amount of times you wash your hair a week, along with using a natural men’s hair conditioner daily can help. Shampooing every day rinses your hair of needed essential oils that your hair needs to be healthy. Use a natural shampoo for men as it won’t strip your hair of these essential oils.