Dude, where’s my hair?!
Hair loss is not life-threatening, but it has a considerable adverse impact on self-esteem and psychological health. In addition, it is a significant aesthetic problem. Dense and healthy hair makes a person look attractive, at least, in most cases.
While women are less prone to severe hair loss, men are unfortunately highly prone to the condition. Regretfully, for men, hair loss may start quite early. It is estimated that about 16% of men start losing hair before 30 years of age. By the 50s, more than half of males would be affected by male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness is the single most common cause of hair loss in men. It is responsible for more than 95% of hair loss cases in men. In comparison, all other causes like nutritional deficiencies, fungal infections, and so on are responsible for hair loss in less than 5% of the cases.
Male pattern balding is quite problematic, as, unlike other conditions, it is challenging to manage. For most men, slow and gradual hair loss would continue despite all the effects. In most cases, all men can do is slow down its progress.
So, why is male pattern baldness so challenging to manage?
Well, the answer lies in its cause. Science has always known it is a genetic condition as male pattern baldness runs in families. However, they are now even starting to identify the exact genes responsible for such an issue. The so-called large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous genes causing the condition.
As the condition is inherited, it is pretty challenging to manage.
Further, studies show in those living with male pattern baldness, hair follicles are susceptible to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is one of the potent forms of testosterone. Its high tissue sensitivity means that hair follicles slowly start contracting, hair becoming thinner. Ultimately, hair follicles may even die.
Fortunately, there are some treatments available that work for the condition. These medications and supplements should be used continually to prevent the death of hair follicles.
Medical treatment or supplements can slow down or even prevent the death of hair follicles; however, these treatments cannot regenerate hair follicles.
Thus, highlighting the importance of early identification of the condition and initiation of treatment.
Managing male pattern balding
Male pattern balding may be slowed down or reversed through hair loss treatment, hair loss & hair growth supplements.
There are some medications known to work for hair loss. Among the topical treatments, the most potent hair loss medication is minoxidil. It boosts the hair growth cycle and may work for hair loss caused by various reasons. Numerous clinical studies confirm its benefits. It may promote hair growth and even reverse the condition in many cases.
Among the medications, finasteride is the approved oral drug to treat the condition. It is a drug that is also commonly used to treat prostate issues. It prevents the conversion of testosterone to DHT in various tissues. Thus, it may prevent male pattern hair loss and prevent prostate getting bigger.
Finasteride may be a good treatment for those living with prostatitis. However, it may not be a good treatment for young men. Finasteride is known to lower libido and even cause erectile dysfunction.
Thus, many men may prefer hair growth supplements over drugs. In addition, studies show that some vitamins and minerals can really promote hair growth. Among them, vitamin D, E, C, Zinc is of particular interest. Additionally, biotin is also known to be quite good for hair and nail health.
Further, some hair growth supplements combine proteins, amino acids, vitamins with various antioxidants. It appears that high antioxidant intake may help slow down hair loss and promote hair growth.
Perhaps the only problem with hair growth supplements and vitamins is that they do not work for everyone. Thus, one may use any given supplement for three to six months. Then, if one experiences some benefit, one can continue using that supplement for longer. Else, one may change the supplement.
Given the wide range of medications available, it is important to consult your doctor early, and tackle this problem at its roots.