Male pattern hair loss is not an illness it is just a normal part of life it is also known as androgenetic alopecia. Some men are more susceptible to it than others due to their genetics. Men of all ages can have hair loss but it is often easier for older men to cope with it than younger men. Hair loss can cause low self-esteem and self-image if a man is unable to accept it.
Hair follicles become weak due to their reaction to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is a hormone derived from testosterone. It doesn’t mean that you have too many male hormones just that your hair follicles are sensitive to them. Your hair grows in three-year cycles resulting in hair loss every time the hair grows back. Hair loss occurs either all over causing general thinning or at the temples to cause a receding hairline.
There are a number of ways to deal with hair loss and most of them provide temporary solutions. Finasteride and Propecia are two drugs that treat hair loss they work by reducing the effects of DHT on hair follicles. The most effective way to deal with hair loss is acceptance of your new look. The NHS provide advice that can help you to understand hair loss.
Just because alopecia in men is a natural occurrence doesn’t make it any easier to come to terms with. Over the centuries finding cures for hair loss has almost been as important as finding the Holy Grail. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet found the Holy Grail or a guaranteed way to prevent baldness. The Ancient Egyptians resorted to using wigs when their potions didn’t work. Over a century ago people were conned into buying Snake Oil to help regrow their hair which only resulted in disappointment. (Source: History.com)
The main reason that men seek a cure for losing their hair is simply vanity. Normal male pattern baldness is perfectly natural and not a threat to health in any way. However for some men hair loss results in negative thoughts, depression and low self-esteem. They, therefore, need to try as many ways to trigger hair growth. Some men are happy to embrace their new look and happily shave their heads or cut their hair short to achieve a confident and attractive look.
Losing hair in the present day is just as traumatic for men as in the past so there are many different ways to disguise or slow androgenic alopecia.
Comb-overs, where you grow the remaining hair really long and comb it over the bald patch, are thankfully a thing of the past but hair pieces are not. These days hairpieces and wigs are much better and are firmly fixed to your head so they won’t blow off at an inopportune moment.
Hair weaves are virtually invisible and you can go swimming and skydiving without losing your hair. The major downside is that the weight of the weave can damage already weakened hair causing it to become thinner.
A good hairdresser will be able to cut your hair so that it will look thicker than it is or improves the look of bald patches. This is a very practical way of maintaining your looks while adapting your hair so it looks its best.
Elton John and Wayne Rooney have a great deal of disposable income and can afford to have a hair transplant. This involves cutting a slice of skin that has healthy hair follicles and transplanting each individual follicle into the scalp where hair scarce. The procedure has varying degrees of success and is expensive.
Finasteride And Propecia
These are two drugs used to treat male pattern hair loss. They work by lowering the amount of DHT in the body. This stops the hair follicles being weakened and maintains hair growth. You can only use them if you have mild to moderate alopecia. A five-year clinical study found that 90% of the participants did not suffer from hair loss during the duration of the trial.
Most men don’t encounter any side effects while others may experience; impotence, low sex drive and problems ejaculating. When you stop taking these treatments your hair loss will continue as before because they are not a permanent cure.
By Birpal Virdee (February 2018)