Are Hair Loss Treatments Effective?

Male pattern hair loss is disheartening for all men. Some men cope with their change in appearance better than others. Hair loss generally affects men in their middle years although much younger men suffer too. There is no cure for Hair loss so men either accept it or try to hide their dwindling locks.

Oversensitive hair follicles result in hair loss. DHT is a derivative of the male hormone testosterone it causes hair follicles to weaken. Hair grows in three-year cycles and hair becomes thinner every time it grows. Men either lose hair in a pattern known as male pattern baldness or just go thin all over.

No treatment is 100% successful or permanent. The cure for baldness is one we have been seeking since humans became self-conscious. The Ancient Egyptians wore wigs and weird concoctions to disguise their thinning hairlines. Dodgy geezers selling Snake Oil convinced many men they could replenish their thinning hair.

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What Causes Hair Loss?

Hair loss occurs for many different reasons including; reaction to cancer treatment, hormonal changes, stress and ageing.  Sometimes the hair grows back completely, thinner or not at all. Male pattern baldness is a common condition affecting men in their middle age although it also affects younger men.  Hair loss is mainly inherited and runs in families the chances are if the men in your family have receding hairlines and bald patches you will too.

DHT or dihydrotestosterone is responsible for male pattern baldness. It is a derivative of testosterone and weakens sensitive hair follicles.  Hair grows in three yearly cycles growing thinner each time. Eventually leading to bald patches, receding hairlines and sparse hair growth. There is no regrowth when sensitivity to DHT is the cause of hair loss.

The NHS provide advice that can help you to understand your hair loss.

Treatments

Sadly there is no magic answer for hair loss as most treatments are temporary fixes that delay the inevitable. Wigs, hairpieces, weaves, hair transplants, creams and hair loss medication help to stave off hair loss in the short term.  

Wigs tend to be hot and require maintenance while weaves weaken the hair shaft accelerating hair thinning.   Hairdressers cut hair so that it suits the new growth until shaving the head is the best option. Hair transplants have varying degrees of success but are out of the price range of most men.

Finasteride and Propecia are medications that treat male pattern baldness they work by reducing the effects of DHT on the hair follicles. They are only effective if you have just started to lose your hair they will not spark regrowth in bald heads. Hair loss stabilizes and 90% of men who take this treatment report improved hair growth.  This treatment is only effective while you are taking it as the effects wear off when you stop. Side effects include; decreased libido and erectile dysfunction because it reduces the amount of testosterone in your body.

Coming To Terms With It

The hardest part of hair loss is coming to terms with the change in appearance. Ultimately the most effective treatment is accepting yourself for who you are.  Unsurprisingly men of all ages find accepting thinning hair difficult as it changes their whole appearance. It is also a sign of ageing which is soul destroying for those who are not ready to give up their youth.

Some of the sexiest men alive embrace their baldness and have women drooling all over them. The most effective hair loss treatment is acceptance once you do that you will always feel confident about the way you look.  

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By Birpal Virdee (June 2018)