Hair loss is usually an older man’s condition which also affects younger men too. Most men have an inkling that they may be susceptible to losing their hair after looking at family members. Male pattern baldness tends to be hereditary and runs in families. Sometimes men go against family traits and lose hair even if their male relatives don’t. This may be due to the baldness gene skipping a generation or lifestyle choices switching the gene on.
Male pattern baldness is due to hair follicles being sensitive to DHT which is a derivative of testosterone. Other causes of hair loss include; illness, iron deficiency, stress, cancer treatment and extreme weight loss. If you suddenly experience hair loss for no apparent reason visit your doctor to identify the cause. Any type of hair loss causes men to feel self-conscious and worry about their appearance. The NHS offer advice to help you better understand your hair loss.
There is no definitive cure for male pattern baldness although it is possible to stall the process through medication. Ultimately men learn to accept their thinning hair and embrace their new appearance. If the cause is due to health reasons hair may regrow once the condition is under control.
Causes Of Male Pattern Hair Loss
Male pattern baldness is generally hereditary and as a result of hair follicles being sensitive to DHT. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a relative of the hormone testosterone it causes a decrease in the growth phase and overall thinning of the hair. Hair grows in three-year cycles and gets thinner after every new regrowth. Genes sometimes skip generations so even if this does not affect your father or grandfather you may draw the short straw.
Medication such as Finasteride suppresses the effects of the hormone testosterone which slows the rate of hair loss. It is not suitable if you are almost bald because it will not make the hair grow back. The effects only last while you are taking the tablets and hair loss continues once you stop. Side effects include; erectile dysfunction, low sex drive and difficulty ejaculating. Sometimes you have to choose between your sex drive or appearance.
Other Reasons For Losing Hair
Alopecia is another name for losing your hair. There are a number of reasons why you may lose hair that is not due to hormones. These include; cancer medication, stress, illness, iron deficiency and weight loss. If chemotherapy causes hair loss it is likely to grow back again unless the treatment was particularly strong. Thyroid disease, malnutrition, acute stress disorder, syphilis and Lupus cause hair loss.
Some conditions are treatable resulting in hair regrowth while others cause irreversible damage. If you have sudden hair loss, bald patches, losing clumps of hair, itchy burning scalp or just worry about losing your hair you must contact your doctor. You may just strike it unlucky and inherit hair loss genes. You have two choices hide your shiny scalp and curve your shoulders or stand up tall and embrace your new action hero look.
By Parv Sagoo (July 2018)