Hair loss in men is an extremely common condition and can affect the pride and overall confidence of a man. There are two main types of hair loss conditions that men face: male pattern baldness and alopecia areata.
Male Pattern Baldness
Male pattern baldness also known as Androgenetic alopecia, is the most common form of hair loss in males within the UK. Certain men can begin to experience symptoms as early as in their 20s. Statistics show that 30% of men are affected by the age of 30, and this increases to 50% by the age of 50. Male pattern baldness begins with the decline in the hairline and then affects the crown.
Alopecia areata means a loss of hair which usually appears in the form of bald patches. In a lot of cases, the hair will typically re-grow after several months but for some, the changes can be permanent. This condition can initially occur at any age but the majority of cases first develop in children or teenagers. At least 50% of those who have been diagnosed with alopecia areata experienced their first patch of hair loss before the age of 21. In this condition, the immune system wrongly attacks the hair follicle. This follicle stops growing hair. Gradually patches with no hair are seen on the scalp.
Causes of Hair Loss
Male pattern baldness is a hereditary condition which occurs when the genes and hormones within a male’s body begin to shrink their own hair follicles. The hair follicles will begin to change; they will become lighter in colour, thinned out, and eventually will stop producing new hair altogether. If you do not seek medical help, this condition will typically become worse with time.
Alopecia areata has different causes than male pattern baldness as it is thought to be an autoimmune disease. This is where the body’s immune system begins to damage the healthy cells in your body. This starts when the immune system misunderstands the healthy white blood cells as foreign objects such as bacteria, viruses, germs, etc. When these blood cells gather around the affected hair follicles they make appear as foreign objects. This leads to weaker hair resulting in bald patches. It is unknown as to why autoimmune diseases develop. Possible triggers for it include infection, medicines, and viruses.
There are several factors which can be linked to hair loss, some of these include:
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Types of Treatment
Gradual baldness is a normal part of aging in men. No treatment is required unless you want one. Hair loss can be treated with some medications:
Propecia contains the ingredient finasteride, this stops the change of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Now, the hair follicles are not affected by the hormone can grow normally. It takes about 4 months to notice any effect of this medicine. A complete hair growth might take up to 1-2 years. If the treatment is stopped in between, the baldness returns. There are no side effects noted while using this medicine. However, a rare symptom stating the loss of interest in sex can be mentioned. This medicine requires a prescription.
A regaine lotion is available in the pharmacy without any prescription. The higher the strength, the better the results. It is noted that this medicine probably works at an early stage when less hair fall is observed. This can be considered best to prevent further hair loss. Regaine should be used daily. It takes about 4 months to notice any effect of this medicine. Regaine is an expensive lotion. Some uncommon side effects noted are skin irritation or rashes.
Surgeries such as hair transplants, scalp flaps, and many other methods have been very common and effective for hair loss conditions.
Common questions and answers
Can hair loss be at all prevented?
There may be ways of slowing down the process or ways to effectively disguise the issue but there is no way you can prevent male pattern baldness or any type of hair loss condition.
Is baldness hereditary?
YES. Both male pattern baldness and alopecia areata are hereditary. The genes can come from one parent or both. If they happen to be passed down from either side the male will have a significantly increased chance of experiencing balding in later life. Other causes of hair loss such as due to stress are unrelated and not hereditary.
Is it uncommon to start losing hair as early as our 30s?
YES. Hair loss can begin at any age; approximately 30% of all males in their 30s in the UK are bald. In the most extreme cases, males can start to lose their hair from the age of around 16 and could end up almost completely bald by their 20s. However, male pattern baldness typically develops very slow, even if you began facing symptoms in your 30s it may take a further 20-30 years to lose your hair completely.
Can wearing a hat cause hair loss?
The belief that constantly wearing a hat will lead to strained hair follicles and eventually hair loss is one of the oldest myths surrounding hair loss. Any type of clean head gear will not cause harm in any way. Unclean or dirty head gear could potentially lead to scalp infection, which would accelerate hair loss, so simply make sure whatever you are wearing is clean.baldness, causes of hair loss, hair growth, hair loss, hair transplant, losing hair, male pattern baldness, types of hair loss