Beautiful thick hair is not only the best natural human decoration. Beautiful hair is also an important indicator of human’s health and that is a medical fact. You may convince yourself that many outstanding figures like Cicero, Picasso and even Caesar himself were completely bald and they still managed to reach a high position in art or politics. At the same time, any of us regardless of sex and age rings alarm bells when we face or we think we face the first symptoms of baldness. Petrified with early signs of hair loss, we start looking for the cure for this problem.
To begin with, it must be mentioned that hair loss and alopecia are not always equal. Hairs can fall out in small quantities for a number of various causes. It may be a bad shampoo or organism exhaustion. If one of those is the reason of hair loss, it is enough to change hair care product or just have a good rest and that might fix the problem.
But when the diagnosis of alopecia is appropriate? We are dealing with alopecia (the scientific name for baldness) when the number of hairs we lose is large and they are not replaced with new ones. Causes of alopecia can be both external (stress, scalp trauma, infection) and internal (infectious, genetic, hormonal, autoimmune). Obviously, depending on the cause of alopecia its stages and types will vary.
Androgenic alopecia is the most common type of alopecia in men, which makes almost 95% of all cases.
By the way, baldness for any reason at a tender age and up to the age of 25–30 is called premature or early male pattern baldness. Premature baldness is often caused by genetics or hormones (for instance, early baldness in women is often the result of unbalanced nutrition during strict dieting or self-prescribed contraceptives).
We may also face other variants next to genetically caused androgenetic baldness or alopecia areata. If you happen to lose hair all over your head it means you encountered diffuse alopecia. In most cases diffuse alopecia is an outcome of stress, diseases, usually of endocrine origin, or taking some medication.
What Causes and Signs of Male Pattern Baldness
Hereditary hair loss is also known as male pattern baldness and androgenic alopecia. Generally, the process begins when hair gets thinner at the temples and at the top of your head. The texture of your hair changes and you can notice your hairline receding. Hair density decreases. Please remember that sudden tufts of hair on your comb are not associated with inheritance. Hereditary hair loss is a process which takes much longer than a single night to see the result.
So what are the reasons of hereditary hair loss? The number of hairs you lose increases because of the hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). When testosterone transforms into dihydrotestosterone, it makes hair follicles tighten and reduces hair life circle. As the result, your hair lacks time to go through the full growth phase. New thin hairs replace the old ones too fast and it may also contribute to baldness. Affected by DHT, at some point these new thin hairs become so tiny that they eventually lose any cosmetic value. In such a manner, male pattern baldness causes hair loss only in its final phase when normal hairs are replaced by young and thin ones.
Some research data says that one of the causes of male hair loss might be maternal genetics. Scientists suspect the X chromosome, which is transmitted by a mother to her sons. Therefore, you can get the general idea about your hair as an adult when you look at the hair of your mother’s male relatives. Unfortunately, the genes you inherited from your father may also become the reason of hair loss. So, sometimes knowing your family history may help in identifying the reason of baldness.
When We Face the Problem of Baldness
A man who experiences male pattern baldness usually notices its first signs being a teenage boy or in his mid-twenties. The sooner this process starts the more hair you will lose in the future. If you are a 30 years old and you have never suffered from hair loss, you have a slight chance to get bald in the future. An interesting fact – a dark-haired man with fair skin will notice hair loss sooner than a fair-haired man, though the hair color in no way affects the hair loss process.
Male Pattern Baldness Treatment
So how do we treat hereditary hair loss in men? Unfortunately, there is no absolutely effective way to stop male pattern baldness. Of course, there are quite successful treatments, but still they won’t become a hundred percent male pattern baldness cure. In fact, baldness is harmless to men, but it influences the appearance in a negative way. In case you don’t really care you may simply ignore the problem because hair loss cannot harm your health state.
But it is absolutely okay if you are worried about hair loss. Still do not make hasty decisions about treating your hair. First of all, you need to understand the reasons of hair loss. What if it is not hereditary baldness but a consequence of taking some medicine? It may as well be caused by some diseases or even improper diet. You should consult a doctor to get the precise diagnosis. Various factors can bring hair loss and baldness about. Proper male pattern baldness treatment may eliminate many of them as well as get healthy hair regrowth.
What a Doctor Can Do
If you treat your hair loss as a problem, visit a specialist to get a medication prescribed. The doctor might suggest specific products to slow down your hair loss or even make your hair regrow. Male pattern baldness treatment may involve applying some medicine on a daily basis for quite a long time. Sometimes it takes a few months to see whether the treatment has any effect on you. Moreover, you might need to use your medication constantly to reverse male pattern baldness and to make the effect last.
Doctor’s diagnosis is based on the visual examination of the area of hair loss. The treatment that doctor chooses depends on how the person’s emotional state is influenced by hair loss. If a man considers baldness as a normal phenomenon for his age, there is no need for therapy. In case hair loss is the cause of emotional disorder, the doctor may choose the best way to stop or reduce hair loss by different cosmetics, medical products or even surgical treatment.
Surgery is an option when medical products failed in stopping loss hair. Hair transplant is an expensive procedure, so it is quite reasonable to refer to it when you have tried other variants.
Hair transplant is nowadays widely used for preventing the problem of baldness. During the procedure doctors transplant small areas of the skin with healthy hair from the side areas of the head or neck to where you tend to lose your hair. This type of surgical treatment is usually carried out in stages.
Baldness affects the emotional state of people, but it is not dangerous from the medical point of view.
What You Can Do
Unfortunately, there are no magic solutions which could fully restore your hair. Medicine prescribed by doctors might be helpful in some cases, but it often fails to fix the problem. Unfortunately, you cannot get rid of male pattern baldness completely. But you can try to slow the process down with good care.
Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and warm water. Rinse it with cool water. Use a hairbrush with soft bristles. Avoid combing hair while it’s still wet, because the hairbrush bristles can weaken and damage your hair. Try to dry your hair in a natural way and use hairdryer less often. If you faced alopecia, you should better avoid perming and coloring your hair.
You can use false hair to cover baldness. Be careful when attaching it because you may damage your own hair.
You should visit a doctor if you noticed any hair loss, which differs from the typical pattern of male pattern baldness. For example, you should pay a visit to your doctor if you noticed several areas of baldness on your head. Of course, medical consultation is necessary if you decided to refer to hair transplant or medication.
Baldness and Vitamins
Apart from drug therapy you may as well try a natural treatment of your hair at home. Do not forget about vitamins in your fight with alopecia. Regular intake of vitamins A, B, and C is an effective measure for hair loss treatment and preventive care. Though, instead of taking supplements it’s better to have a balanced diet and focus on food that contains these vitamins.
As for the natural remedies for your hair, do not ignore hair masks. Olive oil is always a good variant in fighting hair problems. Mix a cup of olive oil and a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon powder. Mix the ingredients well and apply the mask on the scalp for an hour. Then rinse the mask with water. You can use shampoo if you need, but if you do not feel uncomfortable, you can simply wash it off with warm water.
Mustard seeds are another home remedy for your hair. Boil a handful of seeds in a liter of water, and then use this water to wash your hair. If you use such water on a regular basis, you may significantly slow down the process of alopecia.
Cosmetic products include a variety of pills and creams that may block the process of baldness. These creams can be effective, but they have side effects such as skin irritation in the area of application, itchy scalp, and a burning sensation in the eyes.
Of course, there are synthetic drugs which are more effective than natural products. However, their safety is questionable when we talk about their long time intake. Still it is up to you to choose the most suitable way out of this problem among the variants mentioned above.