HAIR LOSS IN MEN AND RECOMMENDED TREATMENTS

Hair loss can be emotionally and psychologically devastating for some men and their self-esteem. Male pattern hair loss accounts for 95% of all hair loss conditions in men. By the age of 35, roughly two-thirds of all men will have noticeable hair loss. By the age of 50, approximately 85 percent of men will have significant hair loss. Men can begin to lose their hair in their teens and twenties as well. In their twenties, approximately 20% of men experience hair loss.

Approximately 100,000 hairs are found on the average scalp. On an average day, men can lose 50 to 100 hairs. However, as more hairs are shed each day, thinning hair becomes more visible. Fortunately, there are treatments available for most male hair loss issues. Some hair loss conditions are only temporary, and the hairs will usually regrow on their own once the problem is resolved. Other types of hair loss, such as male pattern baldness, need treatment to maintain and stimulate hair growth.

WHAT IS MALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS

Male pattern hair loss (MPHL), male pattern baldness (MPB), or male pattern alopecia (MPA) is a type of androgenetic alopecia that affects men. Male pattern hair loss is thought to be caused by a combination of genetics and Androgens (most notably dihydrotestosterone/DHT) which act on genetically predisposed hair follicles to cause genetic hair loss.

The frontal hairline recedes into the back of the scalp in male pattern hair loss, resembling a horseshoe. The hairs on the side and back of most men’s heads are unaffected.

Hair miniaturization is also a term used to describe hair loss caused by androgens. The size of the affected hair follicles decreases, resulting in a decrease in the diameter of the hairs they produce. As these hair follicles shrink over time, so do the hairs that emerge from them, until only a few visible hairs remain. The exact substance that “miniaturizes” the hair follicles is unknown; however, it is theorized that DHT sensitivity causes a collagen build-up around the hair follicle, causing it to shrink.

A person is more likely to inherit hair loss conditions that are like those of the family member whose hair characteristics he most closely resembles in terms of color, hair type (coarseness or fineness), and hair distribution

Hair loss is polygenic, which means that many genes are involved in the condition’s development. They can be passed down from either the father’s or mother’s side of the family or both. The higher the percentage of close family members who have androgenetic hair loss, the more likely a person is to develop the condition.

TYPES OF MALE HAIR LOSS

• Male Pattern Hair Loss (Androgenic Alopecia): Male pattern hair loss is a type of androgenetic alopecia that affects men. Genetic Hair Loss is initiated by the action of androgens (mainly dihydrotestosterone/DHT) upon the genetically predisposed hair follicle.

• Alopecia Totalis: Alopecia totalis is characterized by a loss of hair to the entire scalp. Hair regrowth can be expected as the hair follicles are not totally destroyed. It is an advanced form of Alopecias Areata which is the more common of the two.

• Alopecia Universalis: The advanced form of alopecia Universalis is an autoimmune condition that causes complete hair loss throughout the scalp and body. Statistics show that only 1 in 4000 people get this type of male hair loss. The number of people with the advanced form ranges from 7% to 25% of the population.

• Telogen Effluvium: Telogen effluvium is a temporary hair loss condition that can affect both men and women. When your body goes through something traumatic, it can change the growth cycles of the hair. About 90% of your hairs are in the anagen phase (growth phase) or transitional phase (catagen), but any trauma to your body could cause it all to shift to the resting phase (telogen)

• Trichotillomania (Hair-pulling disorder): Trichotillomania is a hair-pulling disorder that causes hair loss mainly in younger girls, although males can have this condition as well. Hair pulling can occur in any region of the body, but the primary affected area is the scalp. The urge to pull hair is a mental disorder and the best treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy.

• Alopecia Areata: With alopecia areata, bald patches of your scalp are more visible. It is an auto-immune disorder that can affect both men and women. The most common form of treatment is the use of corticosteroids. These are anti-inflammatory drugs that can suppress the immune system.

• Cicatricial Alopecia (scarring alopecia): Cicatricial alopecia is a hair loss condition caused by a group of rare disorders that destroy the hair follicles and replace them with scar tissue. It is seen in about 7% of adult men and women but rarely in children. The scarring is not seen on the scalp but underneath the skin in the fractured hair follicles. In the areas affected, the skin looks bald, smooth, and shiny. Also, pores are absent because of the complete loss of hair follicles.

TREATMENTS FOR MALE PATTERN HAIR LOSS

Prescription and OTC medication: There are two main medications for treating male pattern baldness. These are Minoxidil (Rogaine) and Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar). It may take up to a year to see results from minoxidil and finasteride, and you will need to continue taking them to maintain the benefits.

Hair transplants: Follicular unit transplantation and follicular unit extraction are the two most common hair transplant procedures. Keep in mind that both hair transplant procedures are considered surgery, which means they can be invasive, costly and painful. There also risks, such as infections and scarring. You may also need to undergo multiple hair transplant procedures to achieve the desired results.

Laser treatments: The inflammation in follicles that prevents them from regrowing is thought to be reduced by laser treatment. Although there are only few studies to back up their effectiveness in treating hair loss, a 2016 review found that when used to treat male pattern hair loss, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is both safe and very effective.

Scalp massages: Massages not only feel great for the body, but they may also aid with hair loss. The hair follicles are stimulated by massaging the scalp. Healthy Japanese males who underwent 4 minutes of scalp massage each day for 24 weeks had thicker hair at the end of the trial, according to a small 2016 study. According to a 2019 study, scalp massages relate to self-perceived improvements in hair density.

Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP): Scalp micropigmentation, often called SMP, is an advanced cosmetic hair loss treatment that uses a tattoo method to create small dots the size of hair follicles. These dots are designed to replicate the appearance of natural hair where you are experiencing loss. Although often called a hair tattoo, SMP is nothing like a regular tattoo. SMP® requires the technician to apply the specialized technique using a multitude of different needle sizes, penetration depths, angles, pigment colours and distribution rates depending on the specific area of the scalp being treated at the time, the skin tone of the individual and the desired final appearance.

For more information about male pattern hair loss and receive a free online hair loss assessment, please visit: https://hairlossclinic.ca/hairloss-assessment

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