Hair Loss in Men
Hair Loss in Men
Androgenetic alopecia or common male pattern baldness (MPB) accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men. By the age of thirty-five two-thirds of men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss, and by the age of fifty approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair. Approximately twenty five percent of men who suffer with male pattern baldness begin the painful process before they reach the age of twenty-one
Contrary to societal belief, most men who suffer from male pattern baldness are extremely unhappy with their situation and would do anything to change it. Hair loss affects every aspect of the hair loss sufferer's life. It affects interpersonal relationships as well as the professional lives of those suffering. It is not uncommon for men to change their career paths because of their hair loss
The IHT recommended you the treatment of this big problem and recognizes how devastating male pattern baldness can be for men of all ages, and has created resources for men to get completely objective answers to their hair loss questions.
What are the causes of hair loss in Men?
Androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness (MPB) is responsible for the vast majority of hair loss in men. While there are many possible reasons people lose their hair, including serious disease, reaction to certain medications, and in rare cases extremely stressful events, most hair loss in men can be blamed on heredity.
What male pattern baldness sufferers are actually inheriting are hair follicles with a genetic sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT begin to miniaturize, shortening the lifespan of each hair follicle affected. Eventually, these affected follicles stop producing cosmetically acceptable hair.
Male pattern baldness is generally characterized with the onset of a receeding hairline and thinning crown. Hair in these areas including the temples and mid-anterior scalp appear to be the most sensitive to DHT. This pattern eventually progresses into more apparent baldness throughout the entire top of the scalp, leaving only a rim or "horseshoe" pattern of hair remaining in the more advanced stages of MPB. For some men even this remaining rim of hair can be affected by DHT.
Treatments for hair loss in Men:
Medicine has made tremendous strides in the treatment of men's hair loss. With the advent of 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors such as Propecia and the evolution of surgical hair restoration, for many, living with noticeable hair loss is no longer inevitable. For the first time in the history of mankind, it is now possible to stop or slow the progression of hair loss and to replace lost hair through surgery with completely natural results. However, with that said, the vast majority of hair loss treatments being marketed today are still nothing but "snake oils."
You've all seen the ads in the back of men's magazines, you've heard the commercials on the radio and you've seen the infomercials promoting miracle treatments for hair loss. The bottom line is that the vast majority of advertised "treatments" do not work for the prevention and treatment of hair loss. If a hair loss treatment is not approved by the IHT chances are you are wasting your precious time and money. Remember, successful treatment of hair loss is greatly dependent on early intervention. It is critical to begin treatment with an effective product as soon as you notice the onset of hair loss.
The following two treatments have been clinically proven to successfully treat hair loss in men to varying degrees.
Finasteride's hair-raising success is due to its ability to specifically inhibit Type II 5-alpha-reductace, the enzyme that converts testosterone into a more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Propecia's 1 mg dose of finasteride can effectively lower DHT levels by as much as 60% when taken daily. It is DHT that shrinks or miniaturizes the hair follicle, which eventually leads to baldness. This 60% reduction in DHT has proven to stop the progression of hair loss in 86% of men taking the drug during clinical trials. 65% of trial participants experienced what was considered a substantial increase in hair growth.
At this point, the only truly effective medically proven way to arrest the hair loss process is to lower DHT levels. IHT recommends finasteride as the first line of attack for all men interested in treating their male pattern baldness.
Minoxidil (loniten) was the first drug approved by the FDA for the treatment of male pattern baldness. For many years, minoxidill, in pill form, was widely used to treat high blood pressure. Just like finasteride researchers discovered a very interesting side effect of the drug. People taking the medication were growing hair in unexpected places like on their cheeks and the back of their hands, some even grew hair on their foreheads.
Some enterprising researchers had the notion that applying minoxidil topically, directly on the head, might grow hair on balding areas. Well it did this to varying degrees depending on the extent of the hair loss. For it's time, this treatment was revolutionary.
While minoxidil has been clinically proven to slow the progression of hair loss and regrow some hair, most informed experts see it as a relatively marginally effective drug in the fight against hair loss. Since minoxidil has no effect on the hormonal process of hair loss its positive effects are at best temporary and usually yield somewhat disappointing long-term results.