Male pattern hair loss is also known as ‘Androgenetic alopecia’ is not a disease but a medical condition in which there is the obvious loss of hair. It is the most common form of hair loss. This form of hair loss occurs mostly in men, rather than in women.
Hair loss usually starts from the receding of the hairline and is followed by the thinning of hair of the crown of the scalp and progresses downwards and to the sides.
The extent of hair loss is unique from person to person. Some may lose all the hairs and become bald. In women, this condition is known as ‘Female pattern hair loss’ it does not result in complete baldness. Their hair becomes thinner and this affects the whole head.
Testosterone Affects Hair Loss
Statistics show that by the age of 20, approximately 20% of men show noticeable signs of hair loss. This rises to 40% by the age of 35, 65% by the age of 60 and 80% by the age of 80.
For 8 out every 10 men, the cause will be male pattern baldness; a genetic oversensitivity to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone(DHT) which is made from the male hormone testosterone.
A cure is currently searching by researchers.
What Is Testosterone?
Testosterone is a hormone that found both in men and women. In men, it produced in testes and also in small amounts in the adrenal gland.
Testosterone is responsible for male reproductive system and for muscle growth and hair growth.
In males, testosterone is converted by the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). In women, DHEA chemical gives rise to DHT.
DHT hormone attaches itself to the root of the hair follicle, causing the growing stage to become shorter and shorter with each new cycle. This particular hormone is found in skin, hair follicles, and prostate gland.
The Relationship between Testosterone and Balding
Hair grows at a rate of around half an inch per month for two to six years before stopping and falling out, after that new hair grows in its place.
However, the exact links between androgen and hair growth are not known but it is sure that testosterone has a role in stimulating the regrowth part of this process.
In many researches, it is proven that DHT is responsible for shrinking the hair follicles and the amount of shrinkage depends on the follicles’ sensitivity to DHT, rather than the amount of this chemical in the body.
Follicle sensitivity is determined by your genes. It also shows that if your father went bald, then you are 2.5 times more likely to suffer from baldness as compared to someone whose father kept his hair.
Treatment for Testosterone Linked Hair Loss
Most of the treatment procedures for treating baldness in men and women are involved with interfering with the action of testosterone and DHT hormones.
Finasteride is the medicine which blocks the enzyme 5 alpha reductase type II and thus inhibits the formation of DHT. The recommended dose of Finasteride is 1 mg per day. It decreases the serum DHT level by 70 %.
Side effects of Finasteride are related to sexual desire and are uncommon. But if somebody experiences these side effects he should consult with his doctor. These side effects are reversible ie after stopping these medicine effects disappear.
However such treatments need to be used under doctor consultation. Further, there is no guarantee of how long such treatments need to be continued.
Other Treatment options like:
-Topical products like Minoxidil
-Surgical hair transplant
-Laser or PRP Treatment
There are drugs like minoxidil and finasteride who can fight with patterned baldness. If you’ve noticed thinning on the top, then consult with a doctor or take these medications by consulting with them.
These both medication are effective and provide results vary from person to person.
Surgical Hair Transplant
Hair transplantation surgery can definitely change your appearance.
In this medical procedure, it involves the implantation of hair follicles obtained from a donor area situated on the patient’s scalp to a site experiencing hair loss. This means that follicular units or various strips of hair follicles are extracted and then follicular units are transplanted to the affected balding area. It provides permanent result even if you are suffering from genetic hair loss.
Laser or PRP Treatment
Both PRP and Laser treatment address hair loss because they both involve increasing the supply of blood to your hair follicles.
You can choose any method for your hair. These treatments mainly aim for people with thinning hair and for those, who suffer from androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness). It mainly strengthens the follicles that are still active which are very useful for hair loss.
The research studies on hair loss have revealed that it is not the amount of circulating testosterone but the level of DHT binding to the hair follicle receptors of the scalp that cause the problem of hair loss. Further, men suffering from early male pattern baldness have hereditary genes that are hypersensitive to DHT. Although treatments are available with no side effects.