What Is Male Pattern Baldness?
Hair loss or male pattern baldness is one of the most common types of hair problems in the world. This medical condition is also called androgenic alopecia, in which more than 60% of all men above 50 are affected by baldness to some extent. Starting as a receding hairline or a bald spot on top of your head, this kind of severity can lead to hair thinning and extreme hair loss for many years to come. But what causes male pattern baldness?
Causes Of Male Pattern Baldness
One of the biggest hair loss causes of male pattern baldness is genetics or having a family history of hair fall. The genetically inherited male pattern baldness usually indicates no severe side effects. Still, sometimes it can be due to more serious conditions like cancer, thyroid issues, the use of anabolic steroids and other medications. It is important to consult with the doctor for hair loss after taking new medications accompanied by hair loss complaints.
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According to many researchers, male pattern baldness is also linked with male sex hormones called androgens. These androgens serve many functions in our body, including maintenance and regulation of hair growth. Every hair on your head goes through a growth cycle. With extreme hair loss and male pattern baldness, the growth cycle is disrupted and starts to weaken. Your hair follicles start to shrink or produce finer/ shorter hair strands until no hair grows in its place.
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As men age, the rate at which their hair grows slows down. Your hair strands will get smaller and become less pigmented, finer, thinner and grey.
Use Of Different Hair Styling Products
People who like to test all kinds of hair styling products on their head can experience serious hair fall. Over-treating your hair is another major cause of hair loss due to toxic chemicals found in commercial products.
If you are a picky eater, it could be possible that all the essential vitamins and nutrients are missing from your diet. Lack of copper, iron, zinc, proteins and vitamins can cause extreme hair loss. In order to avoid a situation like this, be sure to improve your diet and take necessary supplements daily.
Excessive stress can also lead to premature hair loss. Not getting any treatment or minimizing stress will augment your chances of experiencing early baldness.
Stages Of Male Pattern Baldness
Initially, losing hair might not feel like a big deal. Many people consider it normal hair loss, but in reality, they are mistaking male pattern baldness for routine hair loss. This medical condition is becoming a leading cause of depression in men, especially with the hair loss so severe to ignore! Understanding the stages of male pattern baldness can help you prevent and even reverse it through suitable treatment options.
Stage 1 (Unnoticeable Hair Thinning Around Temples)
There is no noticeable change in your hairline during the first stage, but when male pattern baldness strikes, your hair starts to thin around the temples and the forehead.
Stage 2 (M-Shaped Hairline)
The stage 2 can easily be identified as it demonstrates a comparatively higher degree of baldness with more hair thinning at the forehead and hair temple. This condition is termed as front baldness or hair thinning at the crown. During this hair fall stage, the forehead becomes wider, and the temples are more visible. Though it is still noticeable for some people, they might have an M-shaped hairline already!
Stage 3 ( Visible Balding And Slump Of Hairline)
As male pattern baldness exceed, the hairline recedes deeper while widening your forehead to form different shapes like M, U or V. The hair loss at this stage is quite fast and noticeable as you can see perceptible bald spots over your head.
Stage 4 ( Hair Loss At The Back)
During stage 4, you are sure to lose a lot of your hair. The bald spots are increasingly prominent, and your crown’s hair is extremely thin. You can also see large patches of hair loss at the back of the head.
Stage 5 ( U-Shaped Hairline At The Crown)
By this stage, the hairline has already receded significantly. You might notice a presence of classic horseshoe-shaped or U-shaped hairline, which is more challenging to treat compared to other initial stages.
Stage 6 ( Widened Bald Patches And Visible Scalp)
In this stage of male pattern baldness, the hair is thin with wide bald patches all over the head.
Stage 7 ( Hairline Recedes To Crown)
If you are at stage 7, it means you have lost most of your hair already. It is the last stage of male pattern baldness, where the hairline recedes to the ground, and just a few hairs strands remain on the side of your head.
How To Prevent Hair Loss
Losing hair is not the end of the world, but for some people, it is not a comfortable, ideal situation. Luckily there are certain things that you can do to prevent hair loss or male pattern baldness altogether. In a lot of cases, hair loss is actually preventable but know that early action is very important. If you are noticing hair thinning or hair shedding of any kind, it is vital to get on a suitable treatment option as soon as possible. Remember, male pattern baldness is a progressive condition and will only worsen with time to a point where it is not treatable anymore. Following are some of the hair loss treatments that you can opt for after consulting with your doctor:
FDA has only approved two medications for the treatment and prevention of male pattern baldness. Let’s take a look down at each of them.
Topical Minoxidil (Rogaine)
What Is It?
This drug is widely available in stores and online and is among the most commonly used treatment options against hair loss in men. In clinical studies, Minoxidil has been shown to reduce significant hair loss, facilitate hair growth and strengthen existing hair strands. This over-the-counter medicine is available in liquid or foam form. Applying it to your scalp twice a day, every day, can help you see complete hair regrowth in no time.
How Long Will It Take To See Positive Results?
Some men respond to this medicine better than others, while others fail to notice any kind of difference. If Rogaine is effective for you, it might take up to 6 to 8 months to see prompt results. However, it is very important that you follow exact directions and apply Minoxidil twice a day regularly. Many prefer to apply this drug alone, but in some cases adding a prescription medication to the treatment plan can vastly improve results as well.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Regular use of Minoxidil can develop an irritated scalp. The newer form of the drug, i.e., foam products, can lower this risk. Some other common side effects include headaches or an itchy scalp. Discontinuing Minoxidil can make your new hair fall out. You might start to see hair loss that would have occurred anyway if you had never treated it.
What Is It?
Finasteride is a prescription medication that people with male pattern baldness take long-term. According to different studies, this medicine has been shown to slow down excessive hair loss in about 80 to 90% of men with male pattern baldness. With constant use, a lot of people have observed hair regrowth and strengthening.
How Long Will It Take To See Positive Results?
Taking this prescription pill every day will help you achieve effective results in about 5 to 6 months. If finasteride is a part of your male pattern baldness treatment plan, you can consume it alone or in combination with Minoxidil as per your dermatologist’s suggestion.
Are There Any Side Effects?
Some people who take this medicine develop common side effects, including loss of libido, lack of sexual desire, depression, swelling in certain body areas. The sexual side effects can continue even after discontinuing the treatment plan. Due to the seriousness of the side effects, it is better to consult with a dermatologist about your pre-existing circumstances.
Procedures To Deal With Male Pattern Hair Loss
Medicinal treatment is not always effective or necessary if you are other health conditions are not the cause of hair loss. In circumstances where prescription or over-the-counter drugs stop working, certain treatment options are available for men who are not happy with their premature hair loss and those who would like to enjoy a fuller head of hair in less time.
Based on your location and the severity of hair loss, your surgeon or dermatologist can recommend one or two of the following procedures:
Hairpieces Or Wigs
Another creative way to cope with initial hair thinning is by using wigs or hairpieces. A high-quality wig can cover hair thinning, complete baldness and even receding hairlines. They are available in a wide range of colors, styles and textures, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs. Always opt for a natural look and choose a wig color or style that matches your original hair. You can also ask a professional wig stylist for your assistance in finding a perfect wig for a more natural appearance.
Another effective option for people with male pattern baldness is hair weaves that are sewn into the natural hairline. The biggest advantage of the weaves is they always stay on even if you sweat or perform activities like showering or swimming. The only drawback is that they need to be stitched again after new hair growth and that the process can significantly damage your natural hair.
PRP Or Platelet-Rich Plasma Technique
While platelet-rich plasma is not a permanent solution for male pattern baldness, it is a maintenance treatment that can help you achieve desired results. If your doctor or dermatologist suggests this treatment option, here is what you need to know. A small amount of blood will be drawn and positioned on a machine that separates your red blood cells from blood plasma during the procedure. This plasma will then be injected into your scalp over a certain period of time to lessen hair loss. After a few months, you will start to see thickening of your hair and undue regrowth.
If money is not an issue, a hair transplant is one of the most expensive and effective treatments against hair loss in men. This invasive procedure work by removing hair from certain areas of the scalp with active hair growth. These hairs are then transplanted to thinning or balding areas of the head to achieve instant hair growth results. The biggest disadvantage of this treatment option is that multiple sittings are required and that the method carries the risk of infection or scarring. The biggest advantage, on the other hand, is that hair transplant looks amazing and natural and is permanent.
Natural Ways To Prevent Hair Loss
Here are some of the solutions that can help reduce hair loss or male pattern baldness in men:
Keeping The Scalp Clean
Try to wash your hair regularly as a part of preventing hair loss by keeping your scalp neat and clean. By doing so, you will lower your risk of getting scalp infections and dandruff that might cause hair loss or hair breakage. Additionally, a cleaner scalp will give you the impression of more hair volume.
Vitamins and minerals are not only beneficial for your overall health but also for your hair growth. Vitamin A helps facilitate the healthy production of sebum in your scalp, and vitamin E is for better blood circulation in the head so the hair follicles can remain productive. On the other hand, Vitamin B is better for the health and healthy color of your hair strands.
It is better to avoid eating sugary and carbohydrate-rich food items. Always go for lean meats, fish, soil and vegetables that are rich in protein to promote hair health and curb excessive hair loss, especially in male pattern baldness. Consuming a well-balanced diet can keep your hair in good shape. Do not forget to add a variety of whole grains, fruits and unsaturated fats to gain healthy hair. Try adding iron-rich foods to your diet, including beans, green leafy vegetables and iron-fortified grains. You can also eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like tuna, salmon, flax seeds, dry fruits, egg yolk and hemp seeds.
Massages not only feel wonderful, but they can also help against premature hair loss and male pattern balding. You can massage your scalp in conjunction with beneficial hair oil and masks to promote hair thickness. Stretching and massaging the pressure points encourages hair growth and improvement in hair thickening through dermal papilla cells at the bottom of your hair follicles. These cells are very important for the formation of hair strands, hair growth and hair regrowth cycle.
Taking some time out to massage your scalp can also relieve stress and tension, especially if your emotions are the main cause of hair loss. For instant results, massage your head and scalp using your fingertips and not fingernails. Make your way across hair in small circles while applying light pressure. There is no minimum amount of time that you can spare for a scalp massage; rubbing the scalp daily for 5 minutes is enough to deliver effective results.
Do Not Brush Wet Hair
When your hair strands are wet, they are in their weakest state possible. So it is better to avoid brushing wet hair as it increases your chances of experiencing early hair loss. But if you must comb hair while they are wet, always opt for a wide-tooth comb but avoid brushing them too frequently to lessen the damage.
Hydration Is The Key
Remember that your hair shaft consists of one-quarter of water. Therefore it is crucial that you drink at least 8 cups of water a day to stay hydrated and promote healthy hair growth.
Stay Away From Smoking And Alcoholic Beverages
If you are experiencing premature male pattern baldness, it can be due to excessive alcohol consumption. Try to reduce or eliminate alcohol from your life to see instant hair growth. Smoking also reduces the amount of blood flow to the scalp and induces a decline in hair growth. Avoid smoking cigarettes if you want to stay healthy and maintain your hair’s luster, shine, and strength.
Staying active is not only important for the benefit of your hair but also for your overall well-being. Try to take a walk, swim or perform your favorite exercises for 30 minutes a day to keep your hormonal levels under control.
Stress can be extremely bad for your health, including your hair. If you are leading a stressful lifestyle, you are at a greater risk of developing male pattern baldness. Some strategies that you can employ to reduce stress include:
-Listening to your favorite music
-Regular workout sessions
-Practicing yoga and meditation
-Getting a good night’s sleep
No Constant Heating And Hair Drying
Never subject your hair to routine, consistent heating and drying procedures to avoid hair loss. Excessive heat can weaken your hair proteins, and drying can lead to fragility and weakness of hair follicles, causing male pattern baldness.
Go For Sweat Free Hair
If you have oily hair or experience dandruff during the winter or summer season due to sweating, you have a higher chance of developing male pattern baldness. Using conditioners and shampoos with aloe vera and other plant extracts can keep your head cool and prevent dandruff. Also, men who wear caps or helmets during summers have chances of sweat accumulation in scalp pores. It can deteriorate their hair roots and lead to early hair loss without warning. To avoid this, opt for a scarf or bandana over your hair to leave some space for ventilation.
Eggs are known to be rich in selenium, phosphorus, sculpture, zinc, iodine and protein. All these elements, when combined together, help with excessive hair loss. To use an egg mask, just separate egg whites in a bowl and add a teaspoon of honey and olive oil. Mix everything to make a paste and apply it to your hair from the root to the tip. Keep it on for 20 minutes, and then rinse with mild shampoo and lukewarm water.
The biotin is commonly known as Vitamin H. it is a form of Vitamin B complex that helps the body change food into energy. Many studies and researches suggest that including a biotin-rich diet in your daily routine can reduce hair loss. If you are currently dealing with hair loss issues and male pattern balding, try eating biotin foods like sweet potatoes, onions and oats for immediate positive results.
The essential fats and proteins in coconut milk help with hair loss and hair growth. Apart from using store-bought coconut milk, you can make your own in the house. Just get a small-sized coconut, simmer, strain and cool down. Add fenugreek seeds and crushed black pepper and apply on the scalp for 20 minutes.
The beetroot is one of the most healthy vegetables out there. It is rich in Vitamin B6, C, magnesium, folate, and betaine. All these elements are necessary for healthy hair. Apart from making your hair stronger and thicker, beetroot juice serves as a detoxification agent and helps maintain a healthy, clean scalp.
It is a natural hair growth supplement that aids in stronger hair growth in people dealing with male pattern baldness. With a marine complex AminoMar C (a mineral-rich combination of organic silica, mollusk powder, organic silica, and Vitamin C), Viviscal works to regenerate new cells and strengthen existing hair cells.
The saw palmetto, a plant with small berries, is also used to treat and prevent hair loss. A lot of people use it as a part of their treatment plan to help with hair growth while experiencing limited to no side effects.
Hair loss or male pattern balding can have many causes linked to it. Sometimes, it is genetic content; other times, it is because of high-stress levels, medications, unhealthy lifestyle, and use of excessive harmful chemicals. On average, an individual loses 100-150 hair strands, but if you are noticing too much hair fall, it is time you ask your doctor for help and assistance. Make changes in your lifestyle and stick to it! The sooner you address your problems, the sooner you can reverse or prevent the damages. Don’t wait! Get help today and start your journey towards a fuller head!