Frontal baldness, also known as receding hairline, can affect both men and women. However, this problem is more common in men compared to women. Though this condition does not affect the health, many people seek treatment to enhance their appearance.
Although many cases of receding hairline are due to genetics, other causes include unhealthy diet, lack of nutrition, chemical hair products, medications, and even stress.
Hair loss usually occurs due to a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is produced by the human body. An enzyme called 5-alpha reductase converts the testosterone hormone to dihydrotestosterone. When this hormone is produced in excess, it attacks the hair follicles and causes them to shrink gradually over months and years. Eventually, the hair begins to fall and disappear completely.
The following two medicines are recommended by the American Hair Loss Association, and they are also approved by the FDA.
Finasteride is an oral, prescription medication which comes in the form of a tablet. The recommended daily dosage is 1 mg per day. Finasteride prevents the transformation of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Therefore, inhibiting the production of dihydrotestosterone promotes the growth of the hair follicles which helps regain their normal size. The results can be seen after 3-6 months of treatment; however, if the treatment is discontinued, the hair fall will recur within 6-12 months. According to the American Hair Loss Association, this treatment method has proven to stop hair fall in 86% of men during clinical trials. The side effects, though rare, are characterized by decreased sex drive or erectile dysfunction.
Minoxidil is a non-prescription drug that is available in the form of a lotion. It needs to be applied to the scalp twice daily. Studies suggest that minoxidil works by stimulating the blood circulation to the scalp and hair follicles. Like finasteride, this treatment needs to be continued for several months to observe the results. Hair fall will usually resume if the treatment is discontinued. Although the side effects are uncommon, they are characterized by dryness or itchiness in the area of application.
In this surgery, a section of hair-bearing scalp is relocated to the bald area while still attached at one end to its original blood supply. This procedure leaves scars under the hair where the flap was removed.
In this procedure, a section of hair-bearing scalp is removed. A single hair or group of hair are plucked from this piece of scalp and grafted onto the bald areas. As the hair is inserted, it is held together by the clotting of the blood. Therefore, no sutures are required. The results can be seen within 6 months as the hair begins to regrow. The procedure is expensive and time-consuming as it requires multiple sessions.
The reason behind hair loss can be as simple as a vitamin deficiency. Therefore, before undergoing any of the aforementioned treatment methods, consult your doctor to ensure that the hair fall problem is caused due to dihydrotestosterone, and not due to any medication you are taking or any underlying medical condition.
Disclaimer: This MenWit article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.