Hair loss is a common problem among men and women. However, in men and women the pattern of baldness differs. Male pattern baldness is among the most common type of hair loss in men. This type of male hair loss usually follows a typical pattern of receding hairline and thinning of hair on the crown; this is mostly caused by hormones and genetic predisposition.
Hair grows around an inch every couple of months, each hair grows for around two to six years, and remains at that length for a short period of time, and then the hair falls. Soon, a new hair begins to grow in its place. At any one point of time about 85% of the hair on the head is in the growing phase and the rest is not. Every hair sits in a cavity in the skin called follicle, baldness in men occurs when the follicle shrinks with time, and results in shorter and finer hair.
The end result is a very small follicle with no hair inside it. Normally, the hair will grow back. However, in men who are going through hair loss the follicle fails to grow a new hair. Occurrence of this is not well understood, but this condition is related to genes and male sex hormones. Even though the follicles get small, they still remain alive and there is a possibility of new growth.
Symptoms of Male Pattern Baldness
- Typical pattern of male baldness begins near the hairline.
- The hairline gradually recedes to form an M shape.
- Existing hair can become finer and shorter in length.
- Hair at the crown can also start to thin.
- The top of the hairline meets the thinned crown, this can leave a horseshoe pattern of hair around the sides of the head.
- Along with hair loss in patches, there could be breaking of hair shafts, redness of scalp, and scalp pain.
Treatment is not necessary, if you are comfortable with your appearance. You can change your hairstyle and grow your hair longer and comb them sideways. With long front hair you can also opt for a good haircut. You can use hairpieces or opt for hair weaving to disguise your hair loss. This is the least expensive approach and safe treatment for male baldness. Here are two medical treatments that can be used to treat male baldness.
Minoxidil solution is a common topical treatment used for treating female and male pattern baldness. This solution is directly applied to the scalp for stimulating the hair follicles, so that there is regrowth. This can slow hair loss for many men and stimulate new hair growth in some men. However, the previous degree of hair loss returns once you stop using this solution.
This is a prescription pill which inhibits the production of male hormone dihydrotestosterone. Similar to minoxidil, this medicine will help to slow down the hair loss and allow new hair growth. This effect is similar to minoxidil, the previous degree of hair loss returns once you stop taking this medicine.
Contact your doctor if your hair loss occurs in an atypical pattern, or you are having rapid hair loss, diffuse shedding, or hair loss in patches, or breaking of hair shafts. It is important that you contact a doctor if the hair loss is accompanied by itching, skin irritation, redness, scaling, pain, or other symptoms. Also, contact the doctor if your hair loss started after using a medication or you want to treat your hair loss.
Disclaimer: This MenWit article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.