We all lose hair at some point, maybe close to a hundred strands each day. They fall out then regrow with time, and this process keep repeating. But eventually most males will begin to notice that they are losing more hair than normal and it is not growing back as it should. Male pattern baldness, also called “androgenetic alopecia” is one of the most common types of hair loss in men. According to the National Library of Medicine, more than thirty percent of men all over the world, above the age of fifty, are likely to be affected by male pattern baldness at some point. Approximately seventy percent of men will have permanent hair loss in their lifetime.
Hair loss normally starts at the temple, with the hairline slowly receding. As time goes on, the hair around the back (crown) part of the head also begins to get thinner. In other cases, hair loss spreads over the whole crown of the head, allowing only a horseshoe hair shape around the sides and back of the head. This can happen for many reasons.
Every hair on the head has its own growth cycle. With male pattern baldness, the growth cycle starts to weaken, causing the hair follicle to contract, producing finer and shorter strands of hair. The growth cycle of each hair eventually ends, making it difficult for a new hair to grow in that follicle.
CAUSES OF MALE PATTERN BALDNESS
A main cause of male pattern baldness is having a history of baldness in your family. Research has discovered that male pattern baldness is impacted by the male sex hormones called androgens.
Sometimes baldness has more severe causes like certain medications, cancer, anabolic steroids, and thyroid conditions. See your physician whenever you experience hair loss after taking a new medication or when it coincides with other health problems. Physicians use the type of hair loss to diagnose whether it is regular male pattern baldness or the side effect of something else. They can exam you and conduct a medical history to look for any health problems that could be the cause, such as nutritional disorders or fungal conditions of the scalp.
Health problems such as rash, pain, redness, peeling of the scalp, patchy hair loss, hair breakage, or a continuous pattern of hair loss can result in baldness. A blood test and skin biopsy may also be necessary in diagnosing disorders responsible for your hair loss.
WHO’S AT RISK?
Male pattern baldness can start right after adolescence but it is more common in adult men above the age of fifty with the loss increasing with age. Genetics also plays a major role. Men who have close relatives with baldness are at a greater risk, especially when these relatives are on the maternal side of the family.
CAN HAIR LOSS BE PREVENTED?
There is no known way of preventing male pattern baldness. Research indicates that stress might cause hair loss in men by increasing production of sex hormones in the body. You can reduce stress by taking part in relaxing activities, like listening to music, walking, meditating, working out, gardening, etc.