Hair loss is a common fact of aging for most men. According to the website Webmd, by the age of 50, 85% of men will have experienced some form of hair loss. Yikes ! Plenty of research goes into solving this problem and I’ve even heard news that baldness might be cured in a few years time. I imagine whoever comes up with this cure will make an absolute fortune. No one wants to be bald – just ask Larry David or his alter ego George Costanza in Seinfeld. So what exactly is the cause of male hair loss and what can be done about it now ?
6 Reasons For Male Hair Loss
* Androgenic alopecia
Androgen hormones are the main cause of male hair loss. Androgen is the general term for all all the male sexual hormones. The main androgen hormone is testosterone of course. Testosterone is the main culprit when it comes to male hair loss.
Testosterone gets to the hair follicles via the blood stream. It then attaches itself on what is called Androgen Receptors (AR), which are substances located in the four major areas of hair production, namely the papilla, matrix, epithelial sheath, and sebaceous gland.
Once it reaches its target receptors, testosterone associates itself to an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase (5a), which synthesizes it into a new kind of androgen called DHT or dihydrotestosterone. On a healthy follicle, these two substances link themselves with no known negative consequence on the physiological development of men’s hair.
Hair issues occur in the case of genetic predisposition, when the hair follicles mutate as brought about by one or several alopecia genes. When alopecia genes come into play, 5-alpha reductase (5a) becomes stimulated which, in turn, triggers the increased secretion of DHT. This increased secretion disturbs the hair follicles’ work, which leads to their progressive deterioration and finally hair loss.
Androgen alopecia is responsible for the 85 to 90 percent of all hair loss cases in men. Also commonly known as male pattern baldness, it is a problem that rarely progresses to complete baldness.
It is not uncommon to lose between 50 to 150 scalp hairs daily. At any given time, around 10 percent of our hair goes into what is called a “resting phase”, and after 2 to 3 months of resting, hair falls out and new hair grows as a replacement. However, as a person ages, the hair follicle’s ability to replenish itself slow down, leading to gradual hair loss.
It is easy to associate hair loss with stress, as many patients link stressful events with the development of alopecia. Although there are no definite studies to prove that stress directly affects the hair follicles, statistics show that people who are constantly exposed to stress suffer more from hair loss than those who have a more relaxed lifestyle.
* Thyroid problems
Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can cause male hair loss. Normally, hair growth has three phases, namely the anagen phase, catagen phase, and dormant phase. When a person suffers from either one of these two thyroid conditions, the general process of hair growth becomes disturbed. Thyroid disease can drive the hair follicles to remain in the dormant phase for prolonged periods which consequently leads to slowed hair growth and eventually hair loss.
* Mechanical damage
Mechanical damage to the hair is usually unintentional. Of course, no person would want to damage his own hair. However, despite the greatest intentions, hair loss can still occur. Since men always want to look their absolute best in front of women, they style their hair using all kinds of gel, wax, and mousse that they can grab. But, keep in mind that such products contain harsh chemicals that can cause male hair loss faster than the normal cycle. With that said, it is recommended that you limit the use of hair styling products to help you preserve your hair.
In most cases, hair loss brought about by medications is just temporary. Generally, your hair will gradually grow back once you adjust the dose or stop taking the medication. If you are worried that the medication you are taking is causing your alopecia, ask your health care provider for a list of the manufacturer’s warnings for the medication. It may be that hair loss is a potential side effect of what you’re taking.
These are the most common reasons why your hair line might be receding or that it’s thinning on top. What can be done about it ?
Well, first try to get to the bottom of why it’s happening. If it’s not genetic, the chances are that it will grow back. If it’s genetic or part of the aging process, there isn’t much you can do about it unfortunately…well not until that elusive cure is released.
There are creams and lotions that you can put on the area where the hair is thinning but this won’t stop the problem, merely slow it down. And you will always be reliant on using this cream. There are other options like surgical procedures but again, this isn’t really solving the problem just delaying the outcome.