What is male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness (or androgenic alopecia) is the most common type of hair loss in men. It’s the term for the inherited form of hair loss, which affects both men and women, but is more recurrent among males. It affects roughly 1-in-2 men at some stage of their life.
Hair loss is a natural part of ageing, but many men begin to see their hair thinning at a young age, even as early as teenage years. Which is an obvious cause for concern when you’re trying to enjoy your youth to the fullest. Although hair loss isn’t usually painful, it’s psychologically distressing.
Hair loss can be a sign of something serious, such as lupus or thyroid conditions. So even if you suspect pattern baldness, it’s important to speak to a doctor. They will be able to confirm this and rule out any serious illnesses.
- What causes male pattern hair loss?
- At what age do men start balding?
- Why is baldness more common in males?
- Can you stop male pattern baldness?
- How do you stop DHT from attacking hair follicles?
- Can you have a receding hairline and not go bald?
- Is male pattern baldness reversible?
- Which foods stimulate hair growth?
What causes male pattern hair loss?
Genetics or male sex hormones (androgens) cause male pattern baldness (MPB). Hence why it’s sometimes referred to as androgenic alopecia. MPB affects 30% of while males below the age of 30, which increases to 80% above the age of 70. Furthermore, hair loss occurs less in black men, and in Asian men, hair thinning starts at a later age and much slower – according to the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.
Although we know that it’s hereditary, many men try to fight against their balding by seeking a different cause. Things that men often blame for causing the first signs of male pattern baldness include:
- Over shampooing (or using a shampoo that’s too harsh on the hair and scalp)
- The water supply (in hard water areas)
- Wearing hats too often
You may have heard the saying “grass doesn’t grow on a busy street” which many men use to justify why their hair has started thinning. But when we’re talking about pattern balding, there’s no running away from the fact that it’s passed down through genetics.
At what age do men start balding?
Male pattern baldness can happen suddenly. Because it’s hereditary, most men can predict when they’ll start to lose their hair based on when their father did. And unfortunately, it’s believed that hair loss happens earlier and earlier, for each generation.
The age that men start losing their hair varies from person to person. Balding at 25 is normal for some men, and it can even start as early as teenage years. The most famous person in the UK who suffered from premature baldness is Wayne Rooney.
He is a great example of this, as he started losing his hair (very publicly) from the age of 20. Moreover, he speaks openly about early onset balding. In conclusion, losing hair at a young age is becoming increasingly common among men.
Why is baldness more common in males?
Men are more prone to hair loss compared to women. Androgenic Alopecia affects 70% of men and 40% of women during their life. These statistics show a huge difference between hair loss in both genders and here’s the reason. Testosterone is produced by men at a higher rate than women, hence why baldness is more common in males.
More specifically, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) causes hair loss. Male pattern baldness increases the activity of androgen receptors in the hair follicles – which respond to this hormone. DHT shrinks hair follicles which significantly disrupts their growth. Men and constantly producing testosterone throughout their lives, and consequently making dihydrotestosterone. So that’s why baldness is more commonly seen in males.
Can you stop male pattern baldness?
Male pattern baldness can’t be stopped, but it can be slowed down. Some over-the-counter medications (such as Minoxidil) reduce hair loss and occasionally some men see new hair growth. However, your hair fall will return as soon as you stop using it.
You can stop your hair from falling out and balding with a hair transplant. It’s the only effective, long-term “cure” for baldness issues. Many people are cautious about this surgery as old methods were quite invasive and didn’t produce effective results. But techniques are incredibly advanced now and hair transplant results are long-lasting and look natural. So a hair transplant is definitely worth it.
There has been research on how stress can cause balding. High-stress levels cause hair follicles to be pushed into a resting phase and will eventually lead to hair loss. When you’re suffering from male pattern baldness, stress can accelerate the rate of balding. Therefore, if you get your stress under control then your hair fall may reduce.
How do you stop DHT from attacking hair follicles?
So one obvious way to stop male pattern baldness would be to stop the production of DHT. But how do you stop it? Certain medications are said to block this male hormone and there are natural ways too. Green tea is one of the natural DHT blockers. The antioxidants and phytochemicals present in green tea are said to reduce the conversion of testosterone into DHT.
Balding isn’t a sign of low testosterone in men. But studies have shown that subcutaneous testosterone therapy has a positive effect on scalp hair growth for women who have androgen deficiency. However further studies need to be carried out to measure the hair growth accurately.
Many individuals with hair loss seek medication that reduces the effect of DHT. Finasteride reduces the production of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase that makes this hormone. Subsequently stopping it from attacking the hair follicles.
Can you have a receding hairline and not go bald?
Early symptoms of male pattern baldness include hair thinning across the top of the head, or a receding hairline that gradually develops. Hair tends to recede first at the temples, then soon after a bald patch in the middle of the scalp appears. Over time this bald patch enlarges, the hair recedes further and the hair on the top of the hair thins.
Most men’s hairlines recede because this area of the head is the most hormonally sensitive area. So when DHT starts to attack the hair follicles, it happens along the front of the hairline first. The gradually develops backwards across the top of the head. An M shape or V shape at the front of the head is normal when the hairline starts to recede.
How to prevent a receding hairline
An M-shaped receding hairline (often referred to as a widow’s peak) is a first sign of balding. When this occurs it means that you most likely are in the initial stage of male pattern baldness. A receding hairline definitely doesn’t mean you will go bald.
The reason why your hairline is receding so fast could be a result of a poor diet or unhealthy habits. To prevent your hairline from receding further, you can:
- Eat a balanced diet
- Stop smoking
- Reduce stress levels
- Check if any medication that you’re taking could have hair loss as a side effect
- Use products that are gentle on the skin, and consider using a hair serum or hair oil
Is male pattern baldness reversible?
Certain kinds of baldness are reversible with medication, but they are only temporary solutions. Once you stop taking these medications your pattern baldness will start again.
Hair loss and hair thinning can be reversed naturally by improving your diet. Consuming the right nutrients (especially a protein-rich diet) will help to improve the condition of the scalp and hair in order to help your hair grow back. Moreover, when the hair follicles are supplied with the rich nourishment they’re stronger.
Furthermore, combining a healthy diet with exercise can also increase hair growth by boosting the blood flow to the hair follicles. Increasing blood circulation through exercise means that more nutrients and oxygen reach the scalp.
A hair surgery is the only permanent solution to recover lost hair
Androgenetic alopecia is a permanent health condition and without intervention, the hair will not grow back. If you are bald from male pattern baldness, the only effective treatment to make your hair and hairline grow back is a hair transplant.
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Which foods stimulate hair growth?
There have also been studies that analysed whether caffeine can increase DHT. During this test, the concentration of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone in the plasma were recorded before and after consuming caffeine.
The research showed that caffeine did increase DHT and testosterone, among other things. To reiterate, drinking coffee can help with hair growth, but drinking too much can have other negative effects on your health.
Furthermore, foods to stimulate hair growth include eggs, berries, spinach, fatty fish, sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts and seeds. These foods are typically rich in protein and contain abundant vitamins to fight against hair loss. Alternatively, vitamin supplements can be consumed, alongside a nutrient-rich diet, to ensure that sufficient biotin and protein is being ingested.
Which food is bad for hair loss?
- Sugar can cause hair loss, it’s as bad for your hair as it is for the rest of our body
- High-GI foods (Glycemic Index) cause an insulin spike, this includes bread, sugar and flour
- Alcohol has a negative impact on protein synthesis, which can lead to weak keratin production (which hair is made from)
- Sweeteners can damage hair follicles. Aspartame (the sweetener that is usually found in diet fizzy drinks) attacks the hair follicles and therefore causes baldness
Male pattern baldness is a very common issue that billions of men face. Finding a suitable and effective treatment method can see individuals searching the shelves of drugstores for years trying to find a cure.
Are you looking for the solution to your hair loss? Talk to our friendly team who can provide you with advice and answer any questions you have. Take the first step to benefit from Dr. Balwi and Elithair’s expertise for a successful and affordable hair transplant in Turkey!