Understanding Hair Loss in Men
Hair loss is a natural condition. You lose and regrow hair every day. Permanent hair loss occurs when the hair falls out but does not grow back. This is a condition that most men will experience. In fact, over 100 million men in the world are currently affected by hair loss. Some will become entirely bald while others suffer male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. Men of all ages can have hair loss, even teenagers. When teenagers and very young men lose hair, it is typically because of an illness or poor diet and is most likely to be temporary.
Causes of Hair Loss
Genetic factors contribute to hair loss in men. Thinning hair in men is a result of male pattern baldness at least 95% of the time. Evident by a receding hairline or a thinning of hair on top of the head, this type of hair loss continues until treated or complete baldness occurs. There is a high chance, nearly 57%, of male babies being born with the gene that produces baldness.
There are also non-genetic reasons men lose hair. Harsh treatment of hair strands can lead to permanent hair loss. Men who keep their hair in braids, cornrows, or dreadlocks can cause their hair to fall out. This is known as traction alopecia. Major stress can cause significant hair loss. This hair loss can be temporary or permanent depending upon the circumstance.
Medical conditions such as alopecia totalis can cause complete hair loss. Medical treatments for cancer and other diseases may cause temporary hair loss in men as can some medications. Any type of medication that affects the hormone level, such as steroids or even acne medication, can cause hair loss to begin or increase.
Biology of Hair Loss
Men who suffer male pattern baldness are affected by DHT which is a sex hormone that naturally promotes body and facial hair growth. The problem occurs when DHT begins to attack hair follicles as though the follicles were harmful to the body. This eventually causes the hair follicles on the head to die which prevents the hair's growth phase to complete. When the growth phase is not permitted to complete, permanent hair follicles do not develop. It is these follicles that continue to produce and grow hair. Overtime, hair becomes thinner and eventually falls out.
Treatments for Hair Loss
The best way to treat hair loss in men that have male pattern baldness is by preventing DHT from attacking the hair follicles. Propecia does this by reducing the production of DHT. Keeping DHT levels low can stop or reverse hair loss in men.