A lot of men experience hair loss at some point in their lives; in fact research indicates that 4 in 7 men have the baldness gene. Baldness can start at different ages; most men experience it at around the age of 35, however nowadays there are several cases of early hair loss in men, starting as early as 20s. The venture in to hair transplantation is becoming a really common medical practice, since men are seeking solutions to curb hair loss. Many men assume that baldness is a result of excessive testosterone but they are completely wrong. We will look deeply into this hormone causing the male pattern hair loss i.e. androgenic alopecia, as well as other factors that cause hair loss in men. This will make you more enlightened and well informed to practice preventive measures against hair loss early enough.
This is a pattern of hair thinning in males which results in a receding hairline and a thinning crown, which eventually leaves a horse shoe shaped ring at the back and sides of the head. This is caused by a hormone called dihydtotestosterone (DHT) which affects hair growth and prostate as well. DHT acts on genetically vulnerable hair follicles, causing them to shorten, miniaturize and eventually disappear. Hair then becomes thinner in the specific areas until it completely stops growing. However the hair at the back of the head is less susceptible to DHT and is known as permanent hair. During hair transplantation, the permanent hair is transplanted to the balding area, and since the follicles retain their DHT effects resistivity characteristics, they continue to grow normally
To prevent the effects of DHT, medications like Rogaine (minoxidil) and Propecia (finasteride) can be taken to reverse miniaturization.
Physically stressing the hair strands by pulling hair tightly either braiding or ponytails called traction alopecia and other activities like excessive styling using lots of heat or harsh chemicals cause hair loss by weakening the hair strands that eventually break off. Some people also have the habit of pulling off their hair unknowingly; this is known as trichotillomania; a habit that results in excessive hair loss.
Chemotherapy while targeting rapidly growing cells affects the growth phase of hair, slowing hair growth and eventually hair loss. Radiotherapy of the scalp causes trauma to the affected areas causing baldness. Stressful experiences like accidents, severe illness, surgery poisoning, cause temporary hair loss shock where a lot of hair to enter resting phase at the same time telogen effluvium, resulting in severe shedding and thinning of hair.
Emotionally stressful periods like death of a loved one, break ups and divorce can also cause hair loss.
Some drugs which affect the natural hormonal balance can cause permanent or temporary hair loss. Such medications are for example anabolic steroids and drugs that are used to cure blood pressure, acne, diabetes, blood thinners, anti depressants, heart disease, cholesterol and mycotic infections.
Seasonal hair loss occurs during the changes of seasons, because the skin is trying to adjust itself to the new weather.
The thyroid gland regulates the metabolism of the body by releasing some hormones. Birth abnormalities and removal of thyroid gland causes hypothyroidism which is under production of some hormones resulting in patchy hair loss known as alopecia areata.
Diseases where the immune system attacks healthy body tissue are known as autoimmune diseases e.g diabetes and arthritis. Cicatricial alopecia is hair loss that results from the immune system attacking the hair follicles causing permanent hair loss scars.
Hair is made from protein called keratin. Poor nutrition can affect hair growth. Deficiencies in nutrients like protein, iron, vitamin B, zinc, biotin. Excess vitamin A intake can also cause hair loss.
A common fungal infection of the scalp commonly known as ring worm (tinea capitis) that arise due to poor hygiene causes hair loss scar. Other infections that cause hair loss are secondary syphilis, dissecting celullitis and folliculitis. In an oilier scalp, a microscopic mite called demodex follicullorum is likely to thrive; it feeds on sebum, denying hair its nutrients causing hair thinning.
Poor habits like insufficient sleep, smoking and excessive drinking can also affect hair growth adversely. Carbon monoxide from smoke prevents circulation of oxygen to the hair follicles, while excess drinking of alcohol causes dehydration stopping the body from absorbing essential nutrients.