Hair loss is a common medical disorder that affects both men and women. Men, specifically, experience what medical experts refer to as Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) or male-pattern hair loss. For women, the more apt term is female-pattern hair loss.
In the United States alone, approximately 30 million females and 50 million males suffer from hair loss. Roughly 50% of men who are over 50 years old show a great extent of this condition. At the same time, women that go through menopause are highly susceptible to experience hair loss.
To better understand this medical condition that affects countless males, this article will focus on Androgenetic Alopecia and how you can manage this type of hair loss in men.
What Is Androgenetic Alopecia?
Androgenetic Alopecia, which is also known as male-pattern baldness, hereditary alopecia, diffuse alopecia, baldness, or common baldness, is the gradual and progressive hair loss that typically commences from the scalp. The medical disorder displays a well-identifiable pattern that starts on top of both temples.
As the condition progresses, the individuals’ hairline eases to show an “M” figure. In addition to this, there’s also a thinning of the hair at the top portion, particularly at the head’s crown area. Often, this specific health disorder results in sectional or full baldness.
Though the health condition happens dramatically, it usually ensues after puberty. However, there are instances that early Androgenetic Alopecia occurs, and it begins before males reach 30 years old. Still, take note that researchers have yet to determine the extremeness of this type of pattern baldness.
What Are the Factors That Causes Androgenetic Alopecia?
Several factors might trigger Androgenetic Alopecia. Below, you’ll find the notable reasons that cause this condition in men:
Androgens play a significant role in male-pattern baldness. These hormones are essential for male sexual advancement before birth and throughout puberty. Moreover, androgens control an individual’s sex drive and hair development.
Medical experts discovered that excessive production of androgen, specifically ‘dihydrotestosterone,’ causes the disorder. When there’s too much dihydrotestosterone, the condition leads to shorter and slimmer hair follicles that may not possibly break the skin’s surface.
Furthermore, high levels of androgen can slow the growth of brand-new hair that’ll fill cast-off strands.
- Family History
One of the causes of this male-pattern baldness can likewise be a family history. If the father is experiencing balding, then there’s a high chance that a son will have this disorder. However, note that both paternal and maternal genes can be responsible for this health condition.
A person’s ethnicity, likewise, can be a factor in this disorder. The most affected by this condition are Caucasians, Asians, African Americans, Native Americans, and Eskimos.
For people with white ethnicity, 50% demonstrates male-pattern baldness for 50 years old and above. While 80% of men who are 80 years old and above also exhibit baldness.
- Other Medical Conditions
While factors such as other medical conditions still require deeper research, medical experts associate diseases such as High-blood Pressure, Prostate Cancer, Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Obesity with Androgenetic Alopecia.
How Do You Manage Androgenetic Alopecia?
Due to the seriousness of Androgenetic Alopecia, plenty of men consult experts for medical advice. Here are some of the ways you can manage male-pattern baldness:
Oral finasteride is a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat baldness in men; the medication discourages further hair loss. However, it involves continuous oral medicine taking to sustain the effect.
The clinical reaction can become visible between 6 to 12 months. Take note, though, that other people taking the drug observe sexual side effects.
- Adjust Hair Style
Though baldness is a problematic condition for most men, the disorder isn’t life-threatening that some males allow it to naturally build-up. Plenty of men shift their hairstyle to hide the balding area.
Simple and inexpensive ways to address it include wearing stylish and washable wigs and coloring the scalp with similar hair color.
- Hair Transplantation or Microneedling
A popular option to address Androgenetic Alopecia is to undergo hair transplantation. Keep in mind that this treatment’s result or effectiveness will depend on the physician’s expertise and technique.
During this procedure, hair follicles located in androgen resistant areas in your scalp will be transplanted into androgen-dependent areas. Results are normally visible after 6 to 8 months after the procedure.
Meanwhile, Microneedling, previously viewed as a cosmetic procedure, is now being used to manage male-pattern baldness. This procedure utilizes numerous thin needles connected to a roller to produce small holes in the skin that promotes neovascularization, discharge growth factors, and encourage activation of WNT proteins. Microneedling will require the application of the topical drug Minoxidil. Although outcomes may vary, it may seem that the procedure, combined with the topical drug, can be more powerful.
- Laser Therapy
For the past few years, laser therapy became a common treatment for hair loss. At the moment, there are a variety of manufacturers offering light and laser devices with different modes and wavelengths.
Note that while laser therapy promotes hair growth, this specific treatment still requires more research to confirm its impact.
All in all, there are various options when it comes to managing Androgenetic Alopecia. Though most men allow it to escalate naturally, many find it distressing that they look for treatment to remedy the process.
Several medications have been studied and shown to bring out positive results. While there are simple and natural ways to deal with male-pattern baldness, it’s best to consider medication as immediate therapy. However, other therapies and medical procedures are showing promising results.
When dealing with this kind of condition, medical consultants, in partnership with nurses and pharmacists, should educate patients about this health disorder and provide various treatment options to them. In recommending a suitable treatment, factors such as patient choice, schedule, insurance plans, and budget should be taken into account.
Androgenetic Alopecia and its management still require plenty of medical research. However, it’s good to learn that there are now various significant advancements that are taking place. Who knows, maybe in the future, both men and women may no longer suffer from hair loss.