Hair Loss in Men
Are You Suffering From Hair Loss?
It is estimated that 70% of men will experience male hair loss in their lifetime.
Most of these men will suffer from androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern hair loss (MPHL) or male pattern baldness (MPB).
If you’re faced with hair loss, why not get in touch? Our trusted medical team offer a range of solutions to suit your individual needs and budget.
What Is Androgenetic Alopecia?
The name of the condition comes from two words – “androgen” and “genetics”, which are the two main causative factors.
‘Androgen’ refers to male hormones, namely testosterone, that normally circulate in the blood stream.
These male hormones are broken down by enzymes at various sites in the body, including the hair follicles on the scalp. One of the breakdown products is known as di-hydrotestosterone or DHT. Over time, DHT damages susceptible hair follicles.
The susceptible hair follicles in men tend to be located on the front of the scalp, leaving the hair follicles on the back of the head less susceptible to damage by DHT.
The effect of DHT on male hair loss.
At Terra, one way we aim to help treat male hair loss is by reducing the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
‘Genetics’ refers to an inherited hair loss trait from either the paternal or maternal (or both) side of the ancestral tree. There are many genes that have been associated with male hair loss and more are being researched on.
If you have a strong family history of male hair loss, your risk of developing the condition is higher. However, there is no clear indication whether your hair loss will start at the same time as your relatives, progress at a rate similar to your family member or progress to a stage that your father or grandfather is at. There is currently no direct gene therapy to treat male hair loss.
Do I Have Androgenetic Alopecia / Male Pattern Hair Loss?
Androgenetic alopecia can start as early as the late teens.
If you have androgenetic alopecia, the first sign you’ll notice is that hair that was once thick and strong is now unable to grow long and thick. This indicates that significant damage has been done by DHT to the hair follicles.
As time goes by, your hair may look thinner, less pigmented and is unable to grow longer. You’ll notice this change most commonly along the hairline or at the crown. This phenomenon is called ‘miniaturisation’.
You might see this happening and think that new hairs are growing when these hairs are actually in a state of deterioration.
Over time, as more and more hair follicles get damaged by DHT and undergo miniaturisation, a ‘pattern’ of balding will become apparent.
The progression of this condition is illustrated by the Norwood-Hamilton Scale. Some men will experience thinning more on the crown, while some may notice their hairline being affected more. Not all men who have been diagnosed with male pattern baldness will eventually reach Stage 7, even without treatment.
In drastic cases, usually where there is a strong family history of hair loss, especially starting at a young age, hair loss might quickly progress to a Stage 7.
The Norwood Hamilton scale of male hair loss.
Other Causes Of Hair Loss In Men
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common scalp condition or scalp infection characterised by an increase in sebum production, red inflamed skin and flaky dandruff. It can also occur on skin on the face. In infants, a severe form this condition can occur, called cradle cap. Seborrheic dermatitis is caused by the overgrowth of a type of yeast called malasezzia. This condition can be associated with stress, poor immunity or skin conditions such as psoriasis.
The condition occurs suddenly, followed by the bald spot enlarging. Events that can trigger alopecia areata include infection, hormonal changes or emotional stress. Sometimes, this condition can be linked to other immune conditions such as thyroid disease or certain kinds of arthritis. Alopecia areata can also affect eyebrows and facial hair.
The treatment of alopecia areata is aimed to reduce the immune activity in the area of scalp affected. This is commonly done with small injections of medication into the bald patch. There are also rare times when tablet or intravenous medication would be necessary.