With Dr. Kaarthig Ganesamoorthy (DTAP Clinic)
Study reveals that male pattern hair loss can start in the late teens or early twenties. Commonly, it appears in the 50s with visible signs of hair thinning, balding or receding hairline. Male pattern baldness happens as hormone levels change over a person’s lifetime. Research has found that male pattern baldness is associated with male sex hormones called androgens. Unexpected or sudden hair loss may indicate a health condition and would require medical attention.
What is male pattern hair loss?
Androgenetic alopecia is a common form of male hair loss.
A follicle is a tiny hole that each strand of hair sits in. Balding occurs when the hair follicle shrinks resulting in shorter and finer hair over time. This results in a follicle not being able to accommodate new hair growth, though it still remains alive and has the potential to grow hair with proper treatment.
A familial tendency to MAA and racial variation in the prevalence is well recognized, with heredity accounting for approximately 80% of the predisposition. Normal levels of androgens are sufficient to cause hair loss in genetically susceptible individuals.
The balding pattern tends to be a gradual process beginning in early adulthood in some cases. It usually starts off as a receding hairline, and or bald spot on the top of the head.
The most common hair loss in men is Male Androgenetic Alopecia (MAA). 30%-50% of men are affected by the age of 50 in this case. MAA usually occurs in the temples, vertex and mid-scalp. These are highly reproducible patterns.
Is hair thinning reversible?
Reversible is a difficult term to come to grips with if we are only focusing on natural remedies for hair loss prevention. It is definitely possible to slow down the rate of thinning hair though.
You may try these tips to help prevent hair loss in men:
- Find ways to lower your stress levels.
- Take care of your overall health with a healthy diet and exercise.
- Avoid hairstyles that tug and pull on your hair.
- Use hair products to prevent hair loss.
- Avoid smoking.
- Try scalp massages.
Can crown hair loss be treated?
Yes, by the following options. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, this is a personal choice and will depend on what your goal here is.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP): While PRP is not a permanent solution, maintenance treatments can help you maintain results.
PRP can be used alone or given before a hair transplant to improve results.
If your dermatologist recommends PRP for you, here’s what you can expect. A small amount of your blood would be drawn and placed into a machine that separates your red blood cells from the plasma.
Your plasma is then injected into your scalp. This takes about 10 minutes.
You will need to return for more injections. For the first three months, you return once a month. Then you return once every three to six months.
Within a few months, PRP can help lessen hair loss. Soon after, some patients see a thickening of their hair or regrowth.
Hair transplant: If you’re looking for a permanent solution, you may want to consider a hair transplant. This procedure no longer involves moving plugs of hair from one part of your scalp to another. Today, a hair transplant can give you permanent, natural-looking results.
How can I regain my lost hair?
Nutrition and hair products are the two things that we need to look at closely to slow down the rate of hair thinning. The genetic factor is not something we can alter.
It is important to know that hair products should not be excessively rubbed into your scalp. There are certain hair oils that we use to massage the scalp, but apart from that, things like hair gel, mousse, and hair cream should be applied in a way that it does not sit on the scalp but rather just the hair.
What studies show: In clinical trials, minoxidil has been shown to reduce hair loss, stimulate hair growth, and strengthen existing strands of hair. While minoxidil can help, you’re unlikely to see full regrowth.
How to use: Apply to your scalp.
When to use: Minoxidil is applied twice a day, every day.
How long it takes to see results: Some men respond to minoxidil better than others, and some men fail to see any difference. If minoxidil works for you, it can take up to six to 12 months to see results. It’s important to follow directions, which includes applying minoxidil every day.
Possible side effects: When using minoxidil, some men develop an irritated scalp. The newer formulation, which is a foam, seems to reduce this risk. Other possible side effects include an itchy scalp or headaches.
If you stop using minoxidil: When you stop applying minoxidil, you lose its benefits. Because minoxidil helps you maintain your hair’s thickness, some hairs may look and feel thinner. You’ll also gradually notice that you’re shedding more hair.
What studies show: Finasteride has been shown to slow down further hair loss in about 80% to 90% of men taking it. Some men also see some hair regrowth, which tends to occur in men who start finasteride when they first notice signs of hair loss.
How to use: Take a pill.
When to take: Every day.
How long it takes to see results: If finasteride helps you, you will start to see results in about 6 months.
Possible side effects: Some men who take finasteride have developed side effects. These include loss of libido (desire to have sex), inability to get or keep an erection, swelling and tenderness in their breasts, and depression. It’s been reported that sexual side effects can continue after a patient stops taking finasteride. Due to the seriousness of these side effects, your dermatologist will want to know more about you before prescribing finasteride. Your dermatologist will give you a complete exam and ask you about preexisting conditions and medications you take.
Can be used alone: If finasteride is part of your treatment plan, you may take it alone or use it along with minoxidil.
If you stop taking finasteride: To maintain results, you must continue taking one pill every day. Once you stop taking this medication, hair loss returns.
For further information about hair loss or for a discreet consultation with Dr Kaarthig Ganesamoorthy, please visit www.dtapclinic.com.my