Coping with male pattern baldness.
By Richard Mitchell
Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness)
is by far the most common cause of hair loss amongst men and
a serious problem for many women. For it to develop, three important
components must come into play:
1. A genetic predisposition for balding to occur.
2. The presence of male hormones.
3. Aging - enough time for the first two factors to occur.
Despite the common perception, familial baldness patterns are
not completely reliable as predictors of future hair loss. The
fact that your parent or grandparent exhibited a given pattern
does not guarantee your hair loss development will be the same.
However, if your father was completely bald and you begin to
lose hair excessively at an early age, its safe to assume you
will develop extensive balding.
All normal men and women produce male hormones such as testosterone
and DHT. These hormones have a useful role to play in both sexes
but it is the fact that androgens occur in much higher oncentrations
in men that explains why this type of hair loss is more common
The effect of these hormones on hair follicles is as follows:
1. High levels of an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase occur in
cells of the hair follicle.
2. This enzyme converts testosterone into DHT.
3. DHT causes the robust terminal hairs to miniaturize.
4. This leaves soft, fine hairs that provide poor scalp coverage
.5. The growth phase becomes shorter until these soft hairs
are lost for good
.Excessive hair loss can occur at any age and may even stop
only to start again. As time progresses the process of hair
loss accelerates leading to its logical conclusion.Understanding
this process helps to explain how the currently available treatments
for male pattern baldness work.
Propecia is one of only two FDA-approved hair
loss treatments and it works by interfering with the process
outlined above. In brief, Propecia inhibits the formation of
DHT in the system thus slowing down and eventually stopping
the adverse effects of DHT on the hair follicle.
Most of the non-drug, commercially prepared products operate
on a similar basis by utilizing natural ingredients that attempt
to interfere with the production of DHT. Presently the most
popular natural ingredient is saw palmetto although some products
combine this with other herbs such as pygeum, stinging nettle
and green tea.Please go to Androgenetic Alopecia to find out
more about the
issues covered in this article.
Richard Mitchell is the creator of the www.myhairlossadvisor.com website that provides information
and guidance to those suffering from premature hair loss.
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