The distinctive pattern created by hair thinning in men is where the condition known as male pattern baldness gets its name.
Androgenetic alopecia, more often known as male pattern baldness, is the medical term for this type of hair loss. This is a significant issue that has troubled many men—the act of balding is frustrating, sensitive, and emotional. In this video blog post, we discuss the pathophysiology of male pattern hair loss, who is at a higher risk of developing it, and the treatment options currently available to reverse this condition.
Is it possible to reverse male pattern baldness? There is no definitive treatment for male pattern baldness; nevertheless, it is possible that hair loss is only temporary and that hair will ultimately grow back. Treatments such as finasteride and minoxidil can help men who have had hair loss to stop further hair loss and, in some rare instances, even encourage new hair development. On the other hand, you should be informed that if treatment is stopped, hair loss will return.
All hair cycles, throughout life, in and out of active growing and resting periods. There are three different phases of the hair cycle that any individual hair follicle in our scalp might be going through in a healthy, normal head of hair.
The anagen phase is sometimes referred to as the growth phase. This phase should comprise approximately 80 to 85 percent of our scalp hair, lasting anywhere from three to five years. The healthy nourishment that comes from our blood circulation allows the hair to continue to expand and flourish.
The phase known as catagen is also referred to as the transition phase. A tiny percentage of the hair follicles are now in this phase. This brief transitional stage lasts for about two weeks, during which the hair follicle gets smaller and the hair shaft disconnects from the follicle and is shed.
This phase can continue anywhere from three to 24 months and affects roughly 15 percent of our hair at any given time. This is the stage in which there is no hair shaft, and late in the phase the new hair begins to grow. The follicle will transition back into the anagen phase when it has finished going through the Telogen phase. As a result, our hair follicles will continue to cycle through these three stages in a manner analogous to the cycle of life.
What happens during the condition known as male pattern hair loss?
One of the male hormones, known as dihydrotestosterone, is the one that is accountable for inducing hair loss in men. Within our bodies a particular enzyme, five alpha-red reductases, is responsible for transforming testosterone into dihydrotestosterone.
In a physiology that is not completely understood, dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, will enter the hair follicles and lengthen the telogen resting phase and shorten the anagen growthing phase of the hair cycle. This will result in increasing numbers of shorter finer hair, referred to miniaturized hair, that eventually cease growing at all.
If this process is allowed to continue for an extended period, the condition will eventually become irreversible. Therefore, you should begin treatment as soon as you notice increased hair thinning.
Hair Loss Treatment for Men
Suppose you take action on your hair loss as soon as you notice it. In that case, there is a greater chance that you will see positive outcomes, even though reversing hair loss is not an easy process. Using the tried-and-true methods discussed in this article, you should be able to either halt or significantly reduce your rate of hair loss.
The treatment options to reverse hair loss are subdivided into:
The liquid or foam minoxidil is the only effective topically applied treatment. Minoxidil’s precise mode of action is not fully understood at this time but, research on animals and humans has shown that it can reduce the amount of time that hair follicles spend in the telogen phase of the hair cycle and increase the amount of time that they spend in their anagen growing phase. Additionally, it has been demonstrated to enhance the size of the follicles, which has the potential to improve growth in men over six months.
In some instances, transient hair loss may occur during the first three to five weeks of treatment along with irritation and itching of the scalp.
The oral medicine known as finasteride, which goes by the brand name Propecia, is one we frequently recommend to our patients. Propecia can legally only be prescribed for usage in male patients experiencing hair loss.
Propecia inhibits the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which in turn prevents the premature thinning of hair and loss of follicles.
As with all medications, there are risks and side effects associated with this medication, although it is a highly efficient treatment. Before using Propecia or any other oral medications you should have an in-depth conversation with your physician.
Very low dose oral minoxidil has proven to be an effective hair loss intervention. Patient compliance improves dramatically with oral versus topical therapy. The dose needed for a hair response is so low, that although it is a potent antihypertensive agent, very few sides have been reported with the low dose prescribed for hair loss.
Treatments – Hair Loss and Restoration Services
Many different treatments can be performed, some examples of which include FUT and FUE. Look through the comprehensive list of Hair Restoration services to find out what options might work well for you and your particular circumstance.
Hair transplantation is one of the treatments that’s highly effective for most people. Hair transplants are the most effective therapy option available, especially when integrated with other medical therapies.. All patients should consider these effective surgical therapeutic options.
Hair transplantation is a straightforward process in which the patient’s hair is removed from the back of the scalp and transplanted into the thinning or balding portions of the scalp. The newly transplanted hair follicles are permanent and will not become thinner or fall out. Instead, they will continue to grow as part of the full head of hair.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections, engineered growth factors, microneedling and Regenera stem cell transfers are more recent treatment approaches now under investigation for potential use. The data is soft for all these interventions, however the most promising appears to be the Regenera therapy.
Having a full head of hair can do wonders for one’s self-confidence, improving a patient’s overall quality of life. Consultation and treatment should be considered as soon as possible, given that treatment outcome is contingent upon early-stage diagnosis and action.
We offer free consultations at our hair transplantation office in Houston, so please see us.
At Physicians’ Hair Restoration clinic in Houston, we offer hair transplant choices and solutions such as FUE and FUT at our clinic for concerns including Balding and hair loss, Male-pattern baldness, and Bald spots. Give us a call today at 713-974-1808 and we will set up your FREE consultation as soon as possible.
Josephitis, D., & Shapiro, R. (2018, September). FUT vs. FUE graft survival: a side-by-side study of 3 patients undergoing a routine 2,000+ graft hair transplantation. In Hair Transplant Forum International (Vol. 28, No. 5, pp. 179-182). Hair Transplant Forum International.
Faghihi, G., Mozafarpoor, S., Asilian, A., Mokhtari, F., Esfahani, A. A., Bafandeh, B., … & Hosseini, S. M. (2018). The effectiveness of adding low-level light therapy to minoxidil 5% solution in the treatment of patients with androgenetic alopecia. Indian journal of dermatology, venereology and leprology, 84, 547.
Yamamoto, S., Jiang, H., & Kato, R. (1994). Stimulation of hair growth by topical application of FK506, a potent immunosuppressive agent. Journal of investigative dermatology, 102(2), 160-164