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Hair Loss: Gone But Not Forgotten

Male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia affects 25% of men in their 30’s, 50% of men in their 50’s and 67% men in their 60’s. Male pattern baldness can lead to self-esteem issues for men, especially when hair loss begins at a young age.

Men may try TV or internet “miracle cures” or supplements to try and combat the effects of hair loss. Some men feel so insecure they avoid social situations or start wearing hats to cover up the hair loss. Family, friends, and partners often do not understand the impact the hair-loss has on the self-confidence of a man, which can further damage the emotional and psychological feelings of the man. Men deserve to have this problem addressed with knowledge, honesty, and compassion.

Over 90% of all hair loss in men is genetic male pattern baldness. This includes a receding hairline and thinning especially on the crown of the scalp.

The cause of this is dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is the same hormone that causes prostate growth. The DHT causes the hair follicles to become thinner, shorter, and weaker. Sometimes this makes the hair appear wispy.

Historically, treatments for hair loss were limited to toupees, which often looked quite unnatural and noticeable. Fortunately, great progress has been made and many more options are now available for men experiencing hair loss.

Treatment is focused on identifying the underlying causes or aggravating factors leading to the hair loss. This means both reducing risk factors such as scalp inflammation, stress and managing medical conditions or medications that might worsen the hair loss. Dealing with scalp inflammation (especially from the sun) and poor scalp blood flow are especially important. Many prescription medications can contribute to hair loss, including medication to treat cholesterol, high blood pressure, mood disorders, or hormone replacements.

Reducing the effects of or conversion of testosterone to DHT is one treatment option. This is with herbal products and medications such as Saw Palmetto, Minoxidil, and Finasteride.

Some other treatment options include low level laser therapy, injection of platelet rich plasma, or hair transplant surgery.

Early treatment and prevention of further hair losses are the keys to successful treatment.

What was considered in the past just a part of “normal aging” for men with limited options is now easily treated by speaking with your healthcare provider. Don’t delay. Your hair will thank you.

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