MALE HAIR LOSS AND GENETIC HAIR THINNING IN MEN
Androgenic alopecia, or male “pattern” genetic thinning is the most common form of hair loss seen in men, and readily identified by the distinct way hair across the top of the scalp is gradually lost. Broadly, 20% of males in their 20’s will exhibit some form of genetic thinning, 30% in their 30’s & so on.
In susceptible men, a percentage of the main male hormone testosterone is converted to a more potent androgen (androgens are male hormones) termed dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT gradually exerts a “miniturising” effect on the androgen-sensitive hair follicles across the top of the scalp. Within a reduced growing phase, affected follicles then produce fine-textured, unpigmented hair, which often does not grow beyond a couple of centimeters in length – thus “thinning” of the hair is experienced.
Male androgenetic alopecia most commonly shows after puberty or in a man’s early 20’s. It often begins with a receding of the hairline at the temples, and thinning of the hair density on the crown. Over time all the hair follicles across the top of the scalp are affected, sometimes resulting in total baldness.
It is important to note that after puberty, almost 100% of males will show some changes in the shape of their hairline. This does not always indicate the onset of androgenetic alopecia.
ASSESSING AND TREATING MALE GENETIC HAIR LOSS AND THINNING HAIR
With the medically approved medication available today, managing male hair loss is generally straightforward and uncomplicated. However, a qualified practitioner should always review the young man’s diet, lifestyle and medical history, as underlying disturbances in any of these have the potential to adversely affect treatment outcomes.
Minoxidil topical solution in combination with the oral prescription medication Finesteride or Dutesteride is the accepted treatment regime for male genetic thinning.
Minoxidil remains the only topical lotion medically approved to stimulate follicle hair growth. Under various brand names, minoxidil is available ‘over the counter’ in 2% and 5% strengths.
Advanced “condition-specific” formulations of minoxidil are now available in strengths up to 10%. These solutions are propylene glycol-free, and have absorption enhancers/androgen blockers, to significantly increase their effectiveness, and minimize the risk of adverse reaction.
The oral medication Finesteride (Propecia) and its newer competitor Dutesteride, are both inhibitors of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. 5-Alpha reductase converts testosterone to DHT. Both medications stabilize androgenetic alopecia in about 80% of men.
For those wanting to accelerate their hair re-growth, a controversial addition to a combined therapy approach would be the short-term use of the blood pressure drug Loniten. Under medical supervision, one half of a 10mg tablet is taken at bedtime (to minimize the blood pressure lowering effects) for two months only. Increased facial/body hair is a very common side effect of Loniten therapy, so its use in women to accelerate scalp hair re-growth is not advisable.
There is still some debate whether or not the herbal supplement saw palmetto (serenoa serrulata), has an inhibiting effect on 5-alpha reductase. Studies suggest that taking saw palmetto for prostate problems can be as effective as finesteride, but there is little documented research on the plant as a treatment for hair loss.
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Our success is derived from the synergy of using our acclaimed combination approach to hair loss management.
There are many reasons why a person will experience hair loss. In some cases, nutritional and hormonal intervention (women) can play a key role in optimizing your results. Please feel free to call us for a phone consultation or schedule an in-clinic consultation at your convenience.
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