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Hair is an essential part of how you look. Thick and nourished hair are often associated with a well groomed and healthy image. Losing one’s crowning glory can lead to low confidence, low self esteem and in some cases even Depression.
It is far common among men to lose their hair. It can occur in various different ways and can be either temporary or permanent. Here are some of the symptoms of hair loss in men:
Circular bald spots: Circular patches of bald spots are a common occurrence on the top of one’s head. Sometimes these coin sized patches may occur on beards or eyebrows as well.
Thinning of Hair: This is the most common symptom of hair loss where one experiences gradual thinning of hair which is followed by receding hairline till one loses hair completely.
Full Body Hair loss: This is when you start losing hair from your entire body and not just your head.
Causes of Hairloss in Men
Male Pattern Baldness
Male Pattern Baldness is a hair loss that is a genetic condition which occurs when there is a history of baldness in your family. In men, the hair loss usually takes place in front of the head or on top of the head.
Male Pattern Baldness hampers the growth cycle of the hair. It does so by shrinking the hair follicle which leads to production of shorter and thinner hair. Ultimately, the hair growth stops completely which leads to bald spots. Testosterone gets converted to dihydrotestosterone(DHT) by help of enzyme 5-a reductase situated in hair follicles. Due to increased levels or increased sensitivity of the hair follicles to DHT , the hair growth phase gets progressively shortened hence making hair thinner and smaller eventually leading to total hair loss. That is why it is called Androgenetic Alopecia(AGA).
Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder which destroys the hair follicles and leads to hair loss in the scalp or any hair bearing skin. It is often accompanied by other autoimmune conditions such as thyroid, lupus, vitiligo and arthritis. This immune mediated attack may not affect grey or white hair and hence some people may notice sudden grey hair patches.
Medications and Treatments
Hair Loss can be the side effect of certain medications that are taken for ailments like cancer, arthritis, depression or heart conditions. Chemotherapy for cancer treatment is also known to cause loss of hair. Acne medications like isotretinoin, BP medications like beta blockers and Lithium can also cause shedding of hair.
One may find themselves losing strands of hair when they are emotionally stressed as well. Stress also impacts melatonin or sleep hormone and hence causes hair fall.
-Hairstyles and Hair Treatments
It is common for many of us to opt for new hair styles or treatments that are promised to rejuvenate our hair. But quite often, if you are sensitive to certain treatments then you may end up facing hair loss. Hair botox, Cysteine and Permanent straightening can cause hair breakage and hair fall.
Eating junk food, not consuming the required nutrients or smoking can devoid the hair follicles of necessary nutrition and cause hair loss. Such diet makes people more prone to diabetes which causes hair fall
Treatments for Hair loss
There are various medications and treatments available for stimulating hair growth and slowing down the process of balding.
Minoxidil: Minoxidil prolongs the growth phase of the hair by increasing scalp microcirculation and opening up Potassium Receptors. It is available in two kinds of formulation which includes foam and lotion and in 2%, 5% and 10% strength.
One may face a bit of scalp irritation on its application which can be avoided with an alcohol free formulation. Allergic reactions and headache are two contraindications.
Finasteride: Finasteride is another popular medication to treat male pattern baldness and improve hair quality. It is believed that Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) leads to hair loss. Finasteride is a 5- alpha reductase inhibitor which helps prevent conversion of testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone(DHT) in the hair follicle and thus helps in reducing hair fall.
The two known potential side effects of Finasteride are Lack of libido and erectile dysfunction. It is important to note that these side effects are more theoretical than actually seen. A lot of new formulations containing topical finasteride can be preferred in reluctant patients.
Low Level Laser Therapy: Low level Laser Therapy is one of the most approved and famous, non invasive hair fall treatments that help in increasing the blood supply and gives great results. Hairmax Comb is a FDA approved device which helps energize hair follicles, reverses hair thinning process, rejuvenates hair and stimulates hair growth. It also helps in improving the texture of hair and combat frizzy, dull hair.
Mesotherapy: Mesotherapy involves injecting a concoction of growth factors, peptides and vitamins into the scalp which strengthen hair follicles and inhibits hair fall.
Follicular Reactivation Therapy: Follicular Reactivation Therapy involves a method wherein the patient’s blood is withdrawn first. Using centrifugation, growth factors and essential proteins are extracted from the blood and then injected into the scalp.
At Dr. Divya’s Skin and Hair Solutions, we use world-renowned ARTHREX technology, a marvel of German engineering, which increases the count of growth factors while minimizing any chances of contamination. It is known as Second Generation PRP or Platelet rich fibrin (PRF). We are the first clinic in South India to pioneer PRF treatment for hair loss in male and females. PRF is an excellent modality for those unresponsive to conventional hair loss treatments.
Hair Transplantation: Hair Transplantation is an invasive method used to restore hairline wherein healthy hair follicles from one part of the body (donor site) are taken and transplanted to the areas of the scalp with scanty hair and bald patches (recipient site)
Studies have shown that there is a link between consuming unhealthy diet or smoking and hair loss. It is best to quit smoking, junk food and unhealthy habits and indulge in a healthy lifestyle with proper sleep, balance diet and exercise for not just good health but also to avoid premature hair loss. Please consult a dermatologist in Bangalore to prevent hair loss and hair thinning.
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Hair loss in men can be due to multiple reasons. Most common reason is Male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia (AGA). This is due to miniaturization (thinning) of the hair follicle due to elevated dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. DHT induced miniaturisation is a physiologic process occurring to some extent in all the males but when it progresses in severity, it can lead to total loss of hair. Chronic Telogen effluvium (CTE) is second commonest reason. In this , there is increased hair shedding of the hair due to nutritional deficiencies, stress , physical illness or sometimes due to unidentified factors. Alopecia areata can also present as sudden onset of bald patches but seldom causes significant hair loss. It is an autoimmune disorder.