Hair is an essential part of a well groomed and healthy image of human male. Many a times hair loss can lead to feelings of low self esteem and negative thinking in men. We shall discuss frequently asked questions.
Q) What causes hair loss in men?
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.
Q) No one in my family is having male pattern baldness, can I still have it?
Males with positive family history of male pattern baldness have a 2.5 times higher risk of getting bald as compared to those who do not have a bald father. The environmental factors play a major role as well in MPB.
Q) Do we inherit MPB gene from mother’s side?
It is a myth as androgen receptor is located on X chromosome but that is not the only gene involved in transmission. But a mother with female pattern baldness does increase the risk.
Q) Is genetic baldness treatable?
MPB can be controlled by various treatments and methods and can also be prevented to a large extent.
Q) How do we treat baldness?
There are two FDA approved treatments for male pattern baldness
Minoxidil – It increases scalp microcirculation and opens Potassium receptors, hence prolonging the growth phase of the hair. It is available in 2%. 5% and 10% strength and two kinds of formulations – foam and lotion. The latter is preferable but former is used for sensitive scalp patients. Scalp irritation is common and can be avoided with alcohol free formulation. Allergic reactions and headache are two contraindications.
Finasteride - It is a 5- alpha reductase inhibitor and prevents conversion of testosterone into Dihydrotestosterone(DHT) in the hair follicle. Lack of libido and erectile dysfunction are two potential side effects and more theoretical than actually seen.
Low level laser therapy - one of the approved and famous treatment, it helps in increasing blood supply to the hair follicle and is quite popular amongst patients due to its non invasive nature and great results. Hairmax Comb is FDA approved for the home based use.
Mesotherapy - this involves microinjections of a cocktail of growth factors, peptides and vitamins into the scalp which prevent follicle ageing and thinning of hair. A popular out patient procedure, it is a lunch time procedure and gives great results.
Platelet rich plasma(PRP) - This involves withdrawal of the patients’s blood, centrifugation followed by extraction of platelet rich plasma which is injected into the scalp. We use world renowned ARTHREX PRP , a marvel of German engineering which increases the count of platelets and growth factors while minimizing any chances of contamination (following the practice of world class standards at your doorstep).
Hair transplantation – It is a surgical method of restoring the hairline and is the last measure in higher grades of hair loss.