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The Physiological Reasons Behind Male Pattern Baldness

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Understanding Male Pattern Baldness

Androgenetic Alopecia is hair loss that starts on the top of the head and usually progresses down the scalp. It is commonly called Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) since it mostly affects men. According to a report by MedlinePlus, an online information service produced by the United States National Library of Medicine, it affects over 50 million men in the United States.

There can be several reasons why men are predisposed to developing this condition. The three main reasons are genetics, age, and certain health conditions. As men age, their propensity to experience more hair loss is also significantly higher. The increased hormone levels produced by the body in middle age can contribute to the thinning of the hair on a man’s head. This psychologically distressing condition can sometimes begin as early as their 30s or 40s.

Testosterone Driven Havoc

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness. It is derived from testosterone, the hormone that is responsible for many of the physical changes that happen during puberty in males. These changes usually include increased muscle mass, deepening of the voice, and growth of the pubic and facial hair.

The DHT form is one of the many forms in which testosterone exists in the human body. In normal amounts, it is not harmful and performs its function in the body by helping regulate the production of other hormones, such as oestrogen and cortisol. However, when levels of DHT become excessive, it can harm the health of the hair follicles on the scalp.

DHT causes the hair follicles to shrink and eventually disappear. Nine out of ten men are affected by this problem. While women can also suffer from this condition, it is much rarer for them to do so.

Genetics Play a Major Part too

Many genetic traits passed down from generation to generation can affect a person’s risk of developing hair loss. For example, men who have a family member who suffers from male pattern baldness are more likely to suffer from the condition themselves.

As people get older, it becomes more likely that they will experience male pattern baldness at some point in their lives. But there are other specific details concerning genetics. For many years, scientists believed that the gene causing MPB came to men from their mothers through the ‘X’ Chromosome.

While this is true, it is not the only genetic reason behind MPB. New studies have revealed that not all baldness-related genes are on the X chromosome; 11 additional genetic sequences with varying degrees of significance have been found on multiple chromosomes. These chromosomes are passed down to an individual from their mother and father, who in turn receive them from their parents.

The Other Factors That Cause MPB

Besides genetic reasons there are numerous other causes for MPB and they are all usually life style related. From dietary habits to the loving environment, here are some primary reasons other than genetics that induce MPB.

Hormonal Changes: The hormonal changes that result in MPB in men usually have to do with an imbalance of these hormones. The ageing male body produces significantly lower levels of testosterone which often cause hair loss on the scalp. Andropause is another age-related condition that significantly reduces testosterone in the male body, leading to MPB-related hair loss.

Drugs and Supplements: Many medications that are designed to treat specific medical conditions often have unwanted side effects. These medications cause hair loss by interfering with the normal scalp hair growth cycle. Usually a change in the medication consumption cycle help restore hair growth effectively. But when the medication regiment comprises of essential medicines, hair transplantation may be the only solution at hand.

Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy is commonly used in cancer treatment since it effectively culls cancer cells. Unfortunately, radiation therapy also affects healthy cells including the ones that are responsible for hair growth. Although hair loss due to radiation therapy is mostly temporary, if it causes permanent hair loss, the patient would need to explore hair transplant options to restore natural hair growth in the scalp again.

Stress: The digital age is a fast-paced and competent environment. Men must often deal with high-stress levels to keep up with this pace. Prolonged exposure to stress is often an important cause of MPB.

Nutritional Deficiencies: Doctors often stress the importance of a good and balanced diet because the human body requires an optimised intake of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and dietary fibres. Not getting adequate nutrients like zinc can negatively impact hair growth. A deficiency in essential minerals can lead to the onset of MPB.

If you are interested to learn more about how you can address your hair loss problem, give us a call today. Our team of clinicians will guide you and help win your confidence back with hair transplant techniques.

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To schedule your hair transplant consult with Drs. Lieberman & Parikh, please call our office at (650) 327-3232 or drop us a note here.