General Illness Information:
Medical Term: Male pattern alopecia, hair loss
Common Name: Male pattern baldness
Description: Hair loss is a process of abnormal hair loss, leading to the formation of areas with bald patches.
There is no single cause of baldness in men. A variety of conditions and pathologies, as well as their combinations can lead to hair loss:
- Genetic predisposition. If your father, grandfather and great-grandfather began to lose their hair at a relatively young age, you should prepare for it. The gene for baldness can be inherited from both the father and the mother;
- Stress. Stress reaction includes a spasm of blood vessels, including those that feed the hair follicles. Deprived of blood flow, hair dies and falls out, and the growth of the surviving hair slows down. It is important to remember that in this case, hair begins to fall out not during a stressful situation, but a few weeks or months later, and they fall more or less evenly throughout the head. This type of alopecia is called diffuse alopecia;
- Hormonal imbalance. Hair bulbs are sensitive to male sex hormones. Excess dehydrotestosterone often leads to the fact that hair follicles atrophy and hair fall out. Alopecia caused by an overabundance of certain hormones is called androgenic alopecia;
- Unbalanced nutrition. The lack of such minerals and vitamins, like A, B2, B5, B12, C, E, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iodine, zinc and copper, can lead to hair loss and diffuse alopecia;
- Metabolic disorders. Problems with metabolic processes also have a bad effect on the condition of the hair follicles;
- Chronic diseases – psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus and many other diseases lead to hair loss;
- Infectious diseases. They cause a general intoxication, and hair loss is one of its consequences;
- Skin diseases. In particular, seborrhea, lichen, and pustular inflammation of the scalp;
- Injuries. Hair does not grow on scars from deep wounds and burns. Such alopecia is called cicatricial alopecia.
Male pattern baldness can have not only different causes, but also types. In turn, each type has its own characteristics.
Androgenetic (hereditary) alopecia
It is most common among men. The first signs can appear at a very young age, which can become quite a serious psychological problem.
- At the first stage, frontotemporal rhythm appears, strongly receding from the line of hair growth;
- The hair structure is destroyed, hair becomes short and brittle, the pigment is lost over time;
- At the final stage, the hair begins to fall on the vertex and form first a sparse zone, and then a bald spot.
Telogen diffuse alopecia
It occurs after 4-6 weeks after exposure to one or another factor harmful to the body. Hair can fall out from three months to one year, after which their growth is restored without special treatment.
The main causes of male pattern baldness:
- Stresses, conflict situations, lack of sleep;
- Diseases and surgical operations;
- Use of some drugs;
- Imbalance of vitamins.
Anagenic diffuse alopecia
This type of baldness occurs when the risk factor is too strong. In this case, hair loss begins immediately and can even lead to a complete loss. If this process does not damage the follicles, the hairline can completely recover.
- Chemotherapy for oncological diseases;
- Poisoning by toxins;
- Impact of radiation.
In addition to these most common types, there are those that are extremely rare:
Alopecia areata – hair falls on the round areas of the skin, without damaging it. It can occur not only on the head, but also on the eyebrows, as well as other parts of the body;
Cicatricial alopecia is the loss of hair on the places of former burns, wounds, where the skin with follicles was replaced by scar tissue;
Traumatic alopecia – prolapse in the places of the greatest tension of the skin. Occurs when using wigs with attachments, clamps and other attachments.
Signs & Symptoms:
Each stage has the following signs of male pattern baldness:
- The first stage – characterized by the appearance of lateral bald patches on the hairline, the hair has a thinned structure with the edge of the bald patches;
- The second stage – the bald patches pass the border of the middle of the scalp. There may be a bald spot on the vertex;
- The third stage – all the fore-tosaces merge together, forming a kind of islet;
- The fourth stage – there is a transition behind the back line of the front bald patches;
- The fifth stage – the bridge disappears, and the bald patches descend along the edges downward;
- The sixth stage – the lateral bald patches descend to the very bottom and alopecia ceases.
The most innovative approach for determining the causes of baldness today is the method of phototrichoscopy, which helps determine the ratio of hair in the growth phase and in the rest phase, obtaining objective criteria for hair growth.
Another compulsory thing is a microscopic examination of the hair shaft and foci of baldness on the presence of fungi. A biopsy of the skin of the scalp allows you to identify or exclude dermatomycosis and scarring alopecia that developed against systemic lupus erythematosus, sarcoidosis or against the background of lichen. Spectral analysis of the hair is also needed.
In the treatment of baldness in men, perhaps, there are three main ways to distinguish:
- Drug treatment. It is conducted by the course, the results are visible after 6-10 months. The course is selected individually. Injections, masks, massages, drugs, laser therapy are used. Drug treatment is aimed only at maintaining and strengthening the existing native hair and hair follicles. However, after the end of treatment, hair loss can resume. If minoxidil-containing drugs were used in the treatment, hair can begin to fall out immediately after the treatment is withdrawn. If you use other drugs, strengthened native hair can last 1.5-3 years without additional intervention. Note that if hair does not grow for 6 months or more in places of hair loss (places of complete alopecia or thinning), treatment in these zones will not bring any results, because the hair follicles have already died in these places;
- Hair transplantation. This is one of the most effective procedures, in which hair is transplanted from non-adherent areas (donor zone) into the area of alopecia. Hair transplantation is performed by operating and non-surgical methods. The consequences and results after hair transplantation can be different. When choosing this or that method of hair transplantation, pay attention to the consequences of such intervention for your health (some methods leave scars on the head, headaches can last from 6 months to 3 years, etc.);
- Hair transplant without surgery using HFE technology. This is the most modern procedure of hair transplantation, which allows to achieve a natural density without surgery and with minimal skin damage. Hair survival rate is up to 90-98%, wound healing occurs in 3-5 days. The HFE method is the most progressive method of hair transplantation;
- You can also buy ready-made herbal supplements products in a pharmacy. In addition to the basic herbal extracts, they also contain all sorts of additional nutrients that stimulate hair growth. Such drugs are considered particularly effective and more popular than synthesized medications (subject to daily use) and have almost no side effects.
Alopecia can worsen the emotional state of people, but it is not dangerous from a medical point of view.
- Physical activity to improve blood flow will help prevent a small supply of oxygen;
- Diet with the presence of zinc, proteins, vitamins and iron;
- Timely treatment of all diseases will help prevent alopecia;
- Use of special drugs to improve the functioning of hair follicles.
If the cause of hair loss is dermatomycosis, hormonal imbalance and trichotillomania, then a full restoration of hair can be achieved. With cicatricial and total nesting alopecia, hair is usually can not be restored, since the hair follicles have serious damage and hair transplantation is required.
In general, the success of treating make pattern baldness on the stage of the disease and timely medical help. Herbal supplements for baldness combined with medications can accelerate recovery. Independent therapy is usually not appropriate and ineffective, as it does not eliminate the underlying causes of alopecia.