Men tend to lose hair with age, and it is a perfectly natural phenomenon. Some lose more hair than others, and after the age of 50, baldness or thinning of hair is common. How much hair you lose depends largely on genetics: it runs in some families more than others. Genetics accounts for 95% of male hair loss.
Why do men lose hair? A common cause is the excess of male hormones. Hair loss progresses hair by hair, exposing skin areas on the scalp. It is usually seen as a receding hairline in men, thinning of hair, finally exposing a bald scalp with a little hair on the back and on the sides of the head. Male pattern baldness follows a pattern, starting from the front or crown area and expanding gradually. The causes for baldness are poor nutrition, stress, smoking, and unhealthy lifestyles, which speed up baldness.
These types of hair losses are described below.
Receding hairline: Receding hairline occurs when hair loss occurs around the temples. This becomes evident by the thirties and separates the men from the boys. It gradually moves backwards, and happens in almost all men. Very few men can claim to have a straight hairline as that of boys.
Crown: The area at the back of the head is known as the crown. Men start losing hair on the crown with age. A circular bald patch starts showing with time, and may expand gradually.
Hair thinning: The texture of the hair becomes softer with time, a result of hair thinning. People notice that their hair parting becomes wide. This is also seen in women. In men, the volume of hair reduces significantly by the age of 50.
Rapid baldness can be traced back to several reasons such as stressful lives, irregular diets, drinking less water than required, lack of sleep and irregular lifestyles. Modern living imposes many stresses, which cause hair loss. Illnesses and certain medicines also cause hair loss.
Since male pattern baldness is a natural process and does not pose any risks, it need not be treated. In fact, many men prefer to do nothing about it, sporting their natural looks as they are. They accept that their hair loss is a natural part of aging. It is your choice whether you want to do something about your thinning hair.
Men usually seek treatment not because of any health effects but for looking good: baldness destroys confidence and self-esteem in many people. Various options of treatment are available today.
Medication: Certain medicines are known to work well and help in re-growth of hair. These are finasteride and minoxidil. They may not be effective on everyone and must be used regularly for best results. Finasteride takes three to six months to be effective. It works by controlling hormones, and balding will return once the patient stops taking the medicine. Minoxidil is applied on the scalp and also must be used regularly. Helpful for men under 40 years of age, it stimulates hair growth by increasing the blood flow to the scalp. It must be used for long periods because baldness will return once the application is stopped.
Tattooing: Some people opt for a bald head tattoo which creates the illusion of hair on the scalp. Tattoo specialists can use various shades to create this illusion. This may also make a fashion statement by the users. However, it is quite an expensive process.
Hair transplant: Hair transplant is a very good option to get one’s natural hair back. In this procedure, hair is taken from areas where it is available, like the back and the sides of the hair and replanted on the bald areas. It is a permanent solution and very effective. It is a surgical procedure in which hair is grafted at bald areas. There are two methods of hair transplant, Follicular Unit Transplant (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE). FUE does not leave visible scars and is the modern method for hair transplant.
Artificial hair: Less commonly used is the process of artificial hair, in which synthetic fibres are implanted under the scalp. However, the process is not without infection risks. That is the reason that it is not very popular.
Wigs: Hair wigs hide baldness and are very effective. One can choose wigs with different styles. They are made of artificial fibres or processed human hair. They will wear away with time so they need to be replaced. They may also be uncomfortable while the wearer is also under constant fear that it might fall off. But they are helpful in hiding one’s hair loss effectively.
Lifestyle changes: To slow down hair loss, certain lifestyle changes are advised. Wash hair with lukewarm water instead of hot, and not subject it to too much styling or chemicals, which will help slowing the hair loss. Using gentle combs and natural drying is also important for health of the hair. Patients are advised to get plenty of sleep and to maintain regular lifestyles with good, nourishing diets. I have stressed these several times in my articles.
Male pattern baldness is a natural phenomenon and does not cause any risks. But it dies affect one’s confidence and self esteem. That is why it must be addressed. We have described several methods through which it can be either hidden or treated. For natural re-growth of hair, a transplant is the best option. It helps to bring back a person’s confidence and looks. Several celebrities have had hair transplants done with very good results. You too can get your young looks back with this method.