Male pattern Baldness

Alopecia Areata hairloss

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Female Pattern Baldness

Myths about Hair Loss

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Male Pattern Hair Loss

Dating back as far as history will take us, baldness has been a part of the aging process that men fear most. Before Rogaine, hair transplants and hair additions, men coped in various ways from magic ointments to the styling of their hair. Julius Caesar grew his hair long in the back and combed it all forward. Napoleon did the same thing. Somehow we often disregard history and the fact that this has been an age old condition. We can't imagine or accept the fact that there is not a cure.

Understanding the cause of male pattern hair loss may better indicate why there is not a cure.

Androgenic Alopecia- the first modern term for either male or female pattern hair loss can be broken down into two parts.

First Androgenic, consisting of Androgen (the various hormones that control appearance and development of masculine characteristics such as testosterone) and Genetic, the inheritance of genes from either the father or mother's side of the family. Age, coupled with genetics, represents a time clock that will signal the hair follicle to produce an enzyme named alpha 5 reductase. When testosterone is present in the follicles it combines with the enzyme 5 (DHT). Hair follicle receptors are sensitive to DHT, therefore start the process of male or female hair loss.

Simply put, scientists are working against aging, hormones and genetics. This is no easy task. Add the fact that hair loss is not life threatening, and it is easy to see why many physicians do not view hair loss as a priority in scientific research.

What is working for you in terms of research is that large pharmaceutical firms now know that a cure for hair loss could mean a fortune in revenues for their companies and stockholders. This is fuel enough and the race has begun. Although we may not see a cure in our lifetime, it is possible. To say the cure is around the corner would only be a speculation, but hope is alive.

Until then:

First since there are other causes of hair loss it is advisable to consult a dermatologist who is competent and experienced with hair loss. Confirming the type of hair loss you have will make it possible for you to know which treatment options my be best for you:

  • Alopecia Areata: generally thought to be an auto immune disorder.
  • Alopecia totalis: Total hair loss of the scalp.
  • Alopecia universalis: Total hair loss of the entire body
  • Traction Alopecia: Hair loss cause by physical stress and tension on the hair such as prolonged use of corn rows, weaving, etc. Done too tightly on weak hair, can cause hair loss.
  • Telogen Effluvium: Usually temporary hair loss. Causes: Physical stress, emotional stress, thyroid abnormalities, medications and hormonal causes normally associated with females.
  • Anagen Effluvium: Generally due to intentionally administered medications, such as chemotherapy agents, that poison the hair follicle.

All these represent only a few different causes if hair loss. Androgenic alopecia represents close to 95% of all hair loss.

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