The dreaded bald patch. Even worse, the mystifying combover! Have you noticed an increase in hair loss since you’ve turned 50? Well, there’s a good chance that your hair is falling out at a higher rate due to male pattern baldness.
Studies show that more than 50% of men are affected by male pattern baldness to some extent. It’s the number one cause of hair loss in men over 50. So what’s at the root of male pattern baldness and is there anything you can do to prevent or delay its appearance?
Causes Of Male Pattern Baldness
Male pattern baldness occurs for a number of reasons, the most common being genetics.
You’re more prone to male pattern hair loss if your family has a history of baldness, but don’t try to estimate your chances of losing hair by looking at your father’s head! The key gene for baldness is carried by the X chromosome, which both males and females carry. So you can’t really predict going bald, unless mom and dad are bald, as well as grandma Bessie.
Research has found an association between androgens and male pattern baldness. Androgens are hormones that play a role in male traits; one purpose is the regulation of hair growth. An irregularity in androgen levels can trigger male pattern baldness.
Beyond genetics and hormones, serious medical conditions like cancer and thyroid disorders, as well as the use of anabolic steroids can also result in hair loss. You should see a doctor immediately to determine if your hair loss is related to a health issue.
Male Pattern Baldness Or Ordinary Hair Loss?
Older men are more likely to experience male pattern baldness, but it can affect men at anytime in their adult life. How do you distinguish pattern baldness from ordinary hair loss? The answer may actually lie in the ‘pattern’ of hair loss. That is, if you notice your hairline receding to form an “M” shape or your hair loss begins at the temples, then it is possible that male pattern baldness is the cause. Some men may also experience isolated bald spots.
Unfortunately, there are no known ways to prevent male pattern baldness. Although some people believe that stress can trigger it, this theory is yet to be proven. But it can’t hurt to take precautionary measures by trying to reduce stress through meditation or participating in relaxing activities.
Dealing With Hair Loss
If you are keen on having a relatively full head of hair, there are some good options out there, and getting the right haircut will definitely help. A strategic haircut and style can help mask areas of hair loss. If you’re considering a toupee, don’t! But if push comes to shove, at least invest in a top quality piece with a great fit, so you don’t look like Daniel Boone wearing a coonskin cap!
Surgical treatments available include hair transplants, which have improved dramatically over the years. In the past, large plugs were used and looked akin to doll’s hair. Now, with micro techniques, individual follicles or small groups of 2 or 3 carefully placed, create a more natural look.
Medical treatments sometimes work. Minoxidil, known commercially as Rogaine, is a topical medication. Finasteride is a medication taken orally. Consult with your doctor before taking any of these medications.
The easiest way of dealing with hair loss is simply to do nothing! Bald is in fashion so proudly embrace it! Many women find it sexy, by the way. Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis and Dwayne Johnson are just a few of the men who carry this look with style and you can too.