ISLAMABAD: Many men are affected by hair loss. Although male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia causes the majority of incidences of male hair loss, there are many reasons a man can lose his hair.
According to the American Hair Loss Association, nearly two-thirds of men experience some degree of hair loss by the time they are 35. By age 50, as many as 85 percent of men experience hair loss and thinning.
While there are many reasons why men lose their hair, there are also many treatment options available to help men cope with hair loss.
Prevention is often one of the best ways to treat any condition. In some cases, depending on the exact cause of hair loss, it may be possible to prevent, or at least, slow down hair loss.
Some of the best prevention methods include:
• eating a balanced diet
• using combs with wider spaces between bristles
• avoiding harsh treatments and hair styles
• switching medications to avoid the side effect of hair loss if possible
• avoiding pulling or twisting hair
It is important to remember that not all types of hair loss are preventable or will even slow down with preventive measures. In these cases, men can try to combat hair loss through active treatment.
Some methods men can use to treat hair loss include the following:
There are medications that can be bought over the counter that may help treat hair loss. These typically come in the form of foams or other topical ointments.
The two most common medications are minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia).
Minoxidil was originally developed to treat high blood pressure. Developers found that it had the side effect of excessive, unwanted hair growth. This effect gave drug companies reason to consider it for male baldness.
The exact way that minoxidil works is not entirely known. The drug appears to widen the hair follicle, which causes a thicker strand of hair to grow.
Finasteride is used to treat male pattern baldness, which appears at the crown and the middle of the scalp.
This drug carries several warnings about its use. It should only be used on adult men and should be kept away from children and women who may be pregnant or breast-feeding.
Finasteride was originally created to fight prostate cancer. It works by decreasing the amount of a hormone called DHT in the scalp. DHT appears to cause hair follicles in the scalp to become thinner, so by decreasing the levels of DHT, hair regrowth may increase and hair loss may slow down.
Therapies for hair loss often involve combinations of drugs, ointments, creams, and shampoos.
Other therapies include meetings with specialists. Several companies specialize in hair treatments for men. They typically offer services to help work out the best course of action to take and tailor treatments based on the individual man's needs.
Some of the other most common causes of hair loss for men include:
Scalp Infections. Infections such as ringworm can invade the hair and skin of the scalp. When this happens, it can lead to scaly patches and hair loss.
Hormonal changes. Hormonal changes and imbalances can cause temporary hair loss. For men, the thyroid gland is the most likely cause of hair loss due to hormonal changes.
Patchy hair loss. Also known as alopecia areata, patchy hair loss occurs when the body's immune system attacks hair follicles. The attack causes sudden and rapid hair loss that leaves smooth, often round, bald patches on the skin.
Skin disorders. Diseases such as psoriasis and lupus may result in permanent hair loss in the scarred areas.
Hair-pulling disorder. Hair-pulling disorder causes people to have an irresistible urge to pull out their hair. The person will pull from the scalp, the eyebrows, or other areas of the body.
Medication. Certain medications may cause a side effect of hair loss