Men lose their hair… a lot. In fact, angrogenetic alopecia, most commonly referred to as “male pattern baldness,” affects over 50% of all men over the age of 30. And while this may not seem completely evident at first glance, wait around awhile. It becomes far more obvious with age.
In fact, if you take a look at men over sixty, it would seem that the number of afflicted gents far exceed the 50% mark. Guys go bald. It’s what we do.
Wanna talk about it? Okay…
Male pattern baldness is caused primarily by hormonal processes which occur inside the body. More specifically, the androgen (type of hormone) DHT is the primary culprit. Rotten little bugger.
While many things can lead to an over-production of this wicked androgen, the actual process that occurs to form it is a metaphorphosis of sorts. Garden variety testosterone comes into contact with an ever-present enzyme called 5-alpha reductase, and all heck breaks loose, as they say.
This garden variety testosterone becomes dihydrotestosterone, the fancy-pants name for DHT. Once this happens to any great degree, your poor hair follicles are targeted for extermination. DHT congregates in the scalp, binds itself to your follicles, and proceeds to slowly choke the life out of them.
The follicles become increasingly unable to absorb nutrient-rich blood from the capillaries in the scalp. Over time, the follicles become thinner… and weaker. Eventually, they die. And you start wearing more hats! This is simply the way it goes.
It’s a tragic story, but it doesn’t necessarily have to have a tragic ending. New breakthroughs in the hair restoration sciences are coming to pass all the time. Surgical procedures, medications, and even natural remedies may provide some promise for a fuller head of hair in the future.
Currently, the best options for guys looking to keep their hair loss at bay, and perhaps even regrow some of the hair they’ve already lost, are the drugs minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia). Taken individually, each of these FDA-approved treatments have very high rates of success (up to 80% and even higher). Taken together, the results are even more impressive.
Unfortunately, these treatments must be administered daily, and for an indefinite period of time. But many men find this mild inconvenience to be a small price to pay for a more vibrant and youthful appearance. That said, there are always health risks involved with these medications. This is especially true for finasteride, which has a nasty track record of causing sexual side effects.
Another option you have is to simply shave your head. Many men do so today, and if you’re lucky enough to have the head for it, you’re not likely to be looked upon as freakish or ugly. In fact, there have been studies which suggest that many women prefer bald men! So if all else fails, you can actually turn your male pattern baldness into an advantage. You’re only a razor away!