Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Baldness in men (Androgenetic alopecia) is very common and is also known as male pattern hair loss or baldness. A human body is programmed to produce an enzyme know as 5 alpha reductase. When the Androgen hormone in the scalp produces testosterone which mixes with 5 alpha reductase, it produces Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. DHT is not well received by male (and female) hair follicles, cutting off blood supply, which is critical to growth of new hair. Thinning hair and or balding process begins when this occurs. Male pattern hair loss is more common as male bodies produce a higher quantity of testosterone.

Hair loss in men can be seen as thinning hair at the crown as well as the front of the scalp. It involves approximately an overwhelming 90% of susceptible men, and is noticeable in middle age, although it affects many in their twenties.

Men lose approximately 100 individual hair strands per day, which is considered normal. Usually, these hairs are replaced within the normal hair growth cycle. True hair loss occurs when lost hairs are not re-grown or when daily hair fall exceeds 100 hairs. Hereditarily, hair loss can come from both parents side of the family.

The main causes of hair loss in men are:

Physical stress: medical surgery, serious illness, rapid weight change.
Emotional stress: death in family, mental disorder.
Thyroid irregularity.
Hormonal causes: high levels of testosterone
Medications: excessive doses of vitamin A, hypertension medications.

Reversal of these causes will lead to hair growth. The following brief facts further explain the causes of male pattern hair loss:

Physical-Emotional Stress
Surgeries, severe illnesses and emotional stress can cause hair loss. The body simply cannot cope with the pressure and shuts down production of hair during periods of stress since it is not life threatening. Instead, it redeploys its energies toward repair and rebuilding of vital body constitutions. There is usually about a three month interval between the stressful event and the start of hair loss. Similarly, it may take about three month before hair re-growth is noticeable. This means that the total hair loss and re-growth cycle can last approximately 6 - 9 months or possibly longer when induced by physical or emotional stress. There are other less apparent health conditions which may go undetected that can contribute to hair loss. These include anemia or low blood count and thyroid abnormalities. These conditions can be detected by a simple, inexpensive blood test.
Diet Considerations
Dieting is becoming increasingly common among men too. Commercial diet programs which are designed or administered under the direction of a physician with prescribed meals, dietary supplements and vitamin ingestion are fashionable. Sometimes, dieters are advised to supplement certain vitamins to the program to prevent hair loss. Skin experts disagree, however, as most dermatologists believe vitamins cannot prevent hair loss associated with rapid, significant weight loss. Furthermore, many of these supplements are high in vitamin A, which can accelerate and magnify hair loss.