Hair Loss – What Causes It And What Can Be Done About It?

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Male Pattern Hair Loss – For best results catch it as early as you can!

It is an unfortunate fact of life, that the majority of the male population will at some stage in their lives, be affected by androgenic alopecia or male pattern hair loss as it is also known. It is a hereditary form of hair loss, passed on from one or both parents and if you are predisposed to getting it, there is very little you can do to avoid it.

Since it is such a common factor among men, many take the view that it is simply a natural part of the aging process and resign themselves to the fact, that there is nothing they can do about it. It is for these men at least, just something that they will have to work around or accomodate, as time goes on.

What are the signs of male pattern hair loss?

The process of dealing with or working round male pattern baldness is made easier by the fact that androgenic alopecia is so predictable in the way in which it manifests itself.

The first tell tale sign of male pattern balding is a recession of the hair line, at the top of the forehead. The hair will begin receding to the left and right of the center of the head. Over time, usually a few years, this will result in the formation of the characteristic U shaped hairline.

Some time after the beginning of the recession of the hairline, and the time frame varies from person to person, a small round bald patch will appear on the top of the head. This will expand until eventually it meets with the receding hairline and forms that other very typical pattern, the "friar tuck" hairstyle. In some cases this too will disappear, leaving the man completely bald.

What can be done about male pattern hair loss?

If the idea of ​​losing your hair fills you with dread and is something you want to avoid, then you must act quickly. At the first signs of balding, book an appointment with a trichologist. Trichology is the science or study of hair and a trichologist istrained in the biology and disorders of the hair and scalp.

A trichologist will usually use a prospect or similar machine during their consultations. This is a magnifier which is used to examine your hair and scalp very closely. It is connected to a computer which records the pictures of your hair and scalp for future comparison.

The consultation may also include questions relating to your diet and lifestyle, any health issues and medications and your family history with regard health. The trichologist would also be interested in hearing about any treatments you've tried before, the level of success or failure and what hair products you are currently using.

A tricologist will have no need to contact your GP regarding your hair loss but may refer you back to your doctor, if it is felt that your balding is due to a medical condition or that it may have been caused or exacerbated, by particular medications. Upon completion of your initial consultation, your trichologist should be able to tell you whether your hair loss condition is treatable.

What male hair loss treatments are available?

There are a staggering number of hair loss treatments available on the market today, from prescribed medications to herbal remedies and hair loss shampoos the list goes on and on. Very few of these are natural and many vary in effectiveness and the number of side effects. Most of these treatments will be centred at at least one of the following;

  1. They will boost blood flow to the scalp which will help bring more oxygen to the hair follicle.
    2. They will strengthen the hair follicle.
    3. They will cleanse the hair root.
    4. They will block DHT from forming in the root.

    What other forms of treatment are available?

    There are a number of other hair loss treatments available, both surgical and non surgical.

    Hair weaving is the non-surgical option. Hair weaving can lengthen hair, adding volume and thickness to fine or thinned hair. It is also a great way to add color since it will not damage your remaining hair with harsh chemicals.

    Other forms of hair replacement involving surgery are available; surgical hair replacement involves removing hairs from other less affected or unaffected areas of the head and transplanting them to the area where they are needed. This form of treatment may not be suitable for everyone. Suitability would depend upon the person's age, their hair color, their hair type and the nature of the hair loss itself.

    Another form of surgical hair replacement treatment is known as scalp reduction. This technique can be particularly useful if the patch of baldness is quite small and well defined. A small patch of the bald scalp is removed and the skin around that area is left to knit together again. Over a number of treatments, this reduce the size of the bald patch and if at the same time, hair transplants are used, this will result in a fuller, thicker looking head of hair.

Scalp flap surgery is the final option; this is a procedure which involves the removal of a portion of healthy scalp and hair from the back or sides of the head and transplanting it to the affected area. Scalp flap surgery is usually benefits those with thick and healthy hair remaining to the back and sides of the head.

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