Well-groomed fashionable haircuts and beautiful hairstyles – all these are indispensable attributes of a successful man who takes care of his appearance. Bald patches and bald spots will surely upset every man. Some men get tired of the unsuccessful struggle against baldness and prefer to radically change their image shaving their head. However, such a decision requires courage, which is not common for everyone. Most of the men would like to stop the hair loss and return the former style. Is it possible? Why do men start losing hair and how to stop baldness?
Alopecia in men: a symptom, a disease or a norm?
Each hair has a certain period of life, so daily hair loss is a completely natural process. On average, each person can lose up to 150 hair a day and do not worry about it at all.
However, if hair begins to fall more rapidly, and new hair does not grow in this place, you can suspect hair loss or alopecia. Hair loss in men implies a decrease in the volume of hair, thinning hair, the formation of bald patches, and the complete disappearance of the hair.
Of course, such a perspective will not please any man. Therefore, everyone wants to know: how to prevent male baldness and is it possible at all?
It is necessary to understand whether baldness is a symptom of some human disease or an independent pathology. Or maybe baldness is the same natural and inevitable stage of the life cycle as gray hair or menopause in women?
To some extent, all these theses have the right to exist and each of them is true to some extent. Of course, we can talk about baldness as a symptom of the disease. Quite often, hair loss becomes an external manifestation of an internal malfunctioning of the body. An example of this is hair loss in men at an early age – this deviation is a clear symptom of various pathological conditions that require accurate and timely diagnosis.
An example to the second thesis may be congenital alopecia, which is an ectodermal developmental malformation, resulting in insufficient development or absence of hair follicles. In people suffering from congenital alopecia, the hair becomes rare, thin and brittle in young years, grows slowly, and falls out intensely. The result of this disease is a total alopecia.
In some cases, we can talk about the inevitable baldness as a natural result of a genetically engineered program. In other words, Baldness treatment and prevention depends largely on the type of alopecia. Therefore, you should consider the most common types of alopecia treatment in detail.
- Alopecia areata is a rare phenomenon – it occurs in no more than 2.5% of all cases. It starts with a small patch of alopecia and can end with a complete hair loss. The cause of focal alopecia is a malfunction of the immune system caused by chronic diseases, stress, genetic predisposition, endocrine disorders, acute viral diseases or chronic infections;
- Cicatricial alopecia accounts for no more than 2% of all cases. The death of follicles as a result of inflammatory reactions caused by bacterial, viral or fungal infections, dermatoses (for example, lupus erythematosus or flat feces), injuries, burns;
- Androgenetic alopecia accounts for about 95% of all male pattern baldness cases. At first stages, the hair becomes thin and weak, then the bald patches appear. This type of baldness occurs due to the influence of hormones and the genetically inherent hypersensitivity of follicles to the male sex hormone. Under the influence of the active form of testosterone – dihydrotestosterone – the vessels of the scalp narrow, and the hair follicles stop producing hair. After a few years, the connective tissue is formed on the spot of the bald spot, and restoration of the natural growth of the hair becomes impossible;
- Diffuse alopecia is the second most frequent type of baldness, expressed in the loss of hair on the entire head in response to the hair cycle. Each hair on our head lives from 2 to 7 years, passing through three stages of development. The first is called the anagen phase when the hair forms and grows. Then comes the phase of the catagen, during which the hair rests. Finally, the telogen phase ends with hair loss. Normally, 93% of the hair is in the growth phase, 1% in the catagen phase, and 6% in the telogen phase.
With the telogen form of diffuse alopecia, the phase of prolapse starts immediately in 80% of the hair. Moreover, hair loss lasts more than a year after the onset of the cause of baldness. The reasons for telogen diffuse alopecia can the be following:
- stressful situations,
- insufficient sleep,
- strict diets and dietary restrictions;
- surgeries, endocrine and infectious diseases, anemia, chronic pathologies of the gastrointestinal tract;
- deficiency of proteins, vitamins, macro- and microelements; taking medicines.
An anagenic form of diffuse alopecia arises as a result of powerful harmful factors: radiation, chemotherapy, poisoning with poisons and toxins. Hair falls out immediately after the anagen phase. Thus follicles do not perish, and hair grows again. There are cases of a significant change in the structure and even color of the hair.
Diagnosis is the first step in solving the problem
To understand how to stop baldness in men, it is necessary to identify what kind of alopecia you are dealing with and what reason has caused this process. Therefore, you need to see a doctor who will conduct an examination and prescribe a set of diagnostic measures. You can learn how to overcome hair loss in men only after several important analyzes and studies.
- Analysis of the level of thyroid hormones in the peripheral blood. Hair loss often occurs against the background of glitches in the thyroid gland. If the development of thyroid hormones is disrupted, hypo- or hyperthyroidism occurs. Both these and other pathologies affect the condition of the hair and nails;
- General blood analysis. It determines the level of hemoglobin, the number of erythrocytes, leukocytes, platelets, leukocyte formula and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. For example, low hemoglobin indices indicate iron deficiency anemia, which causes oxygen starvation of the body and can lead to increased hair loss;
- Biochemical blood test to determine the level of vitamins and trace elements. The lack or excess of chemical elements in the body can provoke various pathological conditions;
- A blood test for determining the level of ferritin. This test makes it possible to diagnose many types of anemia. An elevated level of ferritin indicates an excess of iron, liver pathology, acute and chronic infectious and inflammatory diseases, oncology. The reduced concentration of ferritin indicates iron deficiency anemia;
- Analysis of the Wasserman reaction. Serological blood tests are conducted to identify the antibodies of the causative agent. In the case of alopecia, the diagnosis is performed to exclude syphilis and systemic lupus erythematosus;
Immunogram for determining the level of content of B- and T-lymphocytes. This analysis allows to determine the general state of human immunity and identify autoimmune diseases;
- Genetic expertise for determining the factor of hereditary alopecia. The sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone is a hereditary disease. This study will accurately diagnose androgenetic alopecia;
- Phototrichogram. For this study, the patient is shaved in a small area, and after 2-3 days a trichoscopy examines the growth of hairs and records this process. Then the trichologist analyzes the record using special programs that calculate the amount of hair per square centimeter, the ratio of hair in different phases, and the rate of their growth;
- Trichoscopy. This study analyzes the hair itself, its roots and scalp with a microscope. For the study, several dozen hairs with bald patches are taken to determine the phases of their life cycle;
- Examination of the peeling substrate using potassium hydroxide for the presence of fungal infection. Alopecia can be a consequence of a fungus attack. Therefore, hairs are examined for the presence of fungal infection like dermatomycosis.
The results of these analyzes and studies will help to diagnose alopecia in each case – whether it’s a symptom, a disease or genetic predisposition. This knowledge allows a doctor to identify the underlying disease that caused the baldness, or prescribe a course of treatment for alopecia.
How to get rid of male pattern baldness?
Effective treatment of male baldness is aimed at eliminating the causes that led to abnormal hair loss. In most cases, this leads to a favorable outcome.
Modern Canadian methods of male alopecia treatment include various cosmetics for hair and scalp care, physiotherapy procedures, and medicines. The choice of a means is determined by its ability to treat a certain type of alopecia.
Let’s introduce the most popular methods to remove baldness in men.
- The first group consists of numerous cosmetic preparations – shampoos, masks, lotions, sprays and other products with natural and synthetic components for the topical application. The growth of hair may be stimulated with vitamins A, B, iron, zinc and other microcells. Strengthening of hair is promoted by panthenol, extracts of some medicinal plants, tar, propolis, mustard, alcohol, camphor, menthol, nicotinic acid;
- To treat alopecia, men also use preparations with fatty polyunsaturated acids, which can suppress the production of dihydrotestosterone;
- Hair cosmetics includes amineksil, tricomin, TRX2 and other substances that affect the intensity of metabolic processes in the hair follicle, as well as antifungal and antimicrobial drugs to eliminate dandruff, itching, and inflammation. However, one should know that cosmetic preparations cannot stop focal and scarring alopecia or have a significant effect on androgenetic alopecia. Basically, these drugs are aimed at restoring the hair that has fallen out as a result of diffuse alopecia;
- Cosmetologists and trichologist doctors advise various cosmetic procedures based on physiotherapy. They increase the effect of external means, improve blood supply and nutrition of follicles, normalize metabolism;
- An ordinary scalp massage can activate blood circulation and awaken growth zones. You can do massage with your fingers, or with the help of massage brushes. The main condition is to massage your head regularly without damaging the follicles;
- Some men use methods of reflexology and acupuncture, which relieve stress, restore the balance of all body systems, relieve spasms of muscles and blood vessels, eliminate inflammation;
- Mesotherapy can help slow down the process of hair loss. The complex of introduced substances is selected individually and includes minerals (zinc, sulfur, phosphorus), amino acids, vitamins B, E, P, C, collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, plant extracts;
- An effective and modern way to improve the condition of the hair is a laser therapy. It restores damaged tissues and inhibits hair loss, improves microcirculation and general condition of the scalp;
- A new method of treatment of hair loss is PRP-therapy (Platelet Rich Plasma – plasma enriched with platelets). This technique is based on the introduction of plasma rich in platelets. When the growth factors hit the problem areas, the body starts the process of self-regeneration;
- Ozone therapy is also successfully used to enhance hair growth in diffuse alopecia. Injections of oxygen cocktails improve tissue respiration and the penetration of nutrients into the hair follicles. The procedure heals the scalp, relieves itching and irritation, strengthens the hair, restores their structure and density, normalizes the sebaceous glands;
- More and more men refer to phototherapy, based on infrared or ultraviolet radiation. UV rays stimulate hair growth and have a bactericidal action, infrared rays help improve blood circulation. During the procedure, the light energy of a low-level laser is used to stimulate healthy follicles, restore damaged follicles and activate non-functioning follicles;
- How to cure male pattern baldness with the help of drug therapy? Everything depends on the choice of a medicament for a specific type of baldness. For example, for androgenetic alopecia, you need to choose minoxidil, which has the vasodilating properties and stimulate hair growth. Sometimes doctors prescribe special hormonal agents that suppress the negative effect of dihydrotestosterone, for example, generic Propecia (Finasteride);
- For focal alopecia, you may need glucocorticosteroids in the form of lotions, ointments, creams, applications or microinjections;
- For the treatment of cicatricial forms caused by dangerous fungal infections, you can use drugs based on 4-aminoquinoline, glucocorticosteroids, systemic retinoids, antibiotics and antibacterial agents;
- To treat diffuse alopecia, choose synergistic agents, for example, lotions with trisaccharide, dentin, and biovitamins.