Baldness is the condition in which you lack hair growing on areas on the scalp where they normally grow. The truth is there are different types of baldness with male-pattern baldness being the most common type. This type of baldness is progressive that thins out hair and hairlines as it progresses, and will develop on a good percentage of the male population at a certain point in their lives. As per statistics, this condition will affect more than 60% of men after sixty years of age. Most men fear becoming bald and if you have the condition, it will take around twenty years to become completely bald. In fact, there are some who become completely bald in only five years’ time.
Once hair begins to recede at the crown (top of the head) or on the front, or both at the same time, it means that the hair follicles are beginning to thin out in those areas. Gradually, a bald spot will develop on the crown and eventually, the thinning of hairline on the front will meet the bald spot on the crown, leaving only hair on the sides of the head and back.
What causes male pattern baldness?
The head will normally have 90,000 to 140,000 stands of hair (depending on hair color) and each stand of hair will have its own sac called follicle. These sacs are where the hair grows, wherein they grow, shed, and grow new one again and this cycle will go on throughout life. However, if you are undergoing hair pattern baldness, a condition which is known to be hereditary, your hair follicles will begin to thin out until they can no longer grow healthy hair. While hair may still grow during the early stages of thinning, the strand will be very thin making the scalp clearly visible. Once the hair follicle has completely thinned out, it can no longer support the growth of hair.
The main reason for the thinning out of hair follicles is due to dihydrotestosterone which is converted from testosterone. Although their level of testosterone is normal, they are still greatly affected by the dihydrotestosterone converted from it.
What are the treatments?
There are two common drugs when it comes to treating male pattern baldness – finasteride and minoxidil, although both can be used together for a more effective effect. This is because these two medications approved by the Food and Drug Authority have different processes in helping with hair loss. Basically, finasteride 1mg stops the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone so hair follicles will not thin out and thus stopping the progression of hair loss. Minoxidil on the other hand promotes the regrowth of hair. The truth is both treatments were not exactly designed for treating hair loss as they just happen to be beneficial side effects of their original intention. Finasteride 1mg was originally a cure for benign prostatic hyperplasia (prostate enlargement) until they found out that at low doses, it can help in stopping the progression of hair loss caused by dihydrotestosterone. Minoxidil on the other hand was originally a medication for treating high blood pressure.