There is a common misconception that men who suffer from Male Pattern Baldness should ‘just let nature take its course. Those who believe that nothing can be done to help Male Pattern Baldness often think that because it is an inherited condition, it is also untreatable and unpreventable. But hair loss can often be reversed.
What causes Male Pattern Baldness?
Male Pattern Baldness is indeed a genetic hair loss condition. Another common misconception is that it is inherited from the mother’s side of the family, but the truth is that it can be passed on via either the paternal or maternal line. One famous example of Male Pattern Baldness being passed down the paternal line is Prince William’s hair loss, which has followed in the follicular footsteps of his father Prince Charles, and uncle Prince Edward.
It has been estimated that roughly half of all men in the UK will suffer from Male Pattern Baldness to some extent by their 50th birthday. In those who have the gene for Male Pattern Baldness, a chemical process takes place within the body which triggers the hair loss. The exact time of life when this happens varies from person to person, but some men experience significant hair loss as early as their late teens and early twenties.
The chemical indirectly to blame for genetic hair loss is a naturally occurring enzyme called 5 Alpha Reductase. In those who are susceptible to Male Pattern Baldness, this enzyme acts upon the male sex hormone testosterone, converting it into the more powerful derivative, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). It is this DHT which causes the follicles to shrink and become less productive.
Generally speaking, the follicles are often not lost, but the hair they produce gradually becomes too small to be seen clearly with the naked eye. The result is Male Pattern Baldness.
In men, genetic hair loss often presents itself as a receding hairline or thinning hair on the crown. Some men may go entirely bald in time, and when this is the case there is little that can be done. But for many men it is an immensely treatable condition.
How can it be treated?
Many celebrities have very publicly turned to expensive and risky hair transplant surgery recently, but in many cases this is far from the best treatment for Male Pattern Baldness. Two of our primary tools in treating Male Pattern Baldness are the pharmaceutical treatments Propecia (finasteride 1mg) and Minoxidil (Regenepure Minoxidil Spray).
Both of these treatments have been scientifically proven to prevent further hair loss due to the genetic condition, and have been licensed by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) here in the UK, and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US.
Propecia works by inhibiting the formation of the DHT which causes hair loss. This can not only slow the rate of hair loss, but also reverse it. No one’s exactly sure how Minoxidil works meanwhile, but the fact that it does, has been verified by independent studies. Some scientists believe it works by opening up potassium channels in the scalp and increasing blood flow to the hair follicles. It is believed that adding MPG or Azelaic Acid to a formulation of high strength minoxidil can increase its effectiveness.