Male pattern baldness (also known as androgenic alopecia) is experienced by millions of men worldwide. It's so common that it even affects our closest genetic relatives…primates like the chimpanzee and orangutans!
Male pattern baldness is partly the result of genetics and the aging process but can also be affected by nutrient deficiencies throughout the body. Let's look at this common condition in more detail.
What is male pattern baldness?
The average hair strand lasts for two to six years. Each strand grows approximately one centimeter per month during this time and around ninety percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any given moment. The remaining ten percent is in a resting phase. After about two to three months, resting hair falls off and new strands grow in its place.
Male pattern baldness is usually defined as the pattern of a receding hairline and the thinning of hair on the crown of the head. It's also related to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a naturally occurring hormone present in all men. DHT has a detrimental affect on the hair follicles. It slows down hair production and causes new hairs to be shorter and weaker than usual.
The hormone can even completely stop hair growth, gradually resulting in baldness. There are also other reasons why men (and women) go bald, including other forms of alopecia, the treatment of terminal illnesses and diet, just to name a few.
There are three forms of treatment for male pattern baldness:
- Do Nothing - Some men are comfortable with their receding hairlines. By keeping their hair really short, these men have embraced their baldness and accepted that it's their genetic make-up that caused the hair-loss.
- Topical Products - Hair cleansers and conditioners such as Nioxin can be effective in cleansing the hair follicles of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and improving hair health and volume, without any downsides.
- Hair Restoration Surgery - Hair restoration surgery involves transplanting hair follicles from the donor areas of the head (typically the back and sides) to the bald or thinning areas. These are called grafts. Each graft can contain between 1 to 4 hairs. Because the donor hairs are from areas of the head that are not prone to balding, they are considered permanent when transplanted to balding areas. It may be an expensive procedure but the result is often a permanent, natural looking head of hair.
- Drugs and pharmaceuticals - There are some drugs and pharmaceuticals available for men experiencing male pattern baldness. However, they do come with some scary side effects…one in particular is the lack of libido or sexual desire. The Journal of Sexual Medicine recently published a study looking at the effects of a hair-loss drug and found that out of the men who took the drug 94% said they experienced low sexual desire, 92% reported low sexual arousal, 92% developed erectile dysfunction and 69% had trouble reaching orgasm.
Managing Hair Loss Naturally
Nutrients, minerals and vitamins are important for both good overall health as well as hair health. Some of the most important nutrients and minerals that are key for maintaining your hair growth are biotin, folic acid, magnesium, sulfur, zinc and inositol. Having these vitamins and minerals in optimal amounts may prevent hair loss and maintain your hair growth.
Some men find that by taking a daily nutriment supplement like Total Balance, their rate of hair-loss reduces and according to one Xtend-Life customer, his grey hair even returned to its natural dark color.
Now although this is just one person's experience, and it certainly is not a typical result, there are definitely benefits from taking a supplement like Total Balance which targets two of the above mentioned causes of baldness…aging and nutrient deficiency.
Female Hair Loss & Pattern Baldness in Women
In today's image conscious society, physical appearance is more important than ever to a woman's self-esteem. Imagine the heartache caused when a woman notices her hair thinning? It is estimated that over 25 million women experience thinning hair in the United States.
The pattern of hair loss in women is completely different to that of male pattern baldness. While some men go completely bald, in women this is rare. The pattern usually occurs in women in their forties and also at the beginning of menopause. According to statistics, about 13 percent of women experience hair problems before menopause and as many as 37% of post menopausal women!
This is often due to the reduction of estrogen in the body which sees an increase in Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)…the detrimental hair follicle hormone.
Other Causes of Hair Loss in Women
Some other common causes of hair-loss in women are:
- Alopecia areata - This type of hair-loss is considered to be due to autoimmune conditions and results in patchy losses of hair from the scalp and even the eyebrows.
- Traction alopecia - This type of hair-loss occurs because of continuous traction pressure on hair follicles such as tight braiding or corn-rowing.
- Trichtotillomania - This type of hair-loss is associated with stress or result of some other psychological disorder.
- Telogen effluvium - This type of hair-loss is associated with poor nutrition and drug use.
- Loose anagen syndrome - This disease is more common in fair-haired women and is associated with a bunch of hair falling out while combing or shampooing. Normally the scalp hair comes out very easily and this lessens the hair density on your head.
- Scarring alopecia - This type of hair-loss occurs through some type of physical trauma etc. Sometimes, traction alopecia stimulates the onset of scarring alopecia.