Male Pattern baldness is a typical characteristic of boys becoming men at some points in their lifetime.
Bald men have since been stereotyped to men with more virility, higher testosterone level, which of course perceives them as more masculine with active sex drive or libido.
Well, scientifically, that’s all true as male pattern baldness has been linked to a gene that determines sensitivity of hair follicle to a hormone called DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). DHT can shrink the hair follicle reducing the tendency of hair growing from it; this depends on the sensitivity of the follicle to the hormone.
Here are 5 things to know about Male Pattern Baldness:
1. What is the cause of male pattern baldness?
It is important to differentiate male pattern baldness and hair loss; hair loss can be attributed to steroid or chemo-therapy, stress, overdose of vitamin A, lack of essential vitamins, minerals, low iron level in diet, scalp infections, anemic or thyroid disease while male pattern baldness is usually a gene factor in most cases.
2. How do I know if am going bald?
Male pattern baldness does appear in a receding pattern mostly especially from the temple backwards or from the crown of the head spreading outwards while hair loss is observed randomly.
3. Is male pattern baldness a risk factor to any medical condition?
If you observe some sudden changes in your hair strands like thinning, unusual fall out in pattern, do consult your doctor as such hair loss has been linked to heart disease, enlarged prostate and diabetes.
4. What can I do to stop male pattern baldness?
Typically, once male pattern baldness starts its receding process, it never stops until every hair strand is lost. It is therefore imperative for those that are not really comfortable with going bald to start treatment, perhaps, there are many bald men out there with finer looks and they are just OK with it!
Once you’ve made up your mind to start treatment, it is advisable to see your doctor to work out a suitable option for you, especially when you are on a long-term treatment of some medical conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes or prostate cancer. Although these medications can be requested over-the-counter at a pharmacy store with doctors’ prescription.
The very two most common medications to treat male pattern baldness are:
-Rogaine (Minoxidil 2% or 5% form or solution)
-Propecia (Finasteride 1mg or 5mg tablet)
i. How does Rogaine (Minoxidil) prevent male pattern baldness?
Mode of action of Rogaine as a potassium channel opener is; widening of arterial blood vessels promoting flow of nutrients, oxygen and blood into hair follicles resulting in increase of follicle size thereby allowing hair sprout.
ii. How long does it take to observe noticeable improvement after starting treatment?
From studies so far, Rogaine does take a period of about three to six month before any significant improvement can be seen. Also, it does more of preventing further hair loss to regaining growth.
iii. Is Rogaine suitable for both receding hairline and crown of the head pattern?
Rogaine clinical trials only confirmed its effectiveness around the crown of the head. So, only recommend use for crown of the head pattern.
iv. Any side effect to Rogaine use?
Uncommon side effects such as scalp or skin irritation, flushing, blurred vision can be observed.
v. How is Rogaine lotion applied?
It is simply applied into the scalp with brisk massage and rinse off with clean water after about 20 minutes once or twice daily depending on the extent of baldness.
i. How does Propecia treat male pattern baldness?
Propecia (Finasteride) acts by inhibition of an enzyme (5α-reductase) that converts testosterone to a hormone (DHT) that causes thinning of follicle or hair loss.
ii. Does Propecia correct receding hairline?
This medication can help prevent further hair loss as well as improves hair growth and density. Propecia is indicated to correct both receding hairline from scalp and crown of the head.
iii. Any side effect to Propecia?
Two uncommon side effects of Finasteride are:-
Reduced sex drive (libido)
both occurs in a very small proportion of recipients.
iv. What is Propecia dosage prescription?
Finasteride 1mg (Propecia) is taken once daily only on prescription.
5. How long am I suppose to apply Rogaine or take Propecia?
It is necessary to let you know that either of these two medication is a long-term treatment because once you stop applying or taking it, the receding process of hair loss is reinitiated.