Androgenic hair loss or Hereditary-pattern baldness
Hereditary-pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss seen in both men and women. Eighty million Americans suffer from this condition called “Androgenetic Alopecia” or “hereditary thinning”. This article examines this type of hair loss.
Shape of hair loss
In men, the hair growth line in the front of the head and the waist area starts to fall back, as well as the hair on the back and top of the head. Over time, the hair growth line shapes like the letter M. In more severe cases, the retraction of the hair growth line is completed, joining the back and above the head, and therefore baldness occurs. In women, the problem is usually the thinning of the hair and can be seen all over the head area. Androgenic hair loss in women rarely results in complete baldness.
Hair loss start time
About 50 million American men and 30 million American women suffer from this problem. Androgenic hair loss can begin even in adolescence, but generally begins in the third or fourth decade of life. This type of hair loss in women usually begins after menopause.
Although the definitive cause of Hereditary-pattern baldness is still unclear, researchers consider the involvement of hormonal factors as the most important cause of this type of hair loss. Under the influence of male hormones known as androgens, especially Dihydrotestosterone (which are also present in lesser amounts in the female body), the natural course of hair growth changes in some people, leading to shorter and thinner hair growth. As the problem progresses, hair growth stops completely in some places, causing baldness in that area. The hair on top of the head area have androgen receptors, but the activity of these receptors is not the same in all individuals. People with androgenic hair loss are more responsive to androgen receptors than to the androgen hormone in their hair follicles, causing changes in the hair growth cycle and eventually stopping its growth.
Prevention and treatment
There are many ways to prevent or treat hair loss. It should be noted that the cause of hair loss must first be determined and then treated. In cases where hair loss is not androgenic, such as a deficiency of a mineral, heavy diet, or certain diseases, hair loss may also be reduced or stopped by treatment or remediation. Unfortunately, most of the methods recommended for androgenic hair loss do not produce satisfactory results. Of the many treatments available, only the efficacy of the two therapies has been validated by all universities and reputable scientific authorities. These two treatments include oral Finasteride known as brand name of “propecia” and Minoxidil topical solution with sold under Rogaine brand. Although both medicines should be prescribed by your doctor, in general it can be said that Finasteride is effective in the treatment of many men’s hereditary hair loss. However, it is not only ineffective in women, but may also have some side effects. Topical Minoxidil solution is used in both sexes, but problems such as the need for daily use of the solution and hair loss if treatment is discontinued can occur. Recently, injections have been used under the scalp and in hair loss areas by some dermatologists. These include mesotherapy for the injection of collagen and vitamins under the scalp and PRP or platelet-rich plasma. The effectiveness of these methods is being investigated by research centers.
The only definitive way to treat hereditary-pattern baldness in both sexes is to have permanent hair replacement by a procedure known as Hair Transplant or Restoration Surgery. Unlike the different hair of the head, the back and top of the head, the hair on the lower half of the head are not sensitive to androgen hormones and do not succumb to hair loss. In other words, follicles of such hair do not have many androgen receptors. In the procedure of hair transplantation, the follicles of the lateral and back regions are surgically removed and implanted in areas with hair loss. Such hair grow back over a period of months and no longer fall under the influence of androgen hormones. The best treatment results are seen nine months to a year after surgery.