Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Hair loss talk

Although hair is not vital for life and existence, sufficient amount of hair makes us look good and we feel better if we look good. So, eventually, more hair makes our existence happier. It causes mental pressure in a man when he sees that he is losing hair. Hair grows on the scalp in minute pockets, which are medically known as follicles. When a special type of cells turn amino acids into keratin, hair develops. If there is some problem in the process of hair growth, balding starts.

What is male pattern hair loss?
Most men, if not all, who suffer from hair loss know what male pattern hair loss is. When new hair does not grow back in place of hair that has fallen, baldness occurs. Various factors such as age, hormones, and heredity problems lead to male pattern baldness.

What are the main symptoms?
The most common form of baldness is male pattern baldness and it occurs in many men. It develops slowly and starts with a bald spot on the scalp. This problem can affect men at any time but, generally, it affects them when they are in their thirties.

What's the risk?
More than 65% of all men will suffer from male pattern baldness in the UK. Also, the risk of this condition is affected by racial origin. Caucasians have the highest occurrences of male pattern baldness. Chinese and Japanese rank lowest in this with very less, hardly a fraction, of men suffer from hair loss.

This condition is genetic and it is known to run in families. If your father went bald early, you have greater chances of going bald early too. Studies show that the strongest influence in baldness comes from the mother's side. Hence, if your maternal grandfather went bald early, you might too.

What causes it?
Basically, hair loss is a direct result of follicle shrinking, which occurs when testosterone, a male hormone, is converted to dihydrotestosterone. It is also caused by certain medications, such as the ones used for treating high blood pressure, heart problems, and birth control pills. Onset of lupus and diabetes also causes hair loss. Psychological factors such as stress and relationship problems affect an individual can lead to hair loss.

How can I prevent it?
In spite of millions of men suffering from this condition, there is no known way of preventing it. You can only slow down the process and regrow new hair at the places where hair has been lost.

Should I see a doctor?
Yes, seeing a good doctor is advisable. Baldness could be an underlying cause of some other health condition as well. You can treat hair loss by using Finasteride, which is sold as Propecia. This drug has been approved by the FDA. It works by blocking the conversion of testosterone in to DHT. By reducing the DHT, baldness slows down, and at times, it is even reversed. Based on a research, it can be said that more than 90% of men who took it showed favourable results.