All men like to flaunt with hairs by having a stylish hairstyle and every time experimenting with a new one. But all are not lucky to have full and bouncy hairs to boast their look and personality as many are under the grip of male pattern baldness. It has been estimated that most men are affected by baldness in their middle age and 80 percent of men gets baldness by the age of 70. While many are very much concern about their baldness and keep on trying various hair products which are of little help, others just assume it as a sign of gowning age and do not take any step to stop it.
But the good news is that in many cases proper treatment has been proved beneficial in preventing further hair loss as well as inducing hair growth.
What Causes Baldness?
Though baldness is a very common disease, very few people know about the reason behind it. A hair strand is attached to the scalp with the help of hair follicle which is a small pouch below the skin surface. When hair follicles become smaller or shrink in size, hairs start to become thin, lifeless, and gradually stop growing. The health of the hair follicles is maintained by a hormone called testosterone (the main male sex hormone). They play an important role in the shrinking of hair follicles which eventually causes baldness.
Testosterone is converted into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone. Due to some unknown reason, hair follicles are more sensitive to dihydrotestosterone and this causes the hair follicles to shrink. Besides this, baldness is also caused due to genetic reasons. It has been seen that in many cases baldness is inherited from the family.
Is There Any Treatment For Baldness?
Yes, the medical science has now answered the cause as well as invented treatments for baldness. After continuous research and experiments, two popular medicines have been gifted by medical science to the world to cure baldness finasteride and minoxidil.
Finasteride blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone thereby protecting the hair follicle from shrinking. Hairs follicles are thus rescued from the dihydrotestosterone and revert to normal widen condition. Daily Intake of a finasteride tablets has been found to induce hair regrowth in many cases.
About 2 in 3 men have shown positive sign whereas 1 in 100 men have noticed negative results. According to the above fact, there is a good chance of hair regrowth and arresting further hair loss if someone takes finasteride tablets. Besides consulting a physician, one should also be aware of facts given below before starting the medication:
- Normally the effect of finasteride tablets is visible after four months. And full hair growth is noticed after one to two years.
- If the treatment is paused, there is chance of returning baldness. So, one need to continue the treatment to get the result.
- Though the side effects are uncommon, 2 in 100 men may report loss of sex drive (libido) after taking finasteride medication.
Minoxidil solution is available in two different concentration 5% and 2%. The former being high-strength solution is prescribed to patients having severe baldness, while the latter is low-strength solution used to improve the condition in less severe hair loss.
The effectiveness of the medicine is debatable as varied results have been reported by minoxidil use. About half of the user has noticed further delayed balding whereas 15 in 100 users has confirmed good hair growth. Some users have noticed no difference and hair loss continued. It has been proved more beneficial to prevent further hair loss rather than hair regrowth. Here are some points to consider before using minoxidil.
- Minoxidil solution is effectives only if they are applied on the scalp every day.
- Result of the medicine is visible after 4 months or more.
- Application of minoxidil solution should be continued for long time. If the use is stopped after one or two months, the newly grown hair as result of the treatment suddenly falls.
If medicinal treatments are not very successful, then one can opt for surgical procedures such as hair transplantation and scalp reduction which give a permanent solution for hair loss. But they are selected only after studying type of hair loss and with patient’s consent for the process.
In common terms, hair grafting is also known as hair transplant. It involves surgical procedure of taking hairs from the back of the scalp (portion of the head where hair growth is more) and transplanting them onto the bald portion. It is a bit complex procedure and needs several sessions to complete and achieve the desire result of ‘fullness’ in bald site.
The process is linked with side effects like swelling, bruising around the eyes, crusting on the donor (from where the hairs are taken) and recipient site (bald portion), lack of sensation around the surgical site and, itching at the donor site. But they don’t remain for long and go away after few weeks.
Scalp reduction is another surgical treatment employed to remove baldness. In this surgery, non-hair-bearing skin is removed from the scalp and the remaining hair-bearing skin is stretched to fill in the bald portion of the head. This surgery is mainly beneficial to remove baldness on the top and back of the head. Side effects associated with this process are more painful like headaches and mild scalp tightness.
What Can Be Done To Avoid Baldness?
Though the above treatments can help to get rid of baldness, they more complex and can be heavy on pockets. So including some healthy habits in daily life can help one to stay away from baldness if it is not related to any underlying medical problem or heredity. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and balance diet can control baldness and even stop the condition from getting worst.
Including foods such as green leafy vegetables (like spinach), fish (salmon), nuts (walnut) and dairy products (yogurt) in diet help to improves the condition. One should quit smoking as it has been found that smoking and baldness are significantly related. Lastly, do not rely on expensive hair care products that promise to restore hair as synthetic chemical constituent of these products can do more harm than good to hairs.