A large percentage of men will be affected by Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) in their lifetime. It's been my passion for many years to learn and understand the treatments that are available to treat it. These pages represent the sum of the links and notes I've gathered over the years.
More than 50% of men will experience some degree of hair loss by the time they reach age 50 due to the follicle damage caused by the male hormone DHT. And many of those men believe they have little or no control over male pattern baldness. But this guide will show you how to both stop the loss and re-grow the lost hair. But it's vitally important that you not allow hair loss to continue for too long without treatment, because it is thought that follicles can be damaged beyond repair.
Androgenetic alopecia (AA) starts with testosterone, and without it there is no chance of alopecia starting. Studies have found that a potent form of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone or DHT is involved in AA. And without testosterone there is no DHT and thus no hair loss due to AA. This is proven by the fact that men who are castrated prior to puberty and thus eliminate most testosterone never develop Androgenetic Alopecia. Male to female transsexuals undergoing hormone therapy to reduce testosterone to female levels are also reported to have completely reversed balding due to the lack of the male hormone testostorone. However testosterone is a much needed hormone by normal males and fortunately medications exist that leave testosterone levels intact and inhibit the potent DHT. It has been shown in many studys that inhibiting 5 alpha reductase reduces dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Medications such as Finastiride, Dutasteride and even Saw Palmetto have been shown to inhibit 5 alpha reductase and thus inhibit DHT. A side effect of some of these medications is increased levels of estradiol causing female type breast growth or Gynecomastia.
There are treatments but the sooner you start the more likely it is you will be able to thwart Androgenetic Alopecia and keep or regain your hair.
Some medications are taken orally and some are applied to the scalp topically. Both methods are useful however topical medications typically have fewer side effects. And some of the oral drugs can cause severe side effects such as sexual dysfunction and Gynecomastia (female type breast growth).
There is no total cure for male pattern baldness however using medications that are available now many men are able to keep their hair and even restore lost hair while the experts search for the cure.
There are many exciting technologies that promise to allow physicians to clone or multiply your hair and these may be available as soon as 2015 and many hair researchers say the cure will be here by 2020 at the latest. That is only a few short years away so it pays to keep what you have through current means.
Until a cure is found you may find that combinations of existing medications will treat male pattern baldness very well. Many men refer to the "Big 3" when talking about hair loss treatments. The big three consists of three currently available hair loss medications: Finasteride, Minoxidil and Nizoral. The Big 3 does work for many but this is just one treatment regime and it is important to find what works for you and to know what the choices are.
These pages will give you insight into all the current treatment regimes. Knowing what is available will help you to decide what may work for you and your situation but remember to talk to your doctor before using any prescription drugs.
It is very important to monitor your hair loss and make changes to your routine when you do not see results. I recommend taking regular pictures, about every 4 months, to allow changes in your hair condition to be easily spotted. As you change your regime you need to give the changes time to have an effect and four to six months is normally long enough to determine if a drug is effective for you.
Your doctor is the best source of information and should be consulted before using any prescription drugs.
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