It’s a condition that affects about 50 million men, and 30 million women in the US, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). More than 50 percent of men over the age of 50 experience it. It sometimes goes by the scientific name androgenetic alopecia, but most people know it as either male or female pattern baldness or male pattern hair loss. Those affected by hair loss can become concerned about their appearance and even develop self-esteem issues. RHRLI would like you to understand the causes, symptoms, and science behind male pattern hair loss, so you’ll be better prepared to consider your treatment options like our state of the art robotic hair transplant system.
Genes, Hormones and Male Pattern Hair Loss
The causes of male pattern hair loss are essentially genetic and environmental, according to the NIH. It’s also related to hormones called androgens, in particular, a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). These hormones are related to male sexual development, but also hair growth and sex drive in both men and women.
Hair growth is cyclical and it’s the effect that androgens have on the hair growth cycle that leads to hair loss. A normal hair growth cycle lasts between two and six years. It begins when small hair growths appear under the skin. These are called follicles. In normal hair growth, follicles develop into healthy hair, which replaces the older hair that had existed. But elevated levels of androgen can interfere with healthy hair growth. This can shorten the hair’s life cycle and cause follicles to shrink resulting in the growth of thinner, less healthy hair. Researchers believe that a gene known as the AR gene contributes to this. The gene contains the building blocks for making androgens.
Although not conclusive, there has been research that indicates a possible connection between male pattern hair loss and other conditions in men such as heart disease, prostate cancer, and insulin resistance.
Symptoms of Male Pattern Hair Loss
Male pattern hair loss is usually recognizable in men when you see a receding hairline and thinning crown area. According to the American Hair Loss Association, areas including the temples and mid-anterior scalp appear to be the most sensitive to DHT. DHT is a by-product of testosterone which, when present in elevated levels, causes the follicles to shrink. The result is continued hair loss leaving only a rim of hair in a horseshoe shape when in advanced stages. Hair loss also tends to worsen in older men. Over the years, there has been much discussion of whether or not hair loss can be an inherited trait. There is evidence that a key gene for baldness is on the X chromosome, which you inherit from your mother, according to the website medical daily. But there are other contributing factors beyond that chromosome that will affect whether or not you will lose hair.
Hair Loss is Permanent
One thing that is known is that there is no permanent cure for hair loss. Medicines such as minoxidil only work to slow hair loss and must be used continually.
If you’re looking for a permanent solution to male pattern hair loss, you should consult with RHRLI. We specialize in robotic hair transplants and we’re the only hair loss treatment center on Long Island that uses the ARTAS® System. It is a minimally invasive system that uses a robotic arm to identify healthy hairs and transfer them to areas where there is less hair growth. Unlike painful surgical techniques or hair transplant systems in which doctors use handheld devices, the ARTAS® System won’t leave long recovery times and because the technology is accurate, you’ll have a stronger, healthier head of hair. Contact us today.