More About Male Pattern Hair Loss

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Male pattern baldness occurs when hair loss exceeds growth of hair. It is a genetically inherited condition. Some women also suffer from male pattern hair loss and this is because of excessive levels of androgen in their bodies. These women also suffer from irregular menses, acne and more facial hair than others.

There are various reasons for baldness but if you are in the age range of 20 to 40 and you suffer from baldness, there are high chances that you are suffering from male pattern baldness. As the name suggests, this health condition follows a typical pattern of hair loss. You can start losing hair in different areas, but it usually starts around the crown of your head. Your hair starts thinning and over a period of years, you may become totally bald. Almost 50% of the men experience baldness at some point in their life.

Cause of male pattern baldness

Male pattern baldness depends mainly on hormones and genetics. Testosterone, a hormone present in males after puberty is converted to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Several tissues in the body, including the scalp have DHT, which affects the hair follicle adversely. It slows down hair production, and produces weak and shorter hair. Gradually, this process depletes your hair totally.

Lupus and diabetes lead to baldness. Fungal infections are also known to cause hair loss. Excessive intake of vitamin A in the form of medicines is also a factor along with intake of birth control pills and antidepressants. Hormonal fluctuations, overactive or underactive thyroid gland, side effects of medications for chronic diseases, and stress are some of the factors that cause baldness.

Hair loss can have a significant psychological impact, depending on the severity of the same. Many men who experience hair loss suffer from low self-esteem and reduced confidence. If you lose hair suddenly, you should visit a doctor and take expert advice. Baldness can occur because of many reasons, and it can be treated successfully using medications such as Propecia.


Finasteride, marketed as Propecia, is an FDA approved oral medication that treats male pattern baldness. There are many advantages of using it as a method of baldness treatment. It blocks the conversion of testosterone in to dihydrotestosterone. The reduction of DHT slows down hair loss, and at times, it is even reversed. Since, baldness is directly linked with DHT, this drug works by blocking it. More than 80% of men, who have taken it, experienced a rise in hair growth on their scalps.

Decrease in sex drive, loss of libido, reduced volume of semen, and Gynecomastia are some of the side effects of Propecia. It was found, that men who had taken this drug, experienced mild sexual dysfunctions as a side effect. Side effects of this drug are temporary, and once the intake of this medication is stopped, the situation returns to normal. This drug is not recommended for women and children. Most men who use this drug are happy with the results.

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