Male pattern baldness is a prevalent condition, and approximately 50 percent of men worldwide suffer from the same. Precisely, 147 million people throughout the globe, including both men and women, have encountered the problem of hair loss in their lives. Scientifically termed as androgenetic alopecia, it usually appears in men during their 50s or after that. However, it can start to show up during the late teens or early twenties in some people.
There isn’t one reason why androgenetic alopecia starts building up; for some, it could be hereditary, and for others, it could result from scalp infections and hormonal imbalances. But what matters here is the treatment. Can this situation be treated, and can it completely reverse it? Well, that’s what we will talk about today.
Let’s get right into it!
Male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia-
This situation usually occurs in men who are 50 or above, which could mean that it is a natural cause of ageing. Yet those who start seeing the symptoms early in life are prone to developing severe psychological issues. Nevertheless, studies suggest the situation results from an altered cycle of hair follicles.
There are four hair growth phases: the anagen phase, the catagen phase, the telogen phase, and lastly the exogen phase. During the first phase, your hair is in the growing stage; it is the longest phase and stays for a minimum of 3-5 years. Next is the transition phase; it begins at the end of the first phase and lasts for 10-15 days- this is when the growth process slows down, and during this time, your club hair is formed. Followed by the catagen phase, the telogen phase is the resting period that lasts for 100 days. The club hair formation that began during the catagen phase is completed here, and later the hair shedding phase or the exogen phase commences, which is more like the extended version of the telogen phase itself; hair loss starts when this cycle is disrupted, and your catagen and telogen phase is protracted.
Symptoms of androgenetic alopecia-
The typical male pattern baldness begins from the frontal region; most men notice the loss of hair near temples that further creates a receding M-shaped hairline. For others, it might start with bald patches near the mid-scalp region or the crown area. The hair thinning usually intensifies so much that it leaves men with horseshoe pattern hair.
Causes of Male Pattern Baldness
There are 63 genes that contribute to hair loss in men; the AR gene is one of them found on chromosome X, which doubles the chances of MPB. One largely unknown fact is that MBP can be inherited from both sides of your family; high levels of dihydrotestosterone is one identified cause of genetic MPB.
Scalp infections like seborrheic dermatitis can increase sebum production, further increasing yeasts like Malassezia on the scalp; excessive amounts of this cause inflammation and make it harder for new hair to grow.
Some hormones that play a crucial role in the hair growth cycle are androgens, dihydrotestosterone, prohormones, and androstenedione. DHT is the primary reason for hair loss in men; excessive DHT miniaturizes the hair follicles, leading to complete shortening or even stoppage of the anagen phase- thus, no new healthy hair is grown.
Treatments of male pattern baldness-
When in contact with sulfotransferase enzymes, Minoxidil solution and foam convert into minoxidil sulfate responsible for stimulating hair follicles. Minoxidil has been found effective in widening individual hair follicles, regenerating cells, and shortening the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle as well. Researches show that a 2% minoxidil solution is most effective for men with pattern baldness. Results might appear sooner for some people than others, but on average, it can take upto six months for noticeable results, provided you apply it at regular intervals. However, with the pros comes the cons too- prolonged usage of this solution can give side effects like swollen face, inflamed and itchy scalp, acne near forehead and ears, and since the severity of this is subjective, you must consult your doctor before starting the treatment.
Prescription medicine from the class of 5-alpha reductase inhibitors has proven efficient in reducing levels of dihydrotestosterone and increasing testosterone in the scalp. Studies suggest that continuous use as prescribed can stimulate hair growth in men at a higher pace after 1-2 years; the medicine effectively improves hair thickness. Also, it will take a minimum of 6 months to show results and can be coupled with rogaine for better results. Nevertheless of benefits, finasteride sure has some severe side effects- increased risk of developing erectile dysfunction, reduced sex drive, and varying sperm count are some highly probable side effects of this drug.
Medicated shampoos with both minoxidil and ketoconazole 2% solution have been found efficacious; apparently, the anti-inflammatory properties and reduced levels of Malassezia fungi have to do something with its results given to patients. Even though it is not as beneficial as other treatments available in the market, it has improved the situation for men suffering from seborrheic dermatitis, sebopsoriasis, and other scalp infections.
4. Low-level laser therapy-
Although, very negligible clinical results are available right now that support the efficacy of LLLT treatments. Those studies that do support the idea states that “low-level light, in wavelengths of 650-900 nm, but at low powers of 5 mW, can enhance hair growth significantly.”
5. Hair transplants-
A Male pattern baldness is a prevalent condition, and approximately 50 percent of men worldwide suffer from the same. Precisely, is a good alternative for those who do not wish to struggle. Almost 90% of males suffering from MPB have found transplant surgery satisfactory, and studies prove the graft survival rate is between 85% to 93%. The treatment involves replacing existing hair from the donor zone to bald spaces. However, hair transplant surgery is not recommended for people suffering from scarring alopecia, folliculitis decalvans, and other similar diseases.
6. PRP therapy-
This is a procedure where your blood will be processed and separated from plasma that will be further injected into your scalp; this stimulates hair growth naturally and expands hair follicles. However, you might not get this procedure done if you have been diagnosed with chronic diseases like cancer or liver diseases because the infection could spread or worsen for these people.
Natural remedies to treat Male Pattern Baldness
1. Increase vitamin intake-
Intake of Vitamin A, B, C, D, E is recommended for healthy hair that looks nice and feels nice. All of these contribute to your hair in different ways; while vitamin A is known to increase your scalp’s sebum production, vitamin C has antioxidants that prevent oxidative stress. However, keeping a balance is also essential.
2. Try onion or garlic juice-
Onion juice has specific antioxidant properties known for improving hair loss in many people. Topical application of onion juice or use of natural onion products can help with hair loss as they are also rich in essential vitamins like vitamin C and B. Similarly, many people have noticed considerable improvement in their hair loss situation through the application of garlic juice as well; it’s antibacterial and antifungal properties can help you with a healthy scalp.
3. Try to keep up with biotin requirements-
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin with proven hair benefits. The best thing about this remedy is that you won’t have to go an extra mile to maintain it since it’s available in food items that you intake regularly. Biotin deficiency is rare; however, taking 30-100 micrograms per day should be enough if you do have it.
4. Aloe Vera and Amla-
Amla is your hair’s best friend; it will help your hair grow, strengthen its roots, and slow down greying. On the other hand, aloe vera has antifungal properties that help with flaky and scaly scalp and provide required moisture.
The best thing is unlike medical treatments available in the market, natural remedies do not have any side effects, hence assuring you the best and no drawbacks. Trying out these home remedies is a must for anyone who has been going through the unbearable pain of excessive hair loss.
Usually, dermatologists run an autopsy test to determine which treatment could help the patient. Even though plenty of treatment options are available, they do not ensure the complete reversal of the situation. Your newly grown hair can just as quickly start to shed again if you take a prolonged gap in the treatment. Thus, it’s recommended that you keep your faith in natural remedies as well, as they can bring your real results without any side effects.