Saturday, October 29, 2011

What Causes Male Pattern Baldness And How To Slow It

 Every wonder what causes guys to lose their hair?  It starts to recede by the temples or in the back and from there it’s just downhill.  It’s mostly genetic.  And it’s also a sex linked genetic pattern.  That means if you want to tell if a guy is going to go bald early in life, you need to look at his mother’s father and see what his hair was like.  Did he lose it early?  If the answer is yes, the guy in question probably will too.  What actually causes male pattern baldness is excess testosterone gets converted to a molecule called DHT.  DHT is what starts the cascade and makes individual hair follicles start to fall out. 

It’s starting to be a fad in the US that males are getting tested to check their testosterone levels.  If it’s low, physicians who jump on the health trends band wagon are putting them on extra testosterone.  Testosterone comes in a shot form, cream, and it recently just came out in a under the arm deodorant like application tube.  To be on extra testosterone, it has to be by prescription.  A side effect of giving men extra testosterone is that there is more of it for the body to convert to DHT.  And remember how DHT causes a male’s hair to fall out?  A side effect for some men of putting extra testosterone in their body is an increase in hair loss.  A lot of them don’t make the connection between the testosterone and their increasingly thinning hair, but you need to be cautious of side effects if you go on prescription medication. 

Luckily, there is a way to slow male patterned balding.  There are a lot of quackery remedies out there, so be extra careful when you shop.  If you can stop testosterone from being converted to DHT, you can prevent a male’s hair from falling out.  There are only a few ways to do this.  Rogaine is basically a medicated shampoo that helps slow testosterone from being converted to DHT.  It has a chemical called Minoxidil in it that prevents hair from being lost and stimulates hair growth.  There are several prescription medications that do the same thing.

With both the Rogaine and the prescription medication,  it’s best to start to use it when hair is just starting to thin out.  Once the hair is lost, it’s very difficult to grow any of it back because the hair follicles are no longer active.  If you wait too long, it will be impossible to grow back.  Rogaine is expensive and the prescription medication can be too if you don’t have good health insurance.   For most guys, it’s definitely worth the investment.  But in reality, this is the only way to go if you really want to starve off male patterned baldness.