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The Pattern of Male Baldness

Lasting studying of the problem of hair loss convinced me that till this day nobody knows for sure causes and clear mechanism of it. Treatment is conducted mostly in accordance with assumptions and results vary for isolated cases. Therefore everything youíll read below no more than acquaint you with the processes of hair loss, chemicals concerned with it and possible ways of treatment.

The most common type of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness (or androgenic alopecia) which takes 95% of men hair loss. Itís occurring in 66% of adult males at some point of their lives.

Male pattern baldness is believed to be a permanent disorder caused by genetic predisposition and changes in hormone levels. It hardly can be cured but more successfully prevented.

The conditions which also are considered as possible causes of hair loss are chronic inflammation, lupus, diabetes, medicine intake (anticoagulants, birth control pills, antidepressants, drugs for chemotherapy), and stresses (cause change of the hair follicles).

In mechanism of hair loss key role play male sexual hormones (androgens) testosterone and its derivative dihydrotestosterone (DHT). 5-alpha-reductase converts free testosterone into DHT which inhibits hair growth.

As the result of such hormonal change the follicles become smaller and produce shorter and finer hairs. First a small M-shape bold appears and slowly transforms into horseshoe-shaped pattern.

Therefore most treatments work by limiting DHT production, mostly with 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors. Finasteride, commonly used DHT inhibitor, is available in pills (like Propecia), which are prescribed for intake during 12 months and may lead to sexual disorders.

Minoxidil is a solution thatís applied directly to the scalp and is thought to increase the diameter of hair shaft and to halt rapid hair loss. Actually itís a medicine for high blood pressure and hair growth is its side effect.

In case if common complex therapy with finasteride and minoxidil fails to stop excessive hair loss you always can turn to plastic surgery. It offers transplantation, scalp reduction (small bald spots are cut and productive skin is stretched and sutured), flap surgery.

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Hair cloning (self-replenishing follicle stem cells are multiplying in the lab and microinjecting into the scalp) is expected to be available in 2009-2015.

Mentioned above ways of treatment of male pattern baldness are pretty expensive and may often be harmful. Alternate means of avoiding of hair loss complications (that mainly are psychological) are wigs, heats, and change of attitude to the problem. The latter I consider the best one as the healthiest and cheapest. But if your bald spot is unbearable for you a faultless and immediate way to get rid of it is shaving the rests of hair.

In any case itís useful to keep in mind that your liver, kidneys, heart and other organs that may suffer from baldness treatment will be of use more than couple of saved hairs on your head.


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