One of the greatest mysteries of all time? Loss of confidence and complete befuddlement! Or even … how could this happen to me! Well, far out amongst the virtually millions of men suffering these antagonizing issues, hair loss is often the common answer. Yes, hair loss can happen to anybody and anywhere. According to some websites and journals, approximately 40 million men in the United States alone are affected by male pattern baldness. With the advance of years, it is common but if it occurs early on, it remains a cause of concern. Amongst other effects, severe psychological depression has been routinely documented.
Hair loss has a scientific name, Alopecia. The term is variously conjoined with other conditions which define kinds of baldness. Bald is beautiful, as the tabloids say, however the phrase may not hold good for those undergoing the painful process of losing hair. However if detected early and if the right steps are taken, chances are that it can be cured and in some incurable cases, restorative techniques can help get the self-esteem back.
What could be the reasons for losing hair? Listed below are among the most common causes:
Androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness) is one of the most common.
Due to fungal infections.
Chemical breakage such as over application or frequent use of chemicals.
Heat damage due frequent hot comb application.
Compulsive hair pulling (well, it happens).
Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, another common issue.
Iron deficiency (got to eat right).
Loss due physical or psychological stress.
Hereditary hair shaft disorders.
Adverse effects due treatments such as chemotherapy or Radiation therapy.
Genetic hair loss also called Androgenetic Alopecia.
The last cause listed above is the most common and is also called 'Male Pattern Baldness', mainly due to the fact that it follows a pattern. It generally happens to males beyond the age of 30 and the chance of having this condition is … believe it or not, 4 out 7. The main cause for it, well an extremely powerful male sex hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). How this affects loss of hair or rather causes it is not understood fully, but it is known to cause follicular miniaturization. DHT enhances the process of losing hair substantially in the form of hair thinning, receding hair lines, 'widow peaks', and other conditions. DHT thus causes hair to reduce and become finer and thinner, eventually disappearing all together.
Various drugs and treatments exist for treating hair loss but it has been widely accepted that hair loss may not be reversed but controlled. Diet, lifestyle, stress, exercise regimes all affect hair loss. Diet has been often called a common culprit and so has stress. Drugs such as Finasteride, Dutasteride, Minoxidil and Procerin have been found quite effective in controlling hair loss. Surgery, laser therapy, hair implanting surgeries and regular aerobic exercises (lowering stress and promoting lower androgen levels) are also methods of treating hair loss.