Male pattern baldness, otherwise known as androgenic alopecia accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men! By the age of 35, two thirds of men in the U.S. will have some degree of hair loss and by age 50 about 85% of men will have significant hair thinning / hair loss. Usually, male pattern baldness occurs due to genetics. Having family history of hair loss or baldness makes you more susceptible to hair loss yourself. Male pattern baldness occurs because the male sex hormone, “androgens.” Androgens are in charge of hair growth and begin to weaken causing the hair follicle to shrink creating shorter, finer hair. Eventually leading to no growth at all. With male pattern baldness being so prevalent among males, the question arises, Can it be stopped?
Unfortunately there is no outright cure for male pattern baldness. Luckily, there are many ways to slow it down or treatment options to give you more luscious locks. Knowing what options you have and what treatment option is best for you is key.
Medications like minoxidil have shown to be effective in slowing the progression of male pattern baldness as well as stimulating hair growth and strengthening existing strands. Minoxidil is best for those who have minimal thinning as it wont give you back a full head of hair but it will provide some assistance. Although generally an effective option, some do report it not working, while others see results 6 months or sooner. However, if you ever decide to stop taking minoxidil, you will lose all the new hair growth as well as the hair loss that would have occurred, had you not taken any medication, will all fall out as well, leaving you in worse shape then when you started.
There is also Finasteride which is more known for slowing down hair loss by 90%, but it doesn’t provide much hair growth or strengthening. Results show in 6 months and just like Minoxidil, when you stop taking it, all hair loss returns. Finasteride does have more known side effects such as a lower libido, depression, erectile dysfunction issues and more. These side effects tend to stick around, even after quitting the medication. This is why it’s important to weigh your options before taking any medication that can alter your life.
PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma)
PRP or Platelet rich plasma is when a small amount of your blood is drawn out and placed into a machine that separates the red blood cells from the plasma. The plasma is then drawn and injected into your scalp. PRP can lessen hair loss and promote new hair growth and thicker hair growth. It is your own blood being injected back into your scalp so there aren’t any major side effects. Results show in three to six months after continuous treatment once a month.
You can also receive a surgical hair transplant. Hair Replacement Surgery or Hair Transplant Surgery works to restore patches and areas on your scalp that are bald or thinning. This is possible through the removal of hair from other parts of the body and grafting it to the parts of your scalp that need it. There are two possible transplant methods FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) or FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction). If you’d like to know how both surgeries work in detail click here.
Hair Transplant surgery is a more permanent solution but it comes with a hefty price tag, a long list of side effects and down time to recover.
Topical Hair Replacement
Topical Hair Replacement is when they shave the surface of your head if there is any remaining hair, and apply an adhesive. This adhesive lasts 3-4 weeks and would need to be re-applied every month. A hair unit is placed on top and it is cut and styled to your desired look. These topical units last 6 months before ideally being replaced as they do shed like real human hair eventually.
With topical hair units, you can exercise regularly, shower and sleep with it on. It is a 24/7 unit that is secured to your head when using the correct adhesives. Your scalp can still properly breathe as the unit has a mesh lining where the hair follicles are attached too. Therefore, you almost can’t feel it as it sits comfortably on your head. There are no side effects with a hair unit and they’ve been rising in popularity due to the incredibly realistic, undetectable look they give. If your interested in learning more about topical hair replacements click here.
Although male pattern baldness cannot be stopped, there are many treatment options men and women have to consider. Whether that is taking prescription medications, injecting platelet rich plasma into your scalp, performing scalp surgery or receiving a topical hair unit.