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Male Pattern Baldness Treatments: Do They Really Work?

The statistics are quite staggering, by the time they reach the age of 50, 50% of the worlds’ male population are affected by male pattern baldness. Many men just accept this and get on with life, but more men are learning about the newly affordable male pattern baldness treatments and want to keep their crowning glory. These new treatments started becoming available over fifteen years ago, but unless you were quite well off cost was always a major prohibiting factor (John Travolta was reported as spending around $1000 a month for his treatment). Now prices are down to a level where most people can afford high quality treatments and if started early enough there is no reason why you should ever go bald. Having said that it should be made clear that there are still no miracle cures, if you are now completely bald there is still very little that can be done apart from wearing a hairpiece. But treatments can be very effective in re-growing hair for some people. It is a matter of learning what is possible and setting your expectations accordingly. There are a few things you should know before seeking a particular type of treatment. It is firstly important to understand why male pattern baldness occurs and how it develops before deciding which of the currently available treatments is right for you. 

Why Hair Loss Occurs

Male pattern hair loss, also known as androgenetic alopecia is a genetically predetermined condition. The main contributing factor for causing it is the male hormone testosterone, hence this is why few females suffer from the condition and why castrated males never go bald. But testosterone does not directly cause hair loss, it interacts with an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase to produce the real culprit, a derived hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is widely acknowledged to be the main cause of hair loss in men. Men lucky enough not to go bald have hair that is resistant to the effects of DHT.

Topical Application

Now that it is known what causes male pattern baldness many hair loss shampoos have been developed specifically to remove DHT from the scalp. These types of products are deep cleansing agents known as DHT blockers and have been used effectively to stop further hair loss and provide the optimum conditions to stimulate new hair growth. You may have heard of Minoxidil male pattern baldness treatment, this is not a DHT blocker, it is thought to work by directly stimulating cell growth in the hair follicle thereby giving it a resistance to DHT. The results though are the same and because they work differently, Minoxidil and DHT blockers can be used together for an even more effective hair loss treatment.

Internal Drugs

One of the most effective oral medications for treating hair loss was discovered accidentally when developing a cure for enlarged prostate gland in men. This drug was finasteride and it was found that in low doses finasteride was effective in preventing of male pattern baldness. It is now one of very few drugs with FDA approval for the prevention and treatment of male pattern baldness and only available on prescription. 

As a natural alternative to Finasteride, a herb called Saw Palmetto is often claimed to be able to reduce DHT and therefore prevent male pattern balding. There are now many natural male pattern baldness treatments that contain saw palmetto and while only small scale clinical trials have been conducted results have been positive. 

Transplants

As a last resort hair transplantation may be the only option for men with a bald patch greater than about ten centimetres (4 inches). This generally involves removing a doner strip of scalp from the neck area and grafting doner follicles to the bald patch. Scalp reduction is another surgical procedure where the bald scalp area is removed altogether with the remaining scalp skin pulled together. While this may seem quite drastic it can be a quite effective procedure in removing small bald patches 

Conclusions

For many men baldness is accepted as part of the aging process and they adapt gracefully to their new look. But with many new male pattern baldness treatments available, men now have a choice in preventing hair loss altogether if they act early enough. The treatment is often needed for life but for many men that could be one of the best investments they ever make!

Author: John Tulley
Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/male-pattern-baldness-treatments-do-they-really-work-146603.html


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