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Androgenetic Alopecia / Androgenetic Hair Loss in Men
10.12.2012

Androgenetic alopecia is the medical term for the type of hair loss that leads to common baldness. It is also known as male pattern hair loss.

Causes of Androgenetic Hair Loss

The main reason for this type of hair loss is genetic factors that cause certain hair follicles to become over sensitive to the male hormone called dihydrotestosterone. Genes will determine when the hair loss will begin, how quickly it will progress and the extent of hair loss that will occur. For the gene to express itself the hair follicle must be exposed to enough dihydrotestosterone over a certain amount of time. Dihydrotestosterone increases dramatically at the onset of puberty so many men may start to notice some kind of hair loss or thinning by the age of 18 years.

Hair Follicle

Physical Changes in Androgenetic Hair Loss

In a potentially balding area that has been exposed to dihydrotestorone for a certain period of time, a number of hair follicles will start to have shorter hair growth or anagen phases which will lead to shorter hairs growing from the follicles. At the same time the hair follicles will become smaller and thus will produce thinner hairs. This will continue, getting worse with every hair growth cycle resulting in vellus hairs in place of the strong original terminal hairs. Eventually, some or all of these follicles will atrophy altogether to be replaced by fibrous connective tissue.

Pattern of Hair Loss in Men

The pattern usually begins with slight bifrontal recession and gradually gets deeper. Thinning may also occur on the crown and may lead to a completely bald area here. The balding areas may join up leaving hair only at the back and sides of the head.

Treatment of Hair Loss in Men

The best hair loss treatment up to date is in tablet form and is known as Propecia. Each Propecia tablet contains 1mg of the active ingredient Finasteride. Finasteride inhibits the formation of dihydrotestosterone. Lowering dihydrotestosterone helps prevent further shrinking of the affected follicles and may even reverse the hair loss process to a certain extent. Around 60% of men see some kind of improvement, 30% have no further hair loss and in around 10% of men the hair loss continues. Improvement usually takes place around 3-6 months of starting Propecia. Men that have results must continue their treatment in order to sustain their results.

Hair loss can also be treated by the use if topical scalp drops containing various potent ingredients. One well known ingredient is minoxidil. Minoxidil can thicken up thinning and vellus hairs in around 50% of its users. Even though Minoxidil may stimulate the hair bulb it does not inhibit the action of  DHT so the hair loss will actually continue. For this reason Medroxyprogesterone Acetate and Oestradiol Valerate are also included in our formulation. They are anti-androgens and their action is to prevent Testosterone and the enzyme 5-Alpha reductase from co-joining. This means that less damaging DHT is produced. Long term use helps prevent or delay further hair loss in men. Our formulation also contains Tretinoin which is a derivative of vitamin A. Its action is to enhance the penetration and absorption of all the active ingredients in our hair loss formulation. Also included is the ingredient Methyl Nicotinate which is a vasodilator. This means that it increases capillary blood flow to the skin which also helps absorption. All in all our hair loss scalp drops block the action of factors that cause hair loss, increase penetration and enhance the properties of minoxidil.

Assessment of  Hair Loss Treatment at HDC

Before starting a hair loss treatment photographs are taken here at HDC for assessment purposes. At 6 month intervals new photographs should be taken so that comparisons can be made to see how well a particular treatment is working. In this way the hair loss treatment can be adjusted to suit the patient’s needs.

 

 

Androgenetic alopecia is the medical term for the type of hair loss that leads to common baldness. It is also known as male pattern hair loss.

Causes of Androgenetic Hair Loss

The main reason for this type of hair loss is genetic factors that cause certain hair follicles to become over sensitive to the male hormone called dihydrotestosterone. Genes will determine when the hair loss will begin, how quickly it will progress and the extent of hair loss that will occur. For the gene to express itself the hair follicle must be exposed to enough dihydrotestosterone over a certain amount of time. Dihydrotestosterone increases dramatically at the onset of puberty so many men may start to notice some kind of hair loss or thinning by the age of 18 years.

Hair Follicle

Physical Changes in Androgenetic Hair Loss

In a potentially balding area that has been exposed to dihydrotestorone for a certain period of time, a number of hair follicles will start to have shorter hair growth or anagen phases which will lead to shorter hairs growing from the follicles. At the same time the hair follicles will become smaller and thus will produce thinner hairs. This will continue, getting worse with every hair growth cycle resulting in vellus hairs in place of the strong original terminal hairs. Eventually, some or all of these follicles will atrophy altogether to be replaced by fibrous connective tissue.

Pattern of Hair Loss in Men

The pattern usually begins with slight bifrontal recession and gradually gets deeper. Thinning may also occur on the crown and may lead to a completely bald area here. The balding areas may join up leaving hair only at the back and sides of the head.

Treatment of Hair Loss in Men

The best hair loss treatment up to date is in tablet form and is known as Propecia. Each Propecia tablet contains 1mg of the active ingredient Finasteride. Finasteride inhibits the formation of dihydrotestosterone. Lowering dihydrotestosterone helps prevent further shrinking of the affected follicles and may even reverse the hair loss process to a certain extent. Around 60% of men see some kind of improvement, 30% have no further hair loss and in around 10% of men the hair loss continues. Improvement usually takes place around 3-6 months of starting Propecia. Men that have results must continue their treatment in order to sustain their results.

Hair loss can also be treated by the use if topical scalp drops containing various potent ingredients. One well known ingredient is minoxidil. Minoxidil can thicken up thinning and vellus hairs in around 50% of its users. Even though Minoxidil may stimulate the hair bulb it does not inhibit the action of  DHT so the hair loss will actually continue. For this reason Medroxyprogesterone Acetate and Oestradiol Valerate are also included in our formulation. They are anti-androgens and their action is to prevent Testosterone and the enzyme 5-Alpha reductase from co-joining. This means that less damaging DHT is produced. Long term use helps prevent or delay further hair loss in men. Our formulation also contains Tretinoin which is a derivative of vitamin A. Its action is to enhance the penetration and absorption of all the active ingredients in our hair loss formulation. Also included is the ingredient Methyl Nicotinate which is a vasodilator. This means that it increases capillary blood flow to the skin which also helps absorption. All in all our hair loss scalp drops block the action of factors that cause hair loss, increase penetration and enhance the properties of minoxidil.

Assessment of  Hair Loss Treatment at HDC

Before starting a hair loss treatment photographs are taken here at HDC for assessment purposes. At 6 month intervals new photographs should be taken so that comparisons can be made to see how well a particular treatment is working. In this way the hair loss treatment can be adjusted to suit the patient’s needs.

 

 

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