Male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia is a result of the inherent susceptibility of the hair follicles of some patients to shrinkage due to androgen hormones. This results in hair thinning and hair loss in a very high number of men and women in their lifetimes. In men, male pattern baldness manifests as progressive thinning and balding at the temples and the dome of the head. In women, androgenetic alopecia causes diffuse thinning on the crown of the head, leading to widening parting and thin, frizzy hair.
Male pattern baldness is caused by a genetic predilection, but environmental factors may also play a role in its development. Some of the factors which play a role in male pattern baldness are listed below:
- Hormones – Male pattern baldness is affected by the dihydrotestosterone hormone. Dihydrotestosterone is a metabolic product of the conversion of free testosterone by 5-alpha reductase. DHT causes the progressive shrinkage of hair follicles which may eventually lead to their becoming dormant.
- Ageing – Due to changes in hormonal levels as a person ages, onset of baldness with age may also take place.
- Genetics – Baldness is dependent on several genetic factors.
- Metabolic syndrome – Premature baldness may be caused by an interplay of several factors such as glucose uptake, insulin resistance, androgen levels and other genetic factors. These must be carefully investigated while evaluating male pattern baldness.
Male baldness hair regrowth is a problem that clinicians and cosmetologists have been investigating for a long time. Some of the therapies available for male baldness hair regrowth are as follows:
- Minoxidil – Minoxidil is a topical solution that has shown to be a promising way of bringing about male baldness hair regrowth. Regular application of minoxidil two times a day has shown to cause regrowth of hair from the dormant follicles.
- Finasteride – Finasteride is a drug which when taken orally can inhibit hair follicle shrinkage and results in slowing the progression of male pattern baldness in patients.
- Platelet rich plasma treatment – Over the last few years, platelet rich plasma treatment has emerged as a promising option for male baldness hair regrowth. PRP treatment involves the separation of platelet rich plasma from the patient’s own blood and its microinjection into the balding areas of the scalp. The growth factors and proteins present in the plasma then regenerate the shrinking hair follicles and result in improved hair growth.
Male pattern baldness can cause anxiety and self-consciousness. However, due to advancements in regenerative medicine and drug development, male baldness hair regrowth is no longer as elusive a goal as before. An experienced dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon can definitely enable male baldness hair regrowth and slow the progression of male pattern baldness.