MALE HAIR LOSS
Alopecia is the medical term used for hair loss. There are many different types of hair loss that affect both young and old, male and female with many different symptoms and causes.
The most common form of male hair loss is ‘Male Pattern Baldness’ or ‘Male Pattern Hair Loss’. This form of hair loss is called Alopecia Androgenetic. It’s a condition that affects at least 50% of men by the time they are 5 years of age. It usually starts in the late twenties and follows a pattern.
This male hair loss pattern starts at the front area receding backwards towards the crown. Followed by thinning in the crown and temples. Advanced hair loss is seen when there is a distinct ‘horseshoe’ shape around the back and sides of the head. Male pattern baldness is a hereditary condition.
The main reason for this hair loss or, miniaturisation of hair is due to a hormone called ‘Dihydrotestosterone’. This biological process is where hair shafts become smaller and thinner over time and eventually fall out.
How does hair Miniaturise?
The hair follicle growth cycle consists of three phases: A growing phase (anagen), a transitional phase called catagen and a resting phase called telogen. In genetically susceptible hair follicles, a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) can cause the growth phase of the hair cycle to become shorter. The hair produced by these affected follicles can not grow to full size due to the shorter growth window and over a period of time they eventually disappear.
In some areas of the scalp, there are follicles that don’t respond to the DHT effects. These follicles are said to be immune to DHT and as a result, the hair remains thick and in the active phase of growth as normal. These areas immune to DHT are most often the back and sides of the scalp.
Scalp MicroPigmentation can be used to give the illusion of density between hair transplants, the appearance of a full head of stubble and camouflage scarring.
When an enzyme in our system called 5-alpha reductase type 2 converts the hormone testosterone into DHT – why not stop this process! This is the common effect of a medication called Propecia (finasteride).
Counteracting the effects of DHT
Finasteride blocks the process causing hairs to remain growing as normal. Many hair transplant patients use finasteride to retain their natural growth around the newly transplanted hairs however long term some clients experience side effects and stop the medication, therefore loose their natural growth exposing the hair transplants which now appear sparse.
This is where Scalp MicroPigmentation can be used to give the illusion of density between the hair transplants, or for those who are happy to shave their hair, give the appearance of a full head of stubble and camouflage the scarring in the donor site.
Minoxidil is another popular medication taken by tablet or applied topically purchased over the counter at a chemist or stronger on a prescription. This medication counter-acts the effects of DHT but in a different way. DHT shortens the growth phase of the hair cycle leading to progressively smaller hairs. Minoxidil works by lengthening the growth phase of the hair cycle.
When clients start minoxidil, it is common to experiencing some initial shedding of hair which can be distressing at first, but as the hair cycle normalises, hair growth returns and comes back thicker. Some of our clients stay on minoxidil and use Scalp MicroPigmentation to add the illusion of density – particularly if these clients have used hair thickening fibres until now and want a more permanent form of camouflage.