Male pattern baldness is a common problem caused mainly by testosterone, the very hormone associated with all things male. One of the natural byproducts of testosterone is DHT, or dihydrotestosterone, a hair growth enemy. DHT attacks hair follicles, shrinks them and makes them weaker, causing hair to become progressively thinner until it eventually vanishes completely. Unfortunately, male pattern baldness also runs in the family.
So, that’s the bad news. The good news is that hair loss can be treated, and there are a number of options. Some of the best hair loss treatments include:
Also known as Propecia, Finasteride is an approved medication for hair loss that comes in the form of a pill. It works by blocking an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into DHT. Finasteride has shown to significantly reduce DHT in both the scalp and blood, thus helping prevent further hair loss and allowing men to grow back thicker, healthier hair. Due to its high rate of effectiveness, it is considered to be one the best hair loss treatments available.
This is a solution applied directly to the scalp. Minoxidil enlarges the size of the blood vessels that surround hair follicles, allowing more nutrient-rich blood to reach the follicles and restore hair growth. It also increases the hair follicles themselves, allowing existing hair to grow back fuller and thicker.
There are shampoos designed specifically to treat hair loss. They usually contain ingredients like zinc and saw palmetto that help block DHT. These ingredients reduce the amount of sebum, or oil build up, on the scalp. Because sebum is a breeding ground for 5-aphla-reductase, the enzyme that makes DHT, decreasing it thwarts the enzyme’s production. In addition, too much sebum can clog hair follicles, attract harmful bacteria and prevents essential nutrients from reaching the scalp.
This more drastic measure is considered to be a highly effective hair loss treatment for men. The procedure involves removing tiny strips of scalp from an area with hair growth, which is usually the back of the head, and relocating it to an area where there is little or no hair. The strips usually contain only a few hairs, and the procedure can result in a couple of thousand mini grafts.
Regardless of your specific hair loss problem, Dr. Holland will be able to fully evaluate you and recommend the best possible treatment suited to meet your needs.