Anyone who has ever experienced problems with their hair knows how discomforting it may be to see your head going slightly bald. You start to observe every bald spot on your head, worrying that others will notice it and make fun of you. Sure, hair loss doesn’t really pose any danger to your health but it’s really a depressing process that not everyone can cope with. For centuries people have tried to use different lotions and potions to stop and reverse the process of hair loss. But in most cases they had no real effects or were able to just prolong the process without effectively reversing it. Is it the same these days or there are really effective treatments for hair loss available on the market?
The problem of hair loss wasn’t in focus of intense medical research up until lately. Doctors were always more focused on conditions that were threatening the lives of people, and only in the last decades of the past century health care professionals have shifted their interest towards such health problems as hair loss. Different factors were observed to influence the condition of hair and it wasn’t quite clear what exactly triggers hair loss problems. As these problems are more common in men and male pattern hair loss is the most widely spread form of hair loss, some specialists assumed that it has to do something with the male physiology. And they were not far from the truth.
Only in the past couple of years it was observed that male pattern hair loss is triggered by hormonal changes in the majority of cases. Earlier it was believed that factors like environment, hair nutrition, hygiene, stress and medications play a very important role in the condition of hair. However, while these factors certainly influence the condition of hair in general, it’s more important if there are particular hormonal changes in the body. It was well-established that a specific androgen called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is responsible for triggering male pattern hair loss in men. This hormone is the product of testosterone transformation and if there’s too much of this hormone in the bloodstream it starts affecting the hair follicles, making them weaker and smaller. This in turn reduces natural growth rates that fall below the natural hair loss rates, thus making the hair less dense and provoking balding in specific regions. The level of this androgen tends to rise with age, which explains the common male pattern hare loss among older men.
Fortunately for men, there’s a solution to this problem. By far, there’s only one drug approved by the FDA that can effectively reduce the levels of DHT, and it’s called Propecia. Initially the drug was developed and used for treating specific prostate conditions. However, during the clinical trials it was observed that prolonged use of Propecia effectively stops and even reverses hair loss in men. The only problem with this drug, however, is that it is only meant to be used by grown men. Women should never take this drug because it is known to cause severe birth defects and affect hormonal balance.