Male Pattern Balding

The causes of male pattern balding, and some of the treatments available.

Male-pattern baldness is one of the biggest cosmetic concerns among men. Men spend thousands of dollars looking for miracle cures, potions and other hair restoration products. Until recently most of the treatments for male-pattern baldness where just phony products that did nothing but take a lot of money from the person suffering and then did nothing to slow hair loss or grow lost hair.

What causes male-pattern baldness is when the hair follicle begins to shrink due to a buildup of testosterone and some of the natural oils. These buildups cause the hair follicle to become closed off producing very short hairs. These hairs are often so short and thin that they don't make it past the opening of the follicle. The follicle is still alive and active, it's just not able to produce a hair. Male-pattern baldness is something that typically runs in the family. If you have a bald relative, then there is a chance that you may have the gene responsible for male-pattern baldness. Although men suffer from this more often, women can also suffer from male-pattern baldness. It's more traumatic for a woman that it is for a man because others often overlook baldness in men. A woman will be ridiculed and found to be unattractive because she has lost her hair.

Male-pattern baldness typically starts with the receding of the hairline. It begins by forming an "M" shaped bald spot and hair that begins to grow thinner on the top. It eventually thins out to where there is nothing left on the top of the head, and a horseshoe shaped ring of hair around the side and back of the head are all that remain.

The hair loss caused by male-pattern baldness is typically permanent, but there are some treatments available to prevent the further loss of hair. Minoxidil, when used as directed twice a day, has been known to cause hair to grow back in around 10 % of those who use it. The other 90 % will only prevent further hair loss. Any hair that grows back as a result of Minoxidil will fall out as soon as it's no longer applied. Minoxidil is considered a temporary treatment for hair loss.

Hair transplants are where plugs of hair are surgically removed from healthy areas where hair is growing, and then planted into the balding areas. This procedure takes more than one treatment and is very expensive. There is also a risk of scarring where the plugs were removed.

Propecia is a newer drug in the treatment of male-pattern baldness. The use of this drug can result in an increase in hair growth. The pills are a bit pricey, but the results are typically very good. There are some side effects with this medication so before making a decision you will have to discuss this with your doctor. One of the most common side effects is a decreased sex drive, inability to maintain an erection, and a decrease in semen. Women are not able to take Propecia and pregnant women can't even touch the pill. Propecia can cause defects in an unborn male baby. Because of the type of side effects, a lot of men will discontinue the use. One the pill is stopped the side effects end, and everything returns back to normal.

For those who don't have the money for expensive treatments there are non-surgical and non-medical ways to cover baldness. Hairpieces and wigs can do wonders the persons self esteem. There are also ways to style the hair in which to conceal thinning hair.

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