A Look at Male Hair Loss
by: Josh Riverside
At a research study held in a university in Norfolk, Virginia, it was found that 84 percent of men suffering from hair loss were preoccupied with the loss. They described feelings of helplessness, vulnerability, and jealousy of men with full, healthy heads of hair. Men who had begun losing their hair in their early twenties were more likely to have problems with low self-esteem.
Male hair loss occurs because of a hormone imbalance. The medical term for male-pattern baldness is Androgenetic Alopecia. This term will help you understand the factors involved in excessive male hair loss. Androgen refers to any of the many hormones that control the appearance and development of masculine traits. An example is testosterone. Genetic refers to heredity, the inheritance of genes from either the mother or father. Alopecia simply means hair loss. So we could say that male hair loss occurs because of male hormones affected by genetic inheritance.
DHT (testosterone and 5-alpha-reductase) is a naturally occurring hormone that helps in sexual development. Genetic switches in certain men after puberty cause changes in hair follicles; specifically androgen receptor sites on the follicles that regulate healthy hair growth. As DHT levels increase as men age, binding at the follicle receptor sites increases. This causes an imbalance in the biological processes of the hair follicles that are more sensitive. Slowly, the follicles begin to degrade as DHT builds up on the site causing hair to grow back thinner and shorter, eventually making it so thin and short that it can't be seen.
Men lose their hair in different ways based on their genetic predisposition. Male hair loss usually involves receding at the temples, loss on the top of the head, and thinning over large areas. These patterns are identified on something called the "Norwood scale," which classifies different types of hair loss.
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