Balding is sometimes a fear for young men, who may notice their hair thinning out at early as their 20’s. It can be a surprising and embarrassing natural occurrence that may seem hopeless. The most common reason is that it is an inherited condition known as male-pattern baldness that results in hair loss to the front and top of the hair.
Whether you’re a man or a woman, your hair is composed of a protein called keratin, which grows out of the hair follicles in the skin. The growth of hair cells is at a rate of approximately six inches a year, in which the new cells push out the older ones. This creates the strand of dead keratin cells we shampoo, brush and groom on a daily basis. The average adult has about 100,000 to 150,000 hair upon their head and they lose about 100 of them a day.
Male pattern baldness follows from a combination of genetic influence and hormonal changes that occur in adulthood. Baldness in men is related to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone, which causes old hairs on the scalp to be replaced by progressively shorter and thinner hairs in a predictable pattern, beginning at the temples and crown of the head. A study in 2011 found that the root cause of male pattern baldness is that as we age, stem cells in the scalp lose the ability to develop into the type of cells that make hair follicles. There are different types of natural hair loss, including involutional alopecia, androgenic alopecia, and more.
There are two non-invasive solutions to male baldness, one of which is Rogaine. Rogaine is a topical treatment that must be used on a daily basis to increase follicle size and create thicker and fuller hair. By age 50, about half the male population experience thinning hair, which is why it’s important and not uncommon to find solutions that fit your lifestyle and skin type.
Propecia is an oral medication treatment approach for male pattern baldness, which works by blocking the formation of the main cause of hair loss, which is DHT. By lowering the effectiveness of DHT, it inhibits follicle shrinking and thus slows the thinning of hair. Talk to your dermatologist about which treatment is right for you and if a hair transplantation may be the solution for your balding condition.