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Understanding Male Pattern Baldness
by April Maguire
Although both men and women suffer from hair loss, it’s traditionally thought of as a male problem, and rightfully so. By some estimates, nearly twice as many men suffer from hair loss as women, and men tend to lose significantly more hair than their female counterparts. But why do men lose their hair at a disproportionately higher rate than women?
Causes of Hair Loss
Male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, affects nearly 70% of men over the age of 50. Now, you may have heard that baldness is inherited from the mother’s side of the family. While it’s true that one of the triggers for baldness is found in a genetic sequence passed down from the mother, that doesn’t tell the whole story. In fact, a genetic predisposition for baldness can be inherited from either branch of your family tree.
According to recent research, the biggest genetic determinant for baldness centers on hormone receptors within the hair follicles themselves. Men who suffer from hair loss tend to have more active androgen receptors. One of these androgens is a testosterone byproduct called dihydrotestosterone or simply DHT. These DHT hormones can cause hair follicles to shrink, making them weaker and eventually causing them to stop producing new hairs altogether. Because men produce more testosterone than women, they’re much more likely to be negatively affected by DHT.
What Can You Do About It?
Despite the widespread problem of hair loss, there are currently no surefire cures on the market, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do about it.
For starters, strive to maintain a hair-friendly diet. Try to avoid fried foods, as excess oil can increase the amount of DHT in your system. Instead, stick with foods that are rich in zinc, iron, omega-3s and protein, as they’ll help to give your hair the fuel that it needs to stay strong and healthy.
Additionally, try to cut down on stress in your life as much as possible. Stress can significantly increase the rate that you lose your hair. And although some of the hairs that are shed due to stress can grow back, it’s possible that some of them won’t.
Lastly, avoid putting undue strain on your hair. Excessive use of bleaches, dyes and straightening can all damage the follicles, causing your hair to permanently fall out.
There may be no way to stop hair loss entirely. But the more you know about what causes hair loss, the more you can do to slow it down.
If you or someone you know would like more information about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!