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Estimates are that up to 95 percent of all men suffering from thinning hair can have male pattern baldness and that this condition affects around 50 percent of the male population by the age of 50. The signs of male pattern balding can start as early as the teenage years and as late as midlife. And the progression of male pattern balding varies from person to person however it is true to say that there is a general recognizable pattern in cases of baldness in men.
Male pattern baldness is not the only cause of hair thinning in men. There are medical reasons why hair can fall out, stress can have the same result and even a poor diet can have some degree of effect on hair loss. However your chances, if you’re experiencing thinning hair, are over 90 percent that the cause of your hair loss is male pattern baldness.
If you have inherited the genes responsible for pattern baldness in men then at some stage in your life will probably start to see the signs of male balding. The first sign of men’s balding is usually a slightly receding hairline at the front. There may well be some thinning of the hair on the top and crown of your head however this will probably be unnoticeable.
As the front of your hair recedes the hair thinning on the crown may become the more noticeable until a point is reached where it is quite clear that you’re suffering from advanced thinning hair on the crown of your head. The hair lost at the front will increase to the point where it is quite clear to everyone that you have a receding hairline and the hair lost at the crown will also increase to the point where the crown may become bald.
The receding hairline at the front and a bald patch on the crown of the head will progressively move towards each other to the point where they join up and you start to experience baldness right across the top of your head from the front to the back. And the balding may even continue down the sides of your head to the point where you just have a simple ring of hair around the sides and back of your head.
This is a general description of the entire process of balding in men due to male pattern baldness. There are many variations between individuals and the actual course of balding for you may be different, and it may limit itself more. However as a general rule this is how male baldness for men suffering from pattern baldness progresses.
This is now well recognized and the causes of male pattern baldness are equally well recognized. It is a condition inherited in your genes and you have no control over whether or not you will be susceptible to male pattern baldness and to what degree it will affect you.
The way in which male pattern baldness actually causes the hair loss is also known. Men susceptible to hair loss for this reason have excess supply of the male hormone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone). This is a derivative of the male sex hormone testosterone.
The effect of DHT in cases of male pattern baldness is this. The DHT surrounds hair follicles and limits their ability to take up essential hair nutrients. This causes the hair follicle to shrink which in turn causes the hair itself to shrink and shrivel and usually die prematurely. Though healthy hair also dies it is normally replaced by more healthy hair but in the case of male pattern baldness the rate of hair loss is too quick and the rate of replacement too slow and of course new hair is also subject to the effect of DHT.
It is not entirely clear why different people suffer from different hair loss patterns.
The obvious question to ask, if you are experiencing thinning hair and recognize the signs of balding from our description of the process, is how do you reverse balding? The good news is that there are products that have been shown to reverse balding in cases of male pattern baldness. There are 2 products approved by the FDA for men. Finasteride, marketed as Propecia, is one of them and this has been effective and shown to reduce the effects of the DHT. Unfortunately finasteride also has some nasty side-effects including to your sex drive which may diminish. This is obviously not good.
The other product approved by the FDA is minoxidil. This may have some limiting effect on DHT however it is considered that the most likely reason minoxidil increases hair growth is by improving the blood supply to the hair follicles thereby increasing the nutrients available to the follicle.
Both products were originally designed for other purposes and in both cases it was observed during studies that subjects exhibited an increase in hair growth and subsequent studies show this to be the case. This is why both these products are approved by the FDA as male hair loss treatments.
Minoxidil on its own has been shown to be effective however one company has taken this a step further to produce a much more effective hair loss treatment using minoxidil. This company markets Provillus which uses a combination of minoxidil together with a wide range of essential hair nutrients and a natural ingredient called saw palmetto which has been shown to limit the effects of the DHT. This both reduces DHT effects as well is increasing the nutrients available to the hair, a 2 pronged approach which seems to work better.
If you’re a man suffering from the early signs of male pattern baldness then there are effective products. But there’s also a couple of things you should know about. Neither of these 2 products has been shown to work for everybody and you should be prepared to use them for at least 6 or even preferably 12 months before you make a judgement on their effectiveness for you.
And in both cases you need to stay on the product to retain the hair growth.
Given some of the unpleasant side effects of finasteride our preference for the best hair growth treatment is Provillus utilizing minoxidil. Whilst not effective for everybody it is shown to be effective and this 2 pronged approach used in Provillus seems more effective. Read the rest of this entryWatch our video about the best hair loss treatment