Men's Hair Loss

Hair loss is a concern which affects males of all ages, races and ethnicity and is one of the most common concerns for men all across the world.  It is estimated that by the end of puberty approximately 30% of all men will have experienced some form of genetic pattern hair loss. 

The most common form of hair loss is termed androgenetic alopeciaAlopecia is simply defined as a loss of hair from the head, however, the term androgenetic provides valuable insight in to the factors which initiate this form of hair loss.  Androgenetic is a term derived from two separate words; ‘andro’ from the greek for ‘androgen’ and genetic.  In understanding these two terms, both individually and as a whole, we can understand their role in hair loss.

Androgens are hormones which circulate freely in the bloodstream of males and females.  The male hormone testosterone is commonly known; however, its role in hair loss is less commonly understood. Testosterone is naturally broken down in the blood stream by an enzyme named alpha 5 reductase.  Alpha 5 reductase reduces Testosterone into a by product known as Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This new derivative of testosterone, DHT, also circulates freely in the blood stream.

Genetics play the second key role.  Our individual genetics determine our bodies structure, from the simplest to the most complex of bodily functions.  One’s own personal genetic make up is passed down from families on both the maternal and paternal side.  Your own unique genetic make up plays a key role in hair loss as it determines your hair follicles sensitivity to the presence of androgens in the blood stream.

The aforementioned androgens, Testosterone and particularly DHT are only effective in causing hair loss if the genetic coding of your hair follicle stipulates sensitivity to them.  This now brings us full circle and explains how genetics and androgens work in synergy to cause hair loss.  A hair follicles sensitivity to DHT (determined by the genetics of the hair follicle) combined with the presence of DHT, causes the hair to go through a number of deleterious stages.  In this process hair loses its strength, thickness, length, colour and overall growth cycle, thus explaining the hairs thinning process.

The scale and pattern of hair loss is determined by the above and a number of environmental factors which can slow down or speed up the rate of hair loss.

Environmental factors which are deleterious to hair include smoking, use of recreational drugs, excessive alcohol, malnutrition, severe dieting, excessive sun exposure and some prescription medications amongst other factors.

In summary, hair loss is a common condition which affects a majority of males at some stage in their life.  The loss of hair (alopecia) is not exclusively but most commonly caused by the role of hormones and your individual genetic predisposition to them.  The presence of hormones and a genetic sensitivity to them causes the hair follicle to cease the production of a healthy hair shaft.  The pattern of hair loss will be determined by the areas which have a higher sensitivity to the presence of androgens, causing the weaker hairs to fall before the stronger hairs, thus determining the rate and pattern of your unique loss. 

Please feel free to navigate this site where you will find a vast library of resources informing you of all aspects of hair loss.