Male Pattern Hair Loss or Baldness
The normal human scalp contains between 100,000 and 140,000 follicles with hair being arranged in groups…
Pattern hair loss, also known as Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA), or Male Pattern Hair Loss (MPHL) in men, is the most common type of Alopecia.
Hair Growth Cycle and Hair Loss
The normal human scalp contains between 100,000 and 140,000 follicles with hair being arranged in groups of 1-4 called follicular units. It is one of the fastest-growing cells of the human body. Hair does not grow constantly but grows in repetitive cycles consisting of 3 stages ie, Anagen, Catagen and Telogen.
Anagen is the growing phase of hair that accounts for 85% of hair growth. Anagen is followed by Catagen and this phase is the end of active hair growth. Telogen is the resting phase of the hair cycle after which aged hair fall.
People often confuse hair fall with hair loss. Hair fall is common in every individual. Around 10–20% of total hair will be under shedding process i.e., 60-80 hair strands on average is normal. That hair can grow back in 3 months.
About Male Pattern Baldness Symptoms & Treatments
Male Pattern hair loss (MPHL) is the most common form of hair loss in men affecting almost 50% of the male population. In some cases, It can start as early as in the twenties. In this condition, hair loss happens in genetically susceptible individuals caused by the effects of androgens such as Testosterone and its derivative Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
In AGA patients, terminal hairs gradually get modified into indeterminate hairs and finally lead to vellus or thinned out or miniaturized hairs. MPHL has several grades and treatment depends on the grade at which it is present.
Medical treatment for Male Pattern Hair Loss
There are only 2 drugs approved by the FDA that have proven their efficacy in the management of hair loss Minoxidil and Finasteride.
Minoxidil remains the mainstay of therapy for AGA in men. It helps in
slowing down hair loss by increasing the blood supply to hair follicles,
thus increasing the anagen phase of the hair cycle. It also helps in regrowth to some extent. They are available in various strengths and formulations in the market. Proper usage instructions for minoxidil should be provided by the consulting doctor
Finasteride shows better results with regard to the regrowth of hair. Finasteride decreases the scalp DHT levels and should be taken for at least 6–12 months and for longer periods if tolerated.
There are various other topicals like Capixyl, Aminexil, Redensyl and
other peptides that are prescribed as adjuvants.
Nutritional supplements rich in amino acids can also be prescribed along with minoxidil for 3 to 4 months while initiating therapy. Amino acids, trace elements, and vitamins, including biotin, are considered to be beneficial.
Other Hair Loss Treatments
PRP Therapy: PRP or Platelet Rich Plasma, a new treatment modality, is an autologous preparation of plasma with a high concentration of platelets containing various growth factors and cytokines that improve the body’s inherent capacity to repair and regenerate. PRP therapy is used for treating hair loss. It helps in reducing hair fall, and strengthens the hair follicles.
The next generation PRP includes, PRF AND GFC. Injectable PRF and growth factor concentrate is the newer method which are relatively painless and requires lesser sessions.
LLLT: LLLT or Low Level Laser treatment is FDA-approved for hairloss treatment. It prolongs the growth phase of the hair cycle, and also inhibits the early transition to the regression phase. Additionally, they help in the production of terminal hair from follicles that have been producing miniaturized hairs. This treatment can be helpful to improve the density and quality of hair.
HAIRESTART: It is an effective method of treating hair loss which is focused on stimulating dormant hair follicles to promote hair growth. This procedure helps in the prevention of further hair loss, increase hair density and thickness and promotes new follicle growth.
Hair Transplantation Surgery
Hair transplantation is a surgical method of hair restoration over bald areas like the frontal area, vertex etc. The transplanted hair is permanent. It is done by extracting hair follicles or grafts from donor area and placed over bald patches. Hair growth starts to show after 3 months and to see the full results it takes 9-10 months.
According to standard guidelines of care, Hair Transplantation can be done in any person with pattern hair loss, with good donor area, who is in good general health and has reasonable expectations.
MPHL happens due to genetic susceptibility and hormones. It usually begins with thinning of hairs and a receding hairline or baldness on the crown area of the scalp.
Other causes include stress, hormonal changes, scalp infections, Alopecia Areata, hair-pulling disorders, other associated skin diseases, certain medications, Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy etc.
Yes, medications can slow down the disease and also helps in the regrowth of new hairs, depending upon the grade of hair loss.
Male Pattern Baldness requires clinical diagnosis. Consult your Dermatologist who would diagnose the condition by asking a few questions regarding hair fall, family history, etc, examine your scalp, do a Trichoscopy, and helps you with the management.
Male pattern baldness, depending the grade of hair loss can be treated with topical and oral medications, PRP/GFC, lasers or surgically through hair transplantation.
MPHL can be treated by using topical medications like minoxidil, Peptides, and oral medications like Finasteride, Dutasteride, nutritional Supplements, etc.
These medications help by slowing down the progression of the disease and strengthening the hair follicles. Effectiveness depends on how early you have started the treatment, the stage of hair loss, adherence etc.
A few minor side effects like irritation over the scalp, headache, etc. are noticed with topical medications
For you to notice the changes it takes anywhere between 3-6 month, after starting the treatment.