Male pattern baldness, is it a thing of the past?
By age 50, male pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, will affect half of the male population. But with current advances in modern medicine, can this condition be reversed or even eliminated?
To answer this question, let’s take a moment to understand the phenomenon of male pattern baldness and some of its underlying causes.
What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?
Genetics plays a large role in male pattern baldness, which is considered the thinning of hair at the temples, scalp vertex and crown of the head. Through heredity, men may suffer from lower levels of androgens, or sex hormones, earlier in life. Low androgen levels, in turn, lead to the production of shorter and thinner hairs until finally follicles cease to produce any new hairs.
In addition to genetics, some medical conditions, such as insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, contribute to the breakdown of the hair production cycle. Age also exacerbates this process as androgens levels, including testosterone, tend to decrease as we get older. Of course, other factors such as diet, exercise and overall health also play a part.
How We Treat Male Pattern Baldness
Fortunately, doctors today have a range of options when it comes to treating this condition, and different treatments or combinations of treatments can be recommended based on the patient’s current hair condition. These treatment options may include:
Noninvasive procedures, such as the LaserCap, which stimulate hair follicles with low-level lasers to restore them to healthy function. Also, medications like Propecia® and ROGAINE® can help reduce hair loss.
Minimally-invasive procedures, such as platelet-rich plasma treatments, which encourage weakening follicles to produce healthy hairs again through injections into the affected areas.
Comprehensive procedures, such as follicular unit extraction and transplantation, which allow doctors to replace non-functioning hair follicles with healthy ones from donor sites.
Do these treatments offer a permanent cure?
The overall effectiveness of a hair restoration treatment will depend on many factors. The number one factor, of course, is the severity of the condition being treated. Have hair follicles in the area of concern died, for example, or do they simply need reactivation?
Further, different treatments produce different results. Some procedures will have longer lasting effects compared to others. Follicular unit extraction, for instance, offers a more permanent solution but areas not addressed by the transplant may require additional procedures. A patient with significant hair loss who wants a full restoration, on the other hand, may require a more aggressive plan with more frequent visits. In cases with minimal hair deterioration, non-invasive treatments may get the patient the results he desires in just a few treatments.
Is this the end of male pattern baldness?
Men affected by male pattern baldness have more treatment options to consider than ever before, from pharmaceutical options to full restoration. The good news is this — whatever your present condition and desired look, there is a treatment that’s right for you. And there is more good news — many options are inherently affordable.
There is no reason not to take that next step towards the look you’ve always wanted. Call Dr. Bernard Arocha today at 713-526-4247 to discuss a personalized plan.