Top 5 Things That Can Cause Hair Loss In Men
A Fact of Life
Hair thinning and hair loss is a fact of life for men. It can be patchy or generalized, and happen gradually or suddenly. Although a normal occurrence, it can be a point of vanity for some men who attach feelings of youth and influence or indestructibility to it. Growing old gracefully can often be as difficult for men as for women; it may just be expressed differently, in the form of a cherry red convertible, for instance. Before we examine the things that do cause hair loss in men, let's take a look at the things that do not. There are a lot of myths surrounding hair loss in men:
- Myth #1: Wearing a baseball cap contributes to hair thinning or loss. It is often suggested that that baseball caps cut off the circulation to the scalp, therefore inhibiting blood flow to the hair follicle, and eventually leading to hair loss. This has yet to be proven. The only damage done here is when the cap is worn to the dinner table.
- Myth #2: Hair loss is inherited through male members on the mother's side of the family. The truth is that hair loss can be inherited from either side.
- Myth #3: Massaging the scalp can contribute to better circulation, thus enhancing hair growth. While a good massage can stimulate the natural oils on the scalp, and inhibit dryness, this technique is not known to induce hair growth.
However, medicinal oils and medications applied to the scalp can contribute to growth.
So what does Cause Hair Loss?
Following are the top 5 things that can cause hair loss in men:
- Heredity is the number one cause of Androgenetic Alopecia, or Male Pattern Baldness. More commonly referred to as "male pattern baldness," this is a generalized (all over the head) loss of hair which comprises about 95% of all male baldness.
- Hormones also play a role in developing Androgenetic Alopecia. The hormone DHT, dihydrotestosterone, can kill the hair follicle. The hormone seizes the receptor cell, or the hair follicle cell that attaches to it, and fires incorrect messages to the working cells that induce hair growth
- Age contributes to Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) as well. The hair follicles that are vulnerable to hormones such as DHT need to be exposed to it for a length of time in order for significant hair loss to take place. There is no "cut off age," but rather, the age will depend on genes, and the particular levels of hormones present in the individual.
- An autoimmune disease called Alopecia Areata can cause the body to attack the hair follicle. This can occur on the scalp, or anywhere else on the body where there is hair. Sometimes the hair can grow back, but other times the hair loss is permanent. This disease is usually brought on at an early age, and can be sudden and devastating.
- Finally, factors such as stress, illness, or a poor reaction to medications can lead to hair loss.
Currently, there are over-the-counter and natural products available for the treatment of hair loss that can be applied topically to the scalp. As always, discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your doctor.