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Male Pattern Baldness: Symptoms, Causes and Simple Ways To Manage It

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Baldness in males, also known as androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness is one of the most common causes of hair loss in men.

What causes androgenic alopecia?

-Male pattern baldness is genetically determined. A family history of androgenic alopecia puts you at a greater risk of getting it.

-It may also be associated with male sex hormones called androgens. These hormones have various functions in your body, including regulating hair growth.

What are the symptoms of androgenic alopecia?

-If your hair loss begins at the crown or temple region of the head, you may have androgenic alopecia.

-The hairline gradually moves backwards (recedes) and forms an “M” shape.

-The hair becomes finer, shorter, and thinner, creating a U-shaped pattern of hair around the sides.

-Sometimes, it starts as a single bald spot. In others, the hairline continues to recede until most of the hair is gone.

Are there any tests to diagnose androgenic alopecia?

Classic androgenic alopecia is usually diagnosed based on your medical history and examination of the appearance and pattern of hair loss.

Hair loss due to other conditions, such as fungal infections, certain medications, thyroid conditions or nutritional disorders will be ruled out based on your medical history and examination.

A skin biopsy and blood tests may be needed to diagnose other disorders that cause hair loss.

What are the ways to fight androgenic alopecia?

Treatment may not be necessary if you are comfortable with your appearance and other health conditions are not a cause of your hair loss. Treatments are available if you are unhappy with the way you look and would like to address this hair loss.

1 . Change of hairstyle

You can hide your hair loss with the right hair-cut or hairstyle. So, next time you visit your hairstylist, ask for a creative cut that will make thinning hair look fuller.

2 . Hair wigs or hairpieces

They can cover your thinning hair, receding hairlines as well as complete baldness. You can choose a style, colour, and texture that looks similar to your original hair for a natural look.

3 . Hair weaves

They are wigs that are sewn into your natural hair. This can be tried if your hair loss is not very significant.

4 . Medications

Medicines that treat male pattern baldness include:

-Minoxidil

This is a solution directly applied to the scalp to stimulate hair follicles. It slows hair loss for many men and some may also grow new hair. However, hair loss returns when you stop using this medicine. Possible side effects with minoxidil include dryness, irritation, burning and scaling of the scalp.

-Finasteride

It is an oral medication that interferes with the production of the male hormone responsible for hair loss. It slows hair loss. It works slightly better than minoxidil. You must take finasteride for three months to one year before you see the results. When you stop taking the drug, your hair loss returns. Possible side effects include itching, rash, breast growth and tenderness, painful ejaculation, difficulty in getting an erection, and depression.

-Dutasteride

It is similar to finasteride but may be more effective.

5 . Hair transplant

Hair transplant work by removing hair from areas of the scalp that have active hair growth and transplanting them to the thinning or balding areas of your scalp. Multiple treatments are often necessary and are very expensive.

6 . Counselling

Loss of hair may be troublesome for many. You should consult a counselor if you experience anxiety, low self-esteem, depression or other problems because of male pattern baldness.

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