Androgenic alopecia (AA), often simply referred to as male pattern baldness, is the most widely known type of hair loss in men. More than 50% of men over the age of 50 are affected by this to some extent according the to U.S. National Library of Medicine
Assuming you’re a man reading this, every hair on your dome has a cycle of growth. It’s why we go to see our barber on a regular basis and get them trimmed up. It’s why we shave. With balding patterns that develop in men, this growth cycle begins to weaken hair at the top of the temple and/or on the crown of our head.
This is where the hair follicles get smaller over time due to being exposed to too much dihydrotestosterone (DHT) resulting in shorter and finer strands of hair produced in these areas of the head.
Little by little as time goes on, this once healthy growth process for each affected follicle and hair starts to come to an end, and no new hairs grow in their place. These later advanced stages resemble that of Hulk Hogan.
The result leaves not only a balding head, but for many, a very self-conscious mind feeling they aren’t attractive, coupled with the feeling of losing their youth. As many men (and even women) could admit, this can be psychologically damaging to suffer from hair loss.
What Causes Men to Lose Their Hair?
Although reasons can vary, the most common cause of male pattern balding is due to genetics, often having a family history of baldness.
Research has concluded that male pattern balding has ties with androgens as well, which are male sex hormones. These hormones play many roles within the body, including the regulation of hair growth. As contradictory as it sounds, these androgen hormones can both help and hurt. -
Anyone who has struggled with alopecia has probably done some research in hopes to stop or slow the process down. And, after doing a bit of digging has most likely concluded the correlation of higher dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgen hormone, with thinning hair and reseeding hair lines.
DHT is a byproduct of testosterone. Many men often think what seems logically simple to assume that “If DHT comes from testosterone, then I must be ultra-manly and am making too much testosterone that is killing my handsome head of hair!”
This is a very rational thought to have and even some researchers have thought the same. Seems like a logical reason, but is it the answer? Even with men who are much older?
Having Alopecia Doesn’t Mean You Have High Testosterone
The thought that all men with male pattern baldness have too high of a testosterone level rarely holds any validity. If we sit back and think logically about this as well with regards to men prone to male pattern balding, we can surely conclude that most of these younger guys in their late teens and twenties with full heads of thick and healthy hair have much higher testosterone levels than older guys in their 30s, 40s and 50s that happen to have much less hair.
A few things to acknowledge:
- As concluded in this study , older aging men generally have lower levels of testosterone, but have much higher odds of hair loss.
- Many studies have also showed similar levels of testosterone in both balding and non-balding men.
- Alopecia has been seen in men with both high and low levels of testosterone.
We must admit that there is something obviously more complicated going on here and can’t just simply point the finger at testosterone.
DHT Can Be Puzzling
Trying to figure out male pattern balding without having all the answers can get a bit “patchy” and confusing.
Although we know there is in fact a correlation of DHT with receding hair lines, experts have still struggled to figure out exactly why and therefor nothing has been discovered to prevent it from happening.
And as mentioned, DHT is also known to be supportive of our hair. And, on many heads the hair and DHT co-exist in harmony with one another with no problems at all. Some simply have a genetic sensitivity to this multi-faceted sex steroid, DHT.
This study from the University of Edinburgh last year in 2017 was released that contributed to understanding male pattern balding. It was the largest genetic analysis of bald men to date and with promises to provide targets for future treatments. But, there is still a lot more work to be done to link which genes are interacting with DHT and, how.
DHT: Category 1 and 2
DHT can be separated into two categories however. The first is serum DHT that circulates around in the blood. The second is tissue DHT which is what binds to receptors in your scalp, skin and other places in or on the body that attract DHT.
Of these two categories, tissue DHT found within the scalp is linked to male pattern hair loss. Much of this has been thought to occur due to more receptors in tissue (like skin & scalp) attracting more DHT like a magnet, netting an overwhelming amount which can wreak havoc on the hair follicles over time.
Serum (blood) DHT on the other hand, has been found to be higher in young men that do not suffer from any hair loss in this study! - This should not come as a surprise when knowing that young men have much higher levels of testosterone.
In short and keeping things simple, testosterone converts into many other things within the body such as estrogen and more, aside from just DHT. Within an aging man’s body whose testosterone levels are declining, the rate of conversion into more DHT and less of the other byproducts of testosterone, tends to increase (ouch!!).
This is what’s thought to explain how DHT levels can tend to remain constant (or elevated), even when T levels are dropping lower.
So, in summary here to wrap up the DHT talk and its contribution to hair loss; it largely boils down to some little evil devil in the genetic code that interferes with how DHT can work within. Unfortunately, it sounds like it messes with DHT’s ability to do good work and encourages it to screw things up on our dome that keep us feeling young and handsome!
Other Potential Explanations for Losing Hair
- Hormone imbalances (other than testosterone > DHT talk)… Too little thyroid hormone or an imbalanced ratio of estrogen may contribute.
- Incorrect dietary intake – such as taking in too little iron or excessive amounts of vitamin A.
- Boat loads of stress.
- Braids, cornrows, tight ponytails and similar for extended, long periods of time.
Different Ways to Address Thinning Hair or, Loss of It
- Do nothing and embrace it like the Hulk Hogan, brother!
- Hair styles that hide it: Such as the Donald Trump combover. The ladies may not like it and well, they may not like it.
- Hair pieces or Wigs: Some may look okay, IF they flow with natural hair. Most are easy to spot, look fake and are just bad. This is often a no good solution to be a “bad boy” here.
- Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar): - Oral medication intended to slow hair loss in men. Unfortunately, these can come with unwanted side effects with our love guns in our pants. Weigh your pro’s and con’s.
- Minoxidil (Rogaine): - Topical medication intended to slow rate of hair loss. Slowing, not preventing.
- Medical hair restoration: Medical procedures that relocates hair you already have, to fill an area with thinning or no hair at all. Doctors have been doing these transplants in the U.S. since the 1950s.
Advanced methods used only by the most elite and respected doctors in this field have improved significantly to offer better results and satisfaction than ever before today.
These minimally invasive approaches include the following:
- Follicular Unit Extraction
- Artas Robotic Hair Restoration
- Facial & Eyebrow Hair Restoration
- Female Hair Restoration
And, some further advanced approaches that are non-surgical therapies include these:
- Follicular Scalp Micropigmentation
- Eyebrow Follicular Micropigmentation
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP)
- Stem Cell Treatment
- Low Level Laser Therapy
- And, specially formulated hair products to enhance hair and help it look healthy
Where To Go For Help And, MORE Hair?
Being in business helping our clients optimize their hormones and health since 2004, YOUTH-Rx has often sought out complimentary partners and businesses that complement our clients with living their best life while looking and feeling their best through it.
Top notch experts in the field of hair restoration that YOUTH-Rx has no hesitation to highly recommend is Dr. Yates, MD and his team in Chicago, IL. where they feel that “more hair is always better”. Not only has he treated and done a miraculous job with our team ( and some hair on our heads), but also clients of YOUTH-Rx as well.
Dr. Yates specializes in treating all hair types for both men and women. He utilizes state-of-the art options such as PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and Stem Cell Therapy. He is a national expert, teacher and author performing the minimally invasive technique for hair transplantation – FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction).
Dr. Yates has been praised with high satisfaction ratings and numerous compliments from his patients that their new full and healthy head of hair has been a game changer with their self esteem and confidence skyrocketing to new levels they thought were forever gone.
To learn more about Dr. Yates and his team and how they can help you look and feel your best, you can learn more and contact them through their website here at: https://www.dryateshairscience.com/
Text HAIR to 26786 and get a free video with information regarding hair restoration.
Call 312-261-0872 Mention YOUTH-RX
And as always, the team here at YOUTH-Rx appreciates the opportunity to help so many of you get the attention you deserve with optimizing your hormones to live the fullest, most energetic and happy lives you all deserve – thank you.
If we can be of assistance with your HRT program current or future, we are here to do our best for you – just let us know how we can assist!
Live life to the FULLEST!
- Roger & the YOUTH-Rx team