Many men experience hair loss during certain periods of their life and it increases with the age. In their late twenties, about 20% men face genetic hair loss (androgenetic alopecia). The prefix “andro” emphasizes androgenetic hormones (testosterone and dihidrotestosterone) and it is responsible for male pattern hair loss. The genetic part is the baldness genes inherited from the mother or the father. Unlike the wrong notion, the baldness genes can be inherited from the mother as well as the father.
Men genetically lose about 30% of their hair at their 30’s, 40% of their hair at their 40’s and 50% of hair at their 50’s. The hair loss in men starts with the increase in their testosterone levels during adolescence and it continues in the event of genetic predisposition. 96% of the white men may experience parting on their temporal areas and regression on the front hair line. It is generally impossible to precisely identify the type of hair loss, the time it has started and its severity but the amount of hair loss and parting on the hair is larger if it starts at the 20’s, at younger ages. Some men may experience hair loss after their 40’s or 30’s, at older ages.
Contrary to popular belief, testosterone hormone levels of the people who suffer from baldness are normal, not higher. The important point is whether a person has baldness genes. The armpit and genital hair need testosterone whereas hair shafts are affected from dihidrotestosterone. Under the influence of this dihidrotestosterone, growth phase (anagen phase) of the hair shafts pauses, the hair shafts become shorter, weaker and miniaturized; the hair enters into telogen phase which is called resting phase. More hair is lost because of actions such as daily combing and brushing. The hair grows less and the hair shafts become thinner whereas pigment formation diminishes and the colors become lighter. After this period, the hair that has started to be lost becomes thin, shinny and colorless peach fuzz, gradually disappearing in time. Below is the diagram about miniaturization of the hair.
Psychological effect of hair loss is different on men. Some men don’t mind it whereas a little thinning and loss of a handful of hair cause some men get depressed in their business life and social life, making life unbearable for them. These people need professional psychological support and medical treatment. Today, hair loss can be prevented at early ages by medical treatments with drugs, and hair loss can sometimes be postponed. However, hair transplantation is necessary to replace the hair loss at older ages.
During the last 10 decades, especially the finasteride (a medication which prevents formation of dihidrotestosterone from testosterone) has been often used to treat hair loss and development of effective hair transplantation methods. It is aimed that hair can be reproduced by cloning of one’s own hair and hair transplantation can be done with these hairs. Although many scientific studies have been carried out on this subject, the studies have not reached to the desired level and clinical practices have not been carried into yet.
Miniaturization of the hair follicles caused by dehidrotestosterone: