The Science Behind Balding – How to Prevent It
Although balding has always happened, it hasn’t always been fully understood. Medical experts in Greece had made their assumptions about the condition, however, it was not until 1949 that it was finally explained.
Both women and men suffer from balding. This can be for a variety of reasons, including genetics, age, poor nutrition, fluctuations in hormones, or thyroid disease. Nonetheless, the most common type of balding by far is one that affects mostly men, during the prime period of their lifespan. This is called androgenic alopecia.
Why do men go bald?
Men are at greater risk of going bald than women are. The condition ‘androgenic alopecia’ affects over a third of the American male population. Androgenic alopecia can begin as early as the teenage years, and on average, around 50% of men over the age of 50 will already have developed some kind of hair loss.
So, why does this happen? – In the middle century, the reasoning behind balding began to come to light. James B. Hamilton, an anatomist, made some simple observations and concluded that the pattern in baldness lay dependent on 3 main factors; age, genetics, and androgen.
The primary function of androgen is to maintain secondary sex characteristics, and while this is also found in the ovaries of women, it is in much small quantities.
Testosterone does also play a part in hair loss; however, it only affects the hair follicle cells that are already predisposed/prone to the condition. In receptive men, the testosterone horomne comes into contact with an enzyme that can be found in hair follicles.
When this happens, testosterone converts into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This is a stronger androgen that has the ability to tie itself with the receptors in follicles, and as result, triggering a change in the genetic activity of cells. This initiates the gradual process of hair thinning and hair loss.
Can you prevent baldness?
Once the process of hair loss has started, it can be very difficult to reverse it. Often, in serious cases, it requires surgical treatment such as a hair transplant. The good news is that there are other methods you can use.
While studies have shown that some men who suffer from androgenic alopecia do have a lower-than-normal level of biotin, there is little relation between the male pattern baldness and low levels of biotin.
Whilst increasing your biotin levels will not prevent the symptoms of androgenic alopecia, it is clinically proven to aid in healthy hair growth. This is especially helpful for people who suffer hair loss due to other reasons.
DHT blocking shampoo contains a natural extract called ‘saw palmetto’, which has been proven to help reduce the level of DHT on the scalp. This can be used for people suffering from androgenic alopecia to reduce the rate of hair loss.
Unfortunately, there is no reversible cure for androgenic alopecia, however, there are ways to slow down the process. Currently, there are few drugs that have been clinically approved for treatment. This includes minoxidil and finasteride.
Hair loss in men is a problem that affects a large amount of the population, and whilst there are methods to slow down the process, unfortunately, there is no prevention. Permanent solutions can be found in surgical procedures, otherwise, it can be slowed down with DHT shampoo.
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