Male Pattern baldness or Alopecia in men is a situation where men lose hair gradually. This gradual hair loss is caused by hormones as well as genetic predispositions. It is believably true that hair grows about an inch every month or couple of months, and that each hair grows for two to 6 years. After its full growth, it remains there for some time and the falls out and a new one will immediately begin to grow in its stead. It is also believed that at any one time, 85% of the hair on your head is growing while 15% is not. Each hair sits in a follicle- a cavity in the skin, and therefore when this cavity shrinks over time, then Baldness occurs.
The normal process provides that hair should grow back, however among men who are balding, the follicle shrinks overtime which results into shorter and finer hair and later, there is left a very small follicle with no hair inside. This natural process that occurs in some men and leaves out the others is difficult to comprehend but can be linked to ones genes and male sex hormones. It is however true that even thought the follicles are small, they are alive hence having a possibility of new growth. Previously it was believed that baldness was inherited from the maternal grandfather, however it has been found out that both parents can contribute to the likelihood of their offspring’s likelihood of carrying this gene.
The male pattern baldness can be classified as below;
1. Traumatic- this is where traumas such as chemotherapy, major surgery, childbirth, severe stress or even poisoning may cause a hair loss condition commonly known as telogen effluvium.
2. Worrisome hair loss- here, the hair is thicker during pregnancy due to increasing circulating oestrogens, but after birth, the oestrogen levels fall back to normal pregnancy levels and the additional hair foliage drops out.
3. Iron deficiency is also causes thinning of hair even though frank baldness may not appear.
4. Radiation- When radiotherapy is applied to the head for treatment of certain cancers, it is possible to cause baldness of the irradiated area
5. Trichotillomania- this is the loss of hair due to compulsive pulling and bending of the hairs. This is mainly common in children than in adults and here the hairs are not absent in the scalp but they are broken.
6. Traction alopecia- this is caused by pulling out ones hair with excessive force. Such a situation can lead to hair break and consequently baldness.
7. Some of the treatments used to cure mycotic infections can also lead to massive hair loss and then baldness.
8. Hypothyroidism can also cause air loss especially the front part of the scalp
Male pattern baldness is often the result of a genetic event which leads to dihydrotestosteron a male hormone that leads to production of a progressively smaller hair that eventually becomes invisible. This has been linked to aging and it has been referred to an evolutionary event that signifies maturity.
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