What is Male Pattern Hair Loss?
Androgenic Alopecia or male pattern baldness is the most common hair loss condition in men. In the majority of cases it has a genetic predisposition, which means that if your father or grandfather experienced male pattern baldness, you are likely to experience it as well. However, as in women, male pattern baldness could also be related to hormones.
The most common cause when it comes to male pattern baldness is ‘miniaturization’ of the hair follicles, or what is scientifically referred to as androgenic miniaturization. This hits as much as 70% of men at some point there life. Here’s a simplified explanation of this phenomenon.
Each hair lives inside a little hole in our scalp called a follicle. More often than never the size of this small hole stays the same and thus hair growth continues normally from it. Nonetheless, what happens in the case of male pattern baldness is that these follicles start to shrink for some reason, making the environment unsuitable for hair growth. Hence, slowly hair start to grow finer and shorter until it doesn’t grow anymore.
Hair Growth Cycle:
Every year our hair grows approximately 15 centimeters. During this growth cycle there are three important phases that will be detailed below.
This is the active hair growth phase and lasts from one to four years. During this phase, the hair cells located at the lower end of the follicle regenerates and then produces the capillary fiber. Once a new hair is formed it grows out of the follicles and it pushes out of its way the already existing hair. This explains the process of shedding which is also part of the normal cycle . The hair grows about 1 cm per month.
Some people may experience the inability to grow your hair beyond a certain length. This means that you have a short anagen phase. In contracts, people who have long anagen phases are able to grow their very long very quickly.
Naturally, the anagen phase is different with hair in other parts of the body such us eyebrow and body hair. It is usually very short there.
In a second stage, the catagen phase takes place. It is also called involution phase, which lasts from 2 to 3 weeks. This is the end of fiber production. The follicle then retracts to the surface of the scalp. Thus, these few weeks will allow the hair to prepare for the resting phase.
Third and last stage in the cyclical life of the hair: the telogen phase. It refers to the resting period. The hair does not grow but remains attached to its follicle for about 3 months. At the end of these 3 months, the hair falls during shampooing or brushing. A new anagen phase can then begin. Thus, the hair does not grow continuously but in successive cycles. 90% of the hair is permanently in the growth phase, while 10% are in the fall phase. Every day, between 50 and 80 hair falls naturally after a lifetime of 2 to 7 years. This hair is then replaced. Each hair follicle indeed reproduces in total between 25 and 30 cycles during its lifetime. However, sometimes there is a dysregulation. Under the influence of male hormones in particular, these cycles can be disturbed.
What are the causes of Male pattern Baldness?
Although it is not considered a disease, hair loss, or alopecia, is treated more or less well, yet it must be detected early enough to be able to deal with it properly. Let’s start by knowing exactly what alopecia, what are the first signs, the consequences and who should be consulted?
What is alopecia?
More commonly known as baldness, alopecia is the medical term which means, in simple terms, the total or partial loss of hair due to aging, genetic factors or even disease. There are several kinds of alopecia:
Hereditary androgenetic alopecia: this is the most common form, it is caused by an excess of male hormones and starts with the gulfs and the crown.
Acute alopecia: it is due to intensive stress, surgery, drug treatment, disease, nutritional deficiency, this type of alopecia reaps a rapid and rapid loss of hair.
Congenital alopecia: rare, this form of alopecia results in an anomaly of the composition of the hair or the absence of roots.
Localized alopecia: following a skin tumor, a burn, radiotherapy or alopecia areata, here hair loss is localized and sometimes reversible.
We speak of alopecia from the moment when the fall is ‘abnormal’ or more than 100 hairs per day or if it is clear that the scalp is getting more and more visible.
What are the first signs?
Have you ever noticed that you leave hair in the shower, after combing it or in your bed? Do not panic ! The hair is alive and is renewed continuously. It is therefore normal to lose some hair, the more your hair is thick the more you lose hair. However, if you notice that the loss is very important, your hair grows slower, and your hairline is receding, it is time to consult a professional. Know that we are not all equal to this scourge. If your genetic makeup is done in such a way that you lose a lot of hair, the fall can happen during your teenage years. So there is no age to baldness, it’s a story of genes!