10 Causes of male pattern baldness and tips to reverse or prevent it
Whatever your age is, if you have noticed hair thinning or receding hairline, you may be wondering what’s going on. Is it stress? Is it due to a bad diet? Is it due to unlucky genes? Or is it a lifestyle factor? And above all, can this be fixed? The good news is that it can be fixed. To be precise, the earlier you start the faster and better the results can be expected.
Let us first quickly understand the mechanism by which male pattern baldness happens. Hair loss in men is mainly caused by dihydrotestosterone or DHT, which is basically a male steroid hormone that binds itself to the receptors found in your hair follicles of your scalp.
This happens especially in genetically susceptible men. Usually, in these men, it is seen that such binding of DHT to receptors in your hair follicles causes them to weaken, shrink and in due course die. This is called miniaturization and it puts a stop to the hair growth in DHT affected hair follicles in the long run.
So, how is this DHT produced in your body? It’s made from the male hormone testosterone through the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR), an enzyme that converts some of your testosterone into DHT. So, blocking the production of DHT at this level will surely help prevent hair loss. But, as a matter of fact, DHT is an important hormone for hair growth in other areas of your body like your beard, chest hair, armpits, pubic hair and so on.
In other words, the hormone which is held responsible for male pattern baldness is also the reason for the growth of hair on other parts of your body such as the chest, armpit, and other areas. Therefore, keep in mind that it’s all at the genetic level and depends on DHT receptors. If you have male pattern baldness due to this mechanism, which is the most common cause of male baldness, here are ten tips, agents, medications, natural remedies and habits that can reduce the levels of DHT and slow down or completely prevent or even reverse male pattern baldness.
1. Finasteride 1 mg tablet per day
This is an FDA approved medication which will help to slow down male pattern baldness. Finasteride blocks the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase and prevents the formation of DHT from testosterone. Another important fact about finasteride is that, it can also trigger the growing back of miniaturized hair follicles in your scalp, which was spoiled by DHT. Now, that’s truly great news!
2. Minoxidil solution
This actually works by increasing the blood supply to the hair follicles. This allows more oxygen, more blood, and nutrients to the hair follicles. it’s also thought to prevent DHT action on the hair follicles but it’s not well understood. As for now, you can use about 2% to 12 % solution twice daily, applied to your scalp depending on the severity of your hair loss. Keep in mind that this solution should be applied on the scalp and not on your hair. In case you want to use it only once daily, you can use a 10% solution at bedtime instead of using 5% solution twice a day.
3. Combination of the above two medicines ( finasteride 1 mg tablet per day in combination with minoxidil 5 to 10% solution applied on the scalp)
This is the most effective treatment available as of now, for male pattern baldness. While in treatment, make sure that you never stop the treatment suddenly as this can cause a rebound of hair loss. It is okay if you skip one or two days, but never completely stop it. There are hardly any side effects of these medications. Some people may experience a loss of libido while taking these drugs. If you’re experiencing any such problems make sure to consult your doctor.
4. DHT blocking shampoos
These shampoos are available in the market and they do help if they are used in conjunction with other DHT blocking stuff especially with Finasteride. The components of these DHT blocking shampoos are mostly natural like the Saw Palmetto which we will discuss next.
5. Saw Palmetto
Studies have shown that this naturally occurring substance blocks the enzyme and hence prevent the formation of DHT. Saw Palmetto is approved in many countries and you can get capsules of the substance along with multivitamin and zinc magnesium supplements which come in different brand names.
Foods like pumpkin seeds and the pyegeum bark block DHT. Pumpkin seeds contain a steroid named Delta-7 stearine which prevents DHT buildup in the hair follicle.
This is another substance that blocks DHT. It is usually found in tomatoes, watermelons, carrots, mangoes and so on.
8. Amino acid L-Lysine
This is usually found in almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts. This helps to some extent to prevent hair loss.
Studies have shown that zinc might block DHT only in higher doses which may not be appropriate for human consumption and so zinc won’t increase your hair growth. But, it helps to strengthen the hair follicle by nourishing the follicle and reducing inflammation.
10. Masturbation and hair loss
Even though this is a controversial topic, according to scientific facts, when you masturbate or ejaculate, the testosterone levels rise and DHT formation also should rise due to the increase in testosterone. This might actually increase the risk of baldness in genetically predisposed individuals and not everyone. Therefore, genetically predisposed people should be careful about this and hold on till enough scientific data on this is available and avoid excess masturbation.