Losing head hair can be a big deal for a man. 40% have noticeable hair loss by the age of 35, and two thirds by the time they’re 60. It can knock a man’s self-confidence, make them feel less attractive and make them feel old.
The commonest form of hair loss is male pattern baldness, so-called because it follows a set pattern: first a receding hairline, then a thinning on the crown and temples. It is hereditary and affected men can start receding from their late twenties, and some even in their teens.
Male pattern baldness is caused by oversensitivity of the hair follicles to testosterone and this causes the hair follicles to shrink so the hair grows thinner and less than normal. Hair loss affects nearly eight million guys in the UK and incidentally, one and a half million women too. And scientists are continually working on cures. Recent research suggests that new adult hair follicles can be grown but it will be at least ten years before we can develop it as a treatment.
A topical treatment that is currently available on the NHS is called Regaine. About one third of men who apply this experience good hair growth on their bald patches. Another treatment that works by blocking testosterone, which shrinks the hair follicles, is called Propecia but this is only available on private prescription. Hair transplant surgery is a more permanent solution and this involves transferring skin from the back of the head where there is hair to the bald parts at the front. It is very expensive, costing thousands of pounds, however if this is something you’d consider make sure you find a skilled and reputable surgeon. Low level laser therapy and UV light treatments are also available but they have mixed results.
So, if you’re balding and having little success with those miracle cures available on the high street, it is really worth seeing your GP because there are treatments available, which they can discuss with you.
Quick Health Advice: Male Hairloss
Hair loss affects 8 million men and 1.5 million women in the UK. In this exclusive guide, Dr Jessen discusses the causes and, most importantly, the treatment options available – from topical treatments to surgery – for those who want to stave off the comb over and discover how they can restore their full-bodied manes and flowing locks.
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