Why do men go bald?
The most common cause of male hair loss is androgenic alopecia, otherwise known as male-pattern baldness, states the American Hair Loss Association. Sufferers of this condition have hair follicles with a genetic sensitivity to a substance called Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which causes the hair's life cycle to shorten prematurely, leading to thinning and falling hair. Other causes of hair loss in men include illness, old age and lifestyle habits.
For certain types of male hair loss, various treatments exist. Mayo Clinic lists the two most prominent FDA-approved hair loss medications as minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil, marketed as Rogaine, is an over-the-counter liquid or foam that is applied to the scalp and works by inhibiting the effects of DHT. Finasteride, under the brand name Propecia, is an oral medication that does the same thing internally. Both medications are shown to be effective but not without some possible side effects, such as diminished sex drive, scalp irritation and increased risk of prostate cancer.
Another solution to hair loss is surgical hair transplants, says the Mayo Clinic. During this procedure, a doctor takes small portions of skin and hair from the back and sides of the head and transplants them to the front and top to conceal balding areas. This option can be expensive and painful and comes with a risk of infection and permanent scarring. If medication or surgery is not an option, wigs and hairpieces can help conceal hair loss.
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