Pattern baldness (PB) medically referred to as alopecia is a very common type of hair loss faced by men as well in females. It can be due to genetic factors and/or imbalance of the male and female sex hormones.
Male patterned baldness:
The baldness usually follows a pattern: it begins at the hairline and recedes gradually to create an “m” shape. Over time the hair becomes thinner and shorter and forms a u-shape on the sides of the head.
A strand of hair grows out of a small hole called follicle. In male pattern baldness, the follicle reduces in size and grows shorter hair strands till it eventually stops growing hair altogether.
Causes of male pattern baldness:
Male pattern baldness may start as early as during the teenage years. However it is more common in adult men. The family history plays a big role. If you have relatives especially on your maternal side with baldness, you are at a high risk too.
Sometimes baldness is also due to more serious cases such as cancers, thyroid, anabolic steroids and certain medications. Inform your doctor if you notice changes in your hair growth after taking some new medicines or if there are any other health issues too.
If hair loss is accompanied by redness, a rash, redness, pain, peeling of the scalp, hair breakage, patchy hair loss, or an unusual pattern of hair loss, it can be due to an underlying health condition. Your doctor may ask you to go for blood tests and other tests for a proper diagnosis.
Treatment of male pattern baldness
If there are no other health issues, medical treatment is not necessary for hair loss. However, there are several hair loss treatment methods available for men who would like to have more hair on their head. Male pattern baldness can often have a deep psychological impact and can lead to low self-esteem, depression, introversion, and feelings of unattractiveness. Here are some common methods to deal with male pattern baldness are:
Haircut – a creative haircut can hide hair loss and make thinning hair look fuller and attractive. You can consult an expert for the best style for you.
Wig – wigs can hide your baldness. Choose something that matches the color and texture of your original hair.
Weaves – it is a process by which artificial hair is sewn into your natural hair. However, the hair will need to be re-sewn at regular intervals.
Hair transplant – it is a more permanent solution to hair loss. Hair is removed surgically from areas of your scalp that have good hair growth and transported to areas with lesser hair growth. Multiple settings are needed for this and often there is the risk of infections.
Medications – your doctor may recommend such medicines to be applied topically or taken orally.
There is no way to prevent hair loss. Some studies suggest that as stress may be a contributing factor, you can take steps to reduce it by walking, doing yoga and meditation, listening to soothing music and practising some relaxation techniques.
Female pattern baldness
Female pattern baldness (FPB) is a common type of hair loss in women and is medically known as androgenetic alopecia. It can be due to genes, aging and hormones. It is more common in women after menopause.
Causes of female pattern baldness
The reason for female pattern baldness is not well understood, but it may be related to the some more reasons such as hair breakage, some skin issues, hormone problems, very less iron, vitamin b and other nutrients, medications such as beta blockers and chemotherapy, syphilis, and loss of hair after surgery or a major illness.
Hair loss may begin during puberty and can be due to hormonal imbalances. Hair loss also can also happen upon discontinuation of birth control pills or after pregnancy. It can also be due to stress in the body. These types of temporary hair loss are known as “telogen effluvium”.
Treatment of female pattern baldness
Female pattern hair loss is diagnosed on the basis of the pattern of hair loss and after ruling out any other health conditions. Consult a doctor if you are experiencing more hair fall than usual or any other hair issues. Your doctor may ask you to go for a skin biopsy or other tests to understand the cause of the hair loss and suggest an appropriate baldness treatment. Female pattern hair loss is generally permanent and there is no way to prevent it. There is no treatment required for female baldness.
Eventhough your doctors may suggest some hairloss treatment methods including hair weaving, wigs, medications or hair transplant if you are not comfortable with your appearance. With the right treatment, you can enjoy a head full of hair once again.