What Causes Male Pattern Baldness?
Baldness is something that most men worry about throughout their lives. Some even say that the stress caused by worrying about becoming bald, can actual lead to baldness. But what really causes male pattern baldness? Is it hereditary? Is it a matter of stress or physical damage to the scalp? Can you prevent baldness with proper care? And why do some women suffer from “male” pattern baldness?
The Real Culprits
While there certainly is a genetic factor involved, much of the hair loss people experience can be prevented or reduced by proper care of the hair and scalp and general good health and diet. Some men start to experience hair loss in their early twenties, and this can be very difficult for them and their self-esteem often suffers because of this. Other men lose their hair later on in life, and the experience, although not entirely unexpected, can be just as troubling, with men feeling like they are truly “getting old”.
However, male pattern baldness isn’t solely caused by age, and many times hair loss can be reduced by proper care. Male pattern baldness is actually caused when the hair follicles on a person’s head fail to produce a certain type of stem cell. This is where the hereditary factor comes in. Men who are more genetically prone to hair loss, may actually run out of these stem cells and thus their hair follicles are no longer able to produce a healthy shaft of hair. In these individuals, the cells are depleted and only certain medications can help to prevent this.
Hormones play a part in this as well. Testosterone may cause the hair follicles to produce fewer of these hair progenitor stem cells. This is why baldness is primarily a male problem. However, women may also suffer from hair loss due to an imbalance in hormones. Sometimes, hormone therapy can help to halt or even reverse this.
In other people, the hair follicles could simply be unhealthy due to improper care, and thus they are not able to produce healthy hair. The culprit here is a tarry substance known as sebum, which is basically a mix of oils, sweat and bacteria that clog up the follicles and cause them to be unhealthy. Gentle scalp massages (with fingertips and NOT nails) can help to break up the sebum and allow your scalp to “breath”. There are also many shampoos that do a very good job of keeping the scalp clean and healthy.
Even though hair loss is seen as one of those unavoidable facts of life, the truth is that there are great strides being made in the medical community that could eventually put a stop to male pattern baldness and other forms of hair loss. There are already a few really effective hair loss treatments and there will probably be even more effective remedies in the near future.
Stacey Cavalari holds a B.A. in Literature and currently writes for AccessRx.com, an online facilitator for Levitra online and other safe FDA-approved medications such as Propecia. Stacey uses her research scientist skills to cover and uncover big pharma news she shares on the AccessRx Blog.