It is believed that elevated levels of testosterone in men in the blood contribute to early baldness. Is it so?
The male hormone testosterone provides vegetation on the body and face, when its other form can deprive hair on the head.
In fact, isolated free testosterone will not affect the functioning and growth of hair follicles. To “start” early androgenetic alopecia, a man must have a certain set of factors.
Causes of Early Baldness
- hereditary predisposition (a certain set of genes transmitted in a recessive way);
- hormonal background (increased level of dihydrotestosterone);
- age limits (25-45 years).
How does testosterone affect hair loss?
Free testosterone cannot affect certain receptors, as it has no affinity with them. Even with androgenetic alopecia, testosterone levels can be within normal limits. The amount of its other fraction, dihydrotestosterone, has been increased.
How does hormonal baldness occur?
For the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, the enzyme 5-alpha reductase is responsible. This enzyme, activated in the blood, binds to the free fraction of testosterone. After the interaction of these two substances, two hydroxyl groups are attached to the testosterone molecule, which ensures the release of the active fraction of dehydrogenase into the bloodstream. An increased level of the latter in the hair follicle has a detrimental effect on hair growth and development. In fact, this enzyme does not kill hair and does not destroy hair follicles. It gradually blocks the intake of nutrients with blood flow in the capillary system. Over time, the hair becomes thinner, reminiscent of a feather. The hair becomes colorless and very thin. After a few years, the hair follicle ceases to function at all, even such hair disappears. In the affected follicle, the bulb itself does not suffer: it does not sclerosis, but simply ceases to function. So this phenomenon is reversible.
Signs of androgenetic alopecia
Baldness due to a combination of hereditary factors and an increase in dihydrotestosterone, has its own characteristics. And according to clinical signs, the correct diagnosis can be assumed.
Distinctive features of androgenic alopecia:
- characteristic areas of hair loss (parietal tubercles and frontal region);
- staged baldness, characteristic of this type of pathology;
- increased levels of dihydrotestosterone;
- the presence of a hereditary chain (persistent follow-up in the male half of one genus of baldness).
Stages of Androgenic Alopecia
The hair loss mechanism has 7 stages:
- It begins with a shift in the line of hair growth from the forehead and the thinning of hair in androgen-dependent zones (frontal lobe and parietal tubercles);
- The hairline begins to form a triangle. In this case, hair partially falls out and thins on the parietal zones, in the region of the temples and forehead;
- Nutrition of hair follicles ceases in the area of the parietal tubercles and there is a complete loss of hair in this area (even cannon hair stops growing)
- The parietal zone is free of hair, hair begins to fall in the temples and forehead. In this case, between the two areas of baldness, a zone of thick hair is clearly visible, which delimits the bald patches;
- The hair on the top of the head is becoming thinner. The parietal area of the receding hairline increases in size, the growth line at the temples moves further, which also increases the area of hair loss;
- The bald patches on the parietal tubercles and the frontotemporal region are delimited from each other only by a thin path of sparse hair;
- The distinction between baldness zones disappears, they merge together. Over time, it passes to the neck area, the back of the head and the area above the auricles.
Ways of treatment and prevention
Therapy is divided into specific and non-specific.
Specific therapy involves the immediate elimination of the cause that caused baldness.
Modern medicine has developed drugs that can locally affect the hair follicle, improving its growth. The most famous drug is Minoxidil and other drugs based on minoxidil. Its mechanism of action, aimed at improving hair growth, is not fully understood. It is believed that the active ingredient minoxidil improves hair nutrition, which provokes an improvement in its growth (read more about this here).
The second specific link that can be affected is 5-alpha reductase. But 5-alpha reductase inhibitors should be used only under the strict supervision of the attending physician, since these drugs have a number of side effects. They can provoke gynecomastia, slow or stop sperm maturation, and be a risk factor for malignant neoplasms. One of the representatives of 5-alpha-reductase blockers is Finasteride .
Nonspecific therapy is aimed at symptomatic treatment. Basically, external products are used that will help improve local blood supply, and help to nourish the external hair with useful components.
Examples of nonspecific therapy include:
- electrical effects on the scalp with D’arsonval;
- scalp massage;
- active serum electrophoresis;
- applying nourishing hair masks.
Recently, a surgical technique has been developed to combat androgenetic alopecia – hair follicle transplantation using the STRIP and FUE method.
FAQ on baldness
Is it true that early bald men have higher levels of testosterone?
Testosterone itself has no effect on the hair follicles. With normal testosterone in the blood, its active form, dihydrotestosterone, can be increased. This is due to a set of reasons that are indicated in the article.
Is it possible to cure androgenetic alopecia without resorting to special means?
Unfortunately, folk methods or simply hope and time cannot cure alopecia.
Will vitamins help with androgenetic alopecia?
Vitamins from baldness will only slightly slow down the thinning of the hair shaft.
Read about: “The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss”.
Combing, wearing hats contributes to hair loss?
No. Combing, on the contrary, enhances blood flow and improves the nutrition of the bulb.
Will a hair transplant help? For a long time?
A hair transplant will not solve the problem. These bulbs will begin to die in a new way. Complex hormonal treatment with a transplant for a long time will deprive the problem of baldness.