Treating Male Pattern Baldness - Hair Loss & Hair Transplant Surgery Guide
Clearly, male-pattern baldness is not a condition that poses serious dangers to your health. So before considering any treatments, it is worth asking yourself some searching questions about how important the treatment is to you. All of the treatments currently available are long-term and can be expensive over that period. So is it worth it?
Even though male-pattern baldness may not be a dangerous condition, it can affect quality of life for many men. Many men with male-pattern baldness feel self-conscious and suffer from low self esteem. Many men also lack the confidence to visit their doctor about their condition. There are many doctors who, because this is not a more serious illness or threat to health, will not give their patients the time they deserve. But it is worth remembering: it is often not the male-pattern baldness that is being treated, it is the sensitivity, lack of confidence and social anxiety that needs curing.
How do you treat male-pattern baldness?
There are a number of possible treatment options for male-pattern baldness. But it is important to consult your doctor before you consider any. First of all, some treatments are only available on prescription. Secondly, your hair loss may be caused by a different condition, which requires a different type of medication.
Thirdly, it is also important to remember that there is still a lot that doctors do not know about male-pattern baldness. Many treatments that work for some men do not work for others – and doctors cannot necessarily explain why. In fact, some of the medical treatments that are used for male-pattern baldness where discovered almost by accident, as a side-effect when they were used for treating a different condition.
This grey area means that it can be difficult choosing the treatment that is right for you. It can also add to the cost of the treatment, as many products will not show much improvement unless you use them for a long period of time. They certainly don’t work overnight!
Here is some information about the two medicines which are found in the majority of products marketed as hair restorers.
Minoxidil is usually found in liquid compounds that you apply straight to your scalp. As we mentioned above, it was not originally developed as a treatment for male-pattern baldness. Instead, it was originally developed to treat patients with high blood pressure. At that time, it was noticed that it strengthened hair growth and was therefore re-packaged as the product Regaine.
Research suggests that about 66% of men who try Minoxidil see visible improvement in their hair growth, though not necessarily achieving the results that they were originally hoping for.
Finasteride is only available via prescription and was originally used as a treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia, or enlargement of the prostate. Taken as a tablet, under the brand name Propecia, it restricts the production of DHT within the body and so stops the hair follicles being weakened and deteriorating over time.
It is claimed that Finasteride has a success rate of around 80%. It can be between three and six months before visible signs of improvement are noticed.
You can find out more about Minoxidil and Finasteride in other articles on this site. However, whichever treatment you eventually choose, it is also important that you add a healthy dose of commonsense. Hair loss is a difficult condition to treat. Successful treatment for many people can take a long time. It is therefore important that, as much as possible, you try to manage your own expectations and try not to expect too much, too soon.
Hair grows in cycles, which means that you do not always see changes as quickly as you would hope. The first cycle of growth is the Anagen (‘growing phase’), followed by the Catagen (‘transitional phase’), followed by Telogen (‘resting phase’). The condition of male-pattern baldness, hormones in the body weaken the follicles, which means that the Anagen phase is drastically shortened and the Telogen phase increased.
But enough of the scientific jargon, what about the common sense? Because it can take time to see results, most doctors recommend that you adopt a standard , three-step approach. First , try only Proven treatments. Second, make sure you take some ‘before’ Pictures so you can evaluate the rate of growth. And finally, be Patient! PPP – just in case you were struggling to remember it!
If you stick to this regime, you will be have the right formula in place to assess treatments properly, see if they work for you or then chose to move onto the next one. Unfortunately, it’s an all too common mistake for men to abandon a treatment without giving it enough time to work. In the end, all it does is cost them money.
What other options are there?
As we mentioned, not all treatments work for all men, so it is very much a case of trial and error. However, what happens when you have tried everything on the market and still had no success? A final option could be hair transplant surgery.
Hair transplant surgery has been available for a number of years and has been favoured by celebrities such as Elton John. It involves grafting hair follicles from the back of the head onto the top where the hair has thinned. In the past, it demanded a highly skilled surgeon and there were still no guarantees that the replaced hair would look natural.
Recent advances in hair transplant surgery have made the process easier to perform and created better results. If you would like to find out more about hair transplant surgery, read the article on this site.
These are the three main types of treatment used for male-pattern baldness. Of course, there are a number of other treatments available, some of which prove more successful than others. Other pages on this site talk further about the benefits of those different types of treatment and look at the pros and cons of different brands available from your pharmacist.
- UV Light Treatment
- A Guide to Alopecia
- Alternative treatments for hair loss
- Anti-Androgen Treatments
- Is baldness genetic?
- What are Cosmetic Concealers for Hair Loss?
- Why is hair loss a problem?
- Hair Replacement Surgery
- Men Hair Loss
- Myths About Baldness
- Non-surgical hair replacement
- Stopping Male Pattern Baldness
- Treating male pattern baldness
- What is a trichologist?
- Vitamin supplements for hair loss
- Hair Transplant Surgery for Hair Loss
- Hair Transplant Surgery for Male Pattern Baldness
- Hair Transplant Surgery for Thinning Hair
- Hair Transplant Surgery for Total Hair Loss
- Preparing for Hair Transplant Surgery
- Hair Transplant Consultation
- Eyebrow Transplants for Hair Loss
- Causes of Hair Loss
- Hair transplant surgeon
- Common Myths About Hair Loss
- Types of Hair Loss
- Hair Transplant Costs
- Results after Hair Transplants
- Methods for Harvesting Donor Hair
- What do hair transplants involve?
- Medical Management of Hair Loss
- Surgical Management of Hair Loss
- Bald Patches & Hair Transplants
- Hair Loss in Woman & Hair Transplants
- Alternative Management of Hair Loss