Male hair loss occurs because of a hormone imbalance. The medical term for male-pattern baldness is Androgenetic Alopecia. This term will help you understand the factors involved in excessive male hair loss. Androgen refers to any of the many hormones that control the appearance and development of masculine traits.
An example is testosterone. Genetic refers to heredity, the inheritance of genes from either the mother or father. Alopecia simply means hair loss. So we could say that male hair loss occurs because of male hormones affected by genetic inheritance. Now what about female hair loss, why do they also experience this problem? The most common type of female hair loss is androgenetic alopecia or female-pattern baldness.
This type of hair loss is associated with hair thinning predominantly over the sides and top of the head. Female hair loss affects about one-third of all susceptible women and usually onsets after menopause although it can begin earlier. DHT (testosterone and 5-alpha-reductase) is a naturally occurring hormone that helps in sexual development.
Genetic switches in certain men after puberty cause changes in hair follicles; specifically androgen receptor sites on the follicles that regulate healthy hair growth. As DHT levels increase as men age, binding at the follicle receptor sites increases. The most popular drug for treating male pattern baldness is of course finasteride (Propecia). Women of child bearing age should not use this drug due to the severely damaging effects it can have on unborn male fetuses.
Any women considering using Propecia should discuss it first with their physician. In some cases your doctor may prescribe a different androgen blocker called spironolactone as a means of stopping the hormone activity that is causing hair loss. Spironolactone is normally used as a diuretic and results may be variable.
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