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Is There a Cure for Male or Female Pattern Baldness?

Is There a Cure for Male or Female Pattern Baldness

There is no absolute cure for genetic hair loss. However, there are steps you can take to prevent hair loss and some of these start with hair growth products. Below we will discuss what hair products can decrease hair loss and potentially lead to regrowth.

Male Pattern Baldness (Androgenetic Alopecia)

Androgenetic alopecia

 

This man is experiencing androgenetic alopecia. It typically affects the front of the hairline as well as the top or vertex of the scalp.

It is caused by excessive amounts of DHT which bind to hair follicles and tell them to miniaturize.

The presence of DHT in a body will cause hair follicles on the head to shrink. This means that hair becomes thinner and shorter because it has a shorter growing cycle. Excess DHT will cause hair loss in the typical pattern of androgenetic alopecia:
  1. On top of your head. This is also called the vertex or crown of the head.
  2. At the front of the head where the hairline is, causing a receding hairline.
Hair on the sides and back of the head are spared.

 

It is usually treated with topical minoxidil, oral finasteride, or both. You can also consider taking an herbal DHT Blocker along with a DHT Blocker shampoo.  Natural DHT blocking ingredients include saw palmetto, ketoconazole and lavender.

To get a full list of natural ingredients with DHT blocking properties, read our article The Best Natural DHT Blockers.

Female Pattern Hair Loss (FPHL) Pictures

 

Female Pattern Hair Loss

 

Reason for Hair Loss in Women

Female pattern hair loss is more complicated than male pattern hair loss and is thought to have a number of causes. It has a characteristic “Christmas Tree” distribution initially that starts at the parted hair line. FPHL affects approximately 19% of the female population[4] and appears to occur less often in Asians than in Caucasians[5].

Another interesting fact about FPHL is that it affects different age groups differently. 3% of women with FPHL are aged 20-29 whereas 29% are between 70 and 89[6] Indeed, the majority of women who get FPHL tend to have it after menopause. Menopause is when females stop producing estrogen and progesterone hormones.

For these reasons, FPHL is thought to be due to hormones. Furthermore, approximately 39% of females with FPHL have hyperandrogenism (too much Testosterone and DHT). Having too much DHT is known to cause hair loss in men as well.

What about the other 61%? Some women are genetically predisposed to FPH. However going back to the age distribution of FPHL there appears to be a pattern of hair loss getting worse in older women.

One thing to keep in mind in terms of hormones is that women also go through menopause whereby they stop producing the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen has many benefits for skin including thickening the skin. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is known to help support hair growth[7]. There are risks and benefits to HRT that you should discuss with your doctor if you are interested in it.

Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy

It is interesting to note that FPHL occurs less often in Asians than in Caucasians. One of the key differences between Western and Eastern populations is diet. Asian populations tend to eat diets richer in soy and phytoestrogenic ingredients.

A comparison between Japanese eating a soy-rich diet compared to Japanese living in Hawaii eating a Westernized non-soy diet found that the incidence of Alopecia Areata (AA) to be higher in the Japanese-Hawaiian population[1].

Furthermore, one study of Taiwanese men found that men who ate more soy products tended to have a lower incidence of androgenetic alopecia[8]. Studies in mice found that mice that consumed more soy displayed resistance to the development of alopecia areata (AA) [2]. 

For menopausal women experiencing hair loss we recommend trying DrFormulas Menopause Support which has a number of phytoestrogenic ingredients like soy that may support hair growth.

Other Causes of Hair Loss in Women and Men

Identifying your hair loss can be difficult. Below are some other common causes of hair loss both in men and women.

Alopecia totalis is a condition in which a person loses all of their hair. It can be caused by drugs such as chemotherapy drugs that halt hair growth.

Alopecia areata (AA) is a condition in which a person loses patches of hair. The first line medical treatment is a product containing minoxidil. Steroid injections into the area of hair loss is also utilized. 

Telogen effluvium is a condition in which a person undergoes a stressful life event and sheds more hair than they do normally. It is normally self-resolving.

Sources:

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=14943264

[2] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1034/j.1600-0625.2003.120104.x

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=11231244

[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=20105167

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=11231244

[7] https://www.everydayhealth.com/hair-loss/hormone-replacement-therapy-as-a-hair-loss-treatment.aspx

[8] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0079789

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