Male and female baldness
Male and female baldness may also be known as male/female pattern alopecia, or androgenetic alopecia, and may be caused by a few factors, one of them being the hormone testosterone.
Androgens (or testosterone – the male sex hormone) are present in both males and females, and when an individual becomes sensitive to it, it can gradually shrink the hair follicle over a period of time on certain areas of the head.
In males the first onset is usually the frontal hairline, which begins receding at the temple area. By the age of 25, a quarter of all males may be experiencing some form of thinning; by 50 there may be as many as half of men showing thinning to the frontal hairline or the top of the head.
A majority of men who experience male baldness or pattern baldness choose to crop their hair short, or for some, the taunting from work colleagues or friends may leave them secretly very self-conscious and worried they are going bald. Attempts to find alternative methods (hairpieces or miracle cures) may result in their friends teasing them for being vain, or mocking them for acting like a lady!
In women, female baldness (pattern alopecia) is usually presented by a different pattern off loss compared to the areas affected by men. Women usually keep their frontal hairline and can notice their parting is becoming wider apart. They are often affected a decade later than men, however any hormone levels changing in our body can lead us to become susceptible to a sensitivity to the testosterone hormone. When testosterone is used for growth of the hair follicle it is converted into the potent dihydrotestosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase and shrinks the hair follicle with each succeeding hair cycle.
There are only two licensed products on the market which trichologists recommend or use; many lotions and potions are available on the market claiming to re-grow lost hair - often at great cost too. Licensed products either help stop the specific hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone) being converted into the hair follicle or help stimulate the blood to the surface and create a side effect to produce hair. These products have to be used for life and are dependent on the sex of the patient and suitability of the individual.
The NHSC can also offer electrotherapy treatments, recommend a hair unit specialist (a temporarily fitted hair piece), refer to hair transplant doctor of the Institute of Trichologists or offer products which can thicken or disguise the areas of thinning.
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