Understanding the cause of male pattern hair loss may better indicate exactly why it is so difficult to cure.
Androgenetic Alopecia -- the modern medical term for either male or female pattern hair loss -- can be broken down in two parts. First, Androgenetic, consisting of ANDROGEN (Any of the various hormones that control the appearance and development of masculine characteristics such as testosterone). And GENETIC -- the inheritance of genes from either the mother or the father's side of the family. Add AGE, which when coupled with genetics, represents a time clock that will signal the hair follicle to produce an enzyme named 5 alpha reductase. When
the testosterone present in the follicle combines with the enzyme 5 (DHT). Hair follicle receptors are sensitive to DHT and thereby start the process of male or female patter hair loss. Second, Alopecia meaning hair loss of which there are many types.
So as soon as science can conquer aging, hormones and genetics we'll have a simple and effective cure for baldness.
Until Then maybe we should look at all of the types of hair loss (there are many). It is probably a good idea to consult with a dermatologist who is competent and experienced with diagnosing hair loss. Confirming the type of hair loss you have will make it possible for you to know which treatment options may be best for you.
Other Types of Hair Loss
Alopecia Areata -- Generally thought to be an autoimmune disorder. Cause "patchy" hair loss, often in small circular areas in different areas of the scalp.
Alopecia Totalis -- Total hair loss of the scalp, (an advanced form of alopecia areata).
Alopecia Universalis -- hair loss of the entire body, (also an advanced form of alopecia areata).
Traction Alopecia -- Hair loss caused by physical stress and tension on the hair such as prolonged use of hair weaving, corn rows etc. Done too tightly on weak hair these can cause permanent hair loss.
Telogen Effluvium -- usually temporary hair loss. Causes: Physical stress -- emotional stress -- thyroid abnormalities- medications and hormonal causes normally associated with females.
Anagen Effluvium -- Generally due to internally administered medications, such as chemotherapy agents, that poison the growing hair follicle. All of these represent only a few of the different types of hair loss. Androgenetic alopecia represents close to 95% of all hair loss however.
Treatment Options Available For Male Pattern Baldness
Learning to live with hair loss. Often the assistance of a professional counselor can be helpful in coping with hair loss. Hair styling and cosmetic techniques such as permanent waves and hair colors. The proper haircut alone can make a vast difference in diffusing hair loss.
Rogaine, the only FDA approved topical treatment for male or female pattern hair loss. Rogaine appears to be effective in retarding hair loss in a substantial amount of both male and females. It also appears to encourage some hair growth in some people.
Hair Additions have made many advances in both appearance and more secure attachment methods.
Hair Replacement Surgery has also made many advances towards more natural appearing results. A combination of Hair Additions with Hair Replacement Surgery.
Propecia (or possibly other drugs).