Hair loss in men: what can be done?
The VITL Nutrition Team
Our in-house nutritionist discusses hair loss in men, including its causes and treatments.
How often have you thought about your hair? Is it something that concerns you? Although there are a number of hair loss conditions that affect those with the Y chromosome, the most common one is undoubtedly male pattern baldness.
A receding hairline, thinning and excessive loss of your hair are all signs that may point towards male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia.
Male pattern hair loss affects 50% of the population over 50 years of age, so you are not alone!
What causes hair loss?
Male pattern baldness or hair loss is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. It is passed down from either side of the family tree, so if your dad has a thick head of hair it doesn’t necessarily mean you are safe!
The early stages are associated with thinning of the hair follicles due to a by-product of testosterone, called Dihydrotestosterone. Later on, the excessive response to androgens (male hormones important in male traits and reproductive activity) causes the progression of the condition.
Androgenic alopecia is a term used to refer to patterned hair loss starting from the front of the scalp, and working backwards while not significantly affecting the sides of the head. The common term for androgenic alopecia is either 'male pattern hair loss' or a receding hair line.
It can also occur in women, with many females experiencing thinning hair. The excessive male hormones are associated with poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in women, which can manifest as acne, increased facial hair, irregular periods and infertility.
What can be done?
The most common treatment is through the medication minoxidil which works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles which stimulates and prolongs hair growth. It is important to speak to your healthcare provider as soon as possible to slow the progression of the condition. There are a few other medical options to choose from so make sure to find the most appropriate one for you.
There is some evidence to suggest that certain micronutrients are necessary in the diet to support the maintenance of normal hair growth. These are zinc, selenium, iron and biotin, so you should look for a high quality supplement with at least 100% NRV of these nutrients.
We have formulated a Female and Male high-quality supplement which covers the fundamentals. Find out more here.
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