Hair loss is undoubtedly one of the most common conditions that affect men as they age. This is very unfortunate, especially for men who have treasured their hair since their youth. What makes matters worse is that majority of the factors involved in a condition such as alopecia is genetic. There may be different kinds of hair loss conditions that are triggered by various stimuli, but Androgenetic Alopecia is certainly the one that commonly affects men and even women.
The root cause of this condition is the over-sensitivity of hair follicles to DHT (male hormone dihydrotestosterone). It limits the blood flow to hair follicles by causing them to shrink. With the lowered blood supply, it becomes impossible for conditions that are amenable to hair growth to flourish.
There are a number of factors that cause Androgenetic Alopecia, but the ones we’ve listed below are definitely the most common agents of the said condition.
1. Genetics – Without a doubt, your genes determine the bulk of the likelihood that you would acquire hair loss as you age. This is also one of the major factors that is hard to counteract because of its naturally-occurring nature.
2. Medical Conditions – Any condition that could adversely affect hair follicles (e.g. a person’s immune system attacking his own cells) is also a prime cause of hair loss.
3. High Amounts of Estrogen – There has to be a consistent balance in your body’s sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone). If your body has high estrogen levels, then it has to compensate for this by increasing its DHT levels as well. Of course, more of the latter is only ever harmful to your hair follicles. Progesterone serves as a mediator of the two (by suppressing the levels of both), but production of it significantly declines with age.
4. Prescription Medicines – There are certain drugs that could negatively affect hair growth or could affect your hormones (many men use medication that increase testosterone levels, after all).
Best Ways to Treat Hair Loss
1. Ketoconazole – This drug is one of the most frequently-used treatments chosen by men because of its proven powerful anti-androgenic effects. Since it’s also anti-fungal, it could also effectively prevent hair loss cases that are caused by fungi. When opting for this treatment, it’s recommended to choose its shampoo form rather than oral medications of it since the latter has proven adverse effects in men.
2. Minoxidil – Another popular choice, minoxidil is known for boosting blood flow to hair follicles. This obviously directly counteracts Androgenetic Alopecia, and has been found to work in the same way as L-arginine, with its ability to promote the synthesis of nitric oxide.
3. Progesterone Cream – The preferred treatment for men who are already aged 40 and above, progesterone cream simply supplies you with more progesterone that, as said above, is able to suppress estrogen levels.
4. Spironolactone – This is another drug that suppresses the effects of DHT, much like ketoconazole. In a similar way, a topical form of spironolactone is preferred over oral ones because of its negative effects on men’s hormones.
What’s certain is that these treatments showcase their own individual strengths, making them all recommended and viable remedies. One other interesting solution that’s worth looking into is a combination of capsaicin and soy isoflavones. This mixture, according to a study, has been found to be especially helpful in increasing IGF-1 levels in the body; it is a compound that directly affects hair loss conditions as well.