Male Pattern Baldness Tips/Guide

Male pattern baldness is largely due to male sex hormones and genetic factors. Hair loss or alopecia generally begins as a receding hairline that gradually progresses backward over the head. Men might also see a thinning or hair loss in the region of the crown area. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 35 million adult men in the United States experience hair loss. The problem typically begins around the age of 35 when men may suffer a loss of up to 40 percent of their hair. By the time these men reach the age of 85, they will have lost 85 percent of their hair.


Hair Growth and Loss

Each strand of hair grows in a pore or tiny hole known as a follicle. Hair loss and male pattern baldness take place as the follicle gradually shrinks. The hairs then become thinner. Once shed, the follicle is no longer capable of supporting new hair growth. However, research suggests that while follicles reduce in size, they remain alive, which means hope of restoration.



Examinations and Testing

Impending baldness is usually diagnosed based on general appearance and the pattern of hair loss. Not all hair loss is typical baldness. If hair becomes brittle, loss occurs in patches and is accompanied by scalp redness, swelling and itching, a skin biopsy often determines the underlying cause. In this instance, the hair loss is due to a medical condition that can often be treated. Strange hair loss might also occur in men who suffer from nutritional deficiencies or who have been exposed to heavy metals or toxic chemicals. Physicians then may order blood tests and recommend the appropriate treatment based on laboratory findings.



Treatment Options

Consuming a healthy diet that ensures getting all of the 13 essential vitamins is necessary for healthy hair. According to researchers from the University of Maryland Medical Center, the B vitamins known as biotin, niacin and B-12 have been shown to condition and strengthen hair. The adult recommended dietary requirements of biotin is 30 micrograms. Men should also be getting up to 17 milligrams of niacin and 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 daily. Adults should also obtain 600 International Units or 15 micrograms of vitamin D every day in the form of sun exposure or dietary intake as recent studies suggest that vitamin D stimulates follicles. Though some may prefer taking vitamins as hair supplements, healthcare providers generally recommend that men consume B-complex and D vitamins by eating:

• Beef liver
• Carrots
• Cauliflower
• Diary products
• Dark-leafy vegetables
• Eggs
• Fish
• Lean meat
• Legumes
• Nuts
• Poultry
• Soybeans


Men should always consult with a physician before starting a regimen of vitamins as hair supplements. While B-12 is relatively safe, biotin can cause skin problems along with increasing insulin levels, which could lead to low blood sugar. High levels of niacin also pose a risk of toxicity. If hair vitamins do not alleviate symptoms, hair pieces, oral or topical medication are other options. Minoxidil solution and finasteride in oral pill form slow hair loss and promote new growth for some men.