Hair Loss in Men

Hair loss is a very emotional difficult cosmetic disorder because hair has an important psychological importance in our society. Most men experience some degree of hair loss in their lifetime which can start as early in some men in their early twenties. Androgenetic Alopecia (AGA) or common male pattern baldness (MPB) accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men. By the age of thirty-five (35), over 60% of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss, and by the age of fifty (50) approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair.

The psychological effects of male hair loss varies in the culture. Some men give minimal attention to their hair loss, while others are affected more significantly. There are great cultural influences that make hair density important for confidence and a better overall motional feeling. It does not matter if you are a celebrity, professional, tradesman, or student. Hair loss is a very personal experience. It is important that men who are having unusual difficulty dealing with their hair loss receive psychological support or counseling as well as medical treatment.

Fortunately, there are a number of excellent medical treatments that can prevent or postpone male hair loss in its early stages. For more advance MPB, surgical hair restoration can return to men to an age appropriate and natural appearance. In addition to hair restoration surgery, medical or non surgical options include oral medications, laser light therapies, PRP, and stem cell therapies. In the future, we look forward for further progress towards the goal of hair cloning, a technology in which significant progress has been made, but that is not yet available.

Hair Loss and Its Causes

Hair follicles perpetually goes through three different stages. The normal cycle of hair growth lasts for 2 to 6 years. This stage is called the anagen stage. During this stage hair will grow approximately one (1) centimeter (less than half an inch) per month. About 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is growing at any one time. About 10 percent of the hair on your scalp is in the involution phase, also called the catagen phase, which lasts about 2 weeks. The hair then enters the Telogen or resting phase for 2 to 3 months. At the end of the resting phase hair follicles falls out and a new hair starts.

The most important structure of a hair follicle is the dermal papilla and bulge portion of the hair follicle structure. The cells of this dermal papilla and bulge divides and differentiates to form a new hair follicle through a very complicated process. The dermal papilla lies in direct contact with blood capillaries of the skin, and it is responsible for deriving nutrients for hair follicle growth.

What is common male baldness?

The term “common male baldness” is just one of the many terms used to describe hair loss in men. Another term is male balding pattern baldness (MBP), or permanent-pattern baldness. Men who have this type of hair loss typically also have an inherited or genetic trait as a cause of hair loss. Men who experience hair loss at an early age tend to develop more extensive and advance degrees of baldness later in life.

Testosterone plays an important role in hair loss. When combined with another enzyme in the hair follicle, 5 alpha reductase, testosterone converts to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This hormone is a natural metabolite of the human body and is very potent androgen belonging to the class of compounds called androgenic hormones. The hair follicle when exposed to long periods of DHT eventually miniaturizes and dies.

Treatment for Male Baldness

The two broad classes exists for treating hair loss in men- surgical and medical stabilization. Surgical techniques are Follicular Unit Excision (FUE) and strip harvesting, sometimes referred to as FUT. Dr. Williams is known within the hair surgical community and internationally for his expertise and knowledge in FUE donor harvesting. He performs all of the critical-to-quality-steps of the hair surgical restoration process. Our transection rates are under 2-3 % typically and our grafts are anatomically fat and chubby like strip grafts allowing for better hair regrowth. We use bioenhanced holding solutions during surgery that aids in graft survival and regrowth. For our patients, Dr. Williams is an advocate of and strongly recommends High Density Platelet Rich Plasma (HD-PRP) to be performed at the same time as the surgical hair restoration procedures.

Our office practices by high practice standards for the hair surgical restoration community. Medical stabilization for the existing follicles is universally recommended and includes Minoxidil, DHT inhibitors, and low laser light therapy. HD-PRP can be also be done as a stand alone procedure as an outpatient and requires approximately one hour to perform.