According to statistics, 80% of the stronger sex suffer from baldness. At the same time, alopecia in men appears more and more often at a young age. Therefore, in order to understand how to stop loss, you need to know about its causes, types, stages and age characteristics.
Several Causes of Alopecia in Men
Doctors have identified about 600 causes of baldness. Often, alopecia in men occurs as a result of the combination of several factors at once.
Mostly bald patches on the temples or on the sides of the forehead in the stronger sex occur due to genetic factors. Moreover, in 75% of cases, alopecia in men is transmitted through the mother and only in 20% — through the father. A person from relatives «inherited» receives an androgen-dependent type of follicles, which is especially sensitive to testosterone.
In men, both early and late baldness can occur. For the age at which the hair begins to fall out, only one process is responsible — the transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, which impairs protein production and causes bulb dystrophy.
With a genetic predisposition, bald patches appear on the forehead and crown of the head in men. The rate of shedding depends on individual factors. If the bulbs are not very sensitive to the hormone, then the patient may gradually lose hair throughout his life. With the rapid progression of the disease, complete baldness in men occurs in 5 years.
The second leading factor in alopecia is all kinds of diseases. These include diabetes, anemia, thyroid dysfunction, syphilis, psoriasis, and more. This is a symptomatic type of baldness. Its features are easy diagnosis and effective treatment.
Other toxic factors provoking male pattern baldness:
- unbalanced nutrition;
- head trauma;
- work in hazardous production;
- taking certain medications;
- the wrong choice of hair care products;
- bad ecology.
Often, balding men are diagnosed with psoriasis, which is often confused with common dandruff. With this disease, the work of the follicles is disrupted, which provokes temporary hair loss.
Also, bald patches appear with seborrheic dermatitis, accompanied by skin inflammation. The painful process provokes excess sebum secretion, which causes temporary alopecia. With seborrhea, the head itches very much, but it is important not to do anything to eliminate the itching. Otherwise, a secondary infection may join, which will significantly complicate the treatment process.
Separately, it should be said about the connection between smoking and hair loss, since many men suffer from this addiction. Cigarettes cause oxygen deprivation, so the hair is deprived of nutrition and dies. Also, when smoking, chemicals are produced. Free radicals are absorbed by the hair, disrupting its structure at the cellular level.
Types of male alopecia
There are four main types of male pattern baldness. Each type has its own characteristics of the course and therapy.
It is the most common type, found in 90% of people. The disease is caused by steroid hormones, which are responsible for secondary sexual characteristics. Androgens affect the receptors of the cells of the hair follicle, which feeds the follicles.
The hormones contain testosterone, which, when it enters the root area, under the influence of the enzyme, is transformed into dihydrotestosterone. This process slows down or stops the production of substances involved in the matrix and division of hair stem cells.
Further, the production of follicles stops, and the cover stops germinating. Due to oxygen starvation and poor blood circulation, the skin dries out and becomes thin. Lack of nutrition makes the depth of the follicles less than 1 mm. And in a healthy person, they are located next to the nerves and blood vessels and go down to 4 mm.
Hormonal imbalance leads to thinning, shortening and discoloration of hair, and the area of bald patches increases rapidly. Over the course of 10 years, the follicles are gradually closed with connective tissue, which is why the fluff does not even grow.
Androgenic hair loss often occurs at a young age. Alopecia in men begins with the temporal, frontal, parietal region, and then affects the back of the head.
This type is diagnosed in 20% of men. The causes of diffuse alopecia are very diverse.
But more often, total alopecia in men occurs against the background of a disorder of the hair cycle:
- Anagen phase. Lasts 5 years. It is characterized by the formation of hair, the division of bulbous cells.
- Catagenic phase. The hair rests for about 14 days, all processes slow down.
- Telogenic phase. The hair falls out, and a fluff appears in its place. The duration of the period is 6 months.
When the cycle is disrupted, the hairs are at different stages of development. They stop growing symmetrically, and bald areas appear on the head. The disease develops slowly, since a man loses up to 5% of the cover in a year.
Alopecia areata is diagnosed in 4% of men. A typical symptom of the disease is that the affected areas are located not only on the head, but also throughout the body, which indicates the presence of an autoimmune process.
When genes that are responsible for immunological compatibility are supplied, protein substances are produced. They change the way the body’s defense system works. The development of the pathological process is facilitated by the intake of certain medications, viruses, stress or vaccinations.
Over time, thinning hair resumes, and the disease may not manifest itself for a long time. But sometimes the pathological process «moves» from one place to another. The most severe episodes of the disease occur if previously bald areas are not covered with hair, and new foci appear on the body.
Bald patches can appear on the head of men when the skin is damaged. The injured areas are overgrown with connective tissue, which causes damage to the follicles.
The causes of bald patches are infections, trauma, burns, or injuries. With cicatricial alopecia, hair falls out with a white tip, followed by follicular death. If the form of the disease is severe, then the hairline is not restored.
What stage are you at?
To determine the stage of alopecia, the Hamilton-Norwood scale, created by a Scottish scientist in 1949, is used. This is a step-by-step diagram of the alopecia process, on the basis of which an individual therapy plan is built.
The seven stages of male pattern baldness:
- The appearance of small bald patches along the front hairline in the forehead and temple area.
- Formation of a more prominent area of alopecia in the temporal lobe, but no more than 2 cm from the line that connects the auricles.
- The formation of bald patches on the temples and forehead in men.
- Alopecia in men progresses, resulting in a bald spot on the vertex.
- The bald patches on the forehead and temples in men increase in size. Hair falls out on the back of the head so that the problem areas are shaped like a horseshoe.
- The bald patch on the crown and forehead merges, the alopecia zone in the temporal region expands.
- A small semicircle of hair remains in the occipital region, at the bottom of the ears. The temples, crown and forehead become a single «bald» space. The process may be accompanied by loss of cover in the groin, limbs, or trunk.
Sharp baldness of the head in men at an early age, for example, at the age of 18, often occurs due to non-compliance with hygiene measures, improper selection of shampoo. Against the background of the development of a young body, increased physical activity in guys, there is an intense production of subcutaneous fat. If it is not washed off, the hair follicles become clogged and sibuya plugs form.
At the age of 15-17, a large amount of testosterone accumulates in the body. With the breakdown of the sex hormone, dihydrotestosterone is formed, which negatively affects the work of the follicles. Of no small importance is stress, which impairs blood circulation in the small vessels of the head.
Young guys often eat poorly and incorrectly. Lack of nutrients causes an imbalance in the body. For example, with iron deficiency, anemia develops, upsetting the synthesis of hemoglobin, which provokes alopecia in men.
In order to prevent early baldness in men, it is necessary to enrich the diet with food containing many vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. Hair should be washed with a properly selected product, actively massaging the skin during the procedure.
At the age of 20-25, a secondary hormonal surge occurs, which is accompanied by hair loss. Moreover, the baldness zone in young men at the age of 20 depends on the location of the bulbs that react to testosterone. Therefore, in guys, bald patches often appear in the parietal or frontal region.
The age of thirty is also considered early male pattern baldness. The provoking factor is most often hormonal disorders associated with a violation of the thyroid gland. With dysfunction, the organ stops producing hormones involved in the formation of tendons, bones, hair.
In this case, the cause of bald patches often lies in a hereditary factor. Also, alopecia appears against the background of stress caused by psychological overstrain. Indeed, at the age of 30, a man has to work hard and take care of his family and children.
By the age of 50, hair thinning for various reasons is noted in every second representative of the stronger sex. At 60, a man loses more than 40% of his hair, and by the age of 70 he becomes 80% bald.
Male early alopecia is a problem for every member of the stronger sex. Baldness causes self-doubt, negatively affects the appearance. Therefore, when the first bald patches appear, it is necessary to contact a trichologist to determine the cause and eliminate it. The doctor prescribes a complex treatment, including the use of cosmetic and medical products, physiotherapy or hair transplantation.