If you are concerned about your receding hairline you are not alone. Male pattern baldness is incredibly common, affecting nearly 70% of men in the UK. That’s around 6.5 million men who will suffer significant hair loss through the course of their adult lives. It almost doesn’t make sense that something so commonplace can hit sufferers so hard, and yet many men find the loss of hair to be a traumatic experience.
Male pattern baldness (MPB) or Androgenetic alopecia can often bring anxiety and self esteem issues with it. The anticipation and oncoming signs of Male Pattern Baldness alone, can often be enough to drastically affect a man’s confidence.
What is male pattern baldness?
Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) is so named because it typically progresses with the thinning of follicles around the hairline and the crown. Hair follicles go through a process known as ‘miniaturisation’ – hair follicles thin and fall out at a faster rate till they eventually stop growing altogether. The common horseshoe pattern of MPB occurs as the hair on the top of the scalp and crown are the most susceptible to this miniaturisation process.
What are the causes?
MPB occurs when the susceptible hair follicles shrink due to the influence of androgenic hormones. While there are many possible reasons for hair loss to occur – including medication, disease and extreme stress – the majority of men who suffer from it do so because they are genetically predisposed to suffer from miniaturisation to some degree.
Hair loss and your lifestyle
While male pattern baldness is often hereditary, there are a number of underlying health issues that are worth taking into account. In many cases, hair loss can be accelerated and amplified by lifestyle.
Doctors have linked excessive and early hair loss – hair loss in 20s and early 30s – to a number of other health concerns such as issues with blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Activities that may reduce the supply of oxygen to the scalp such as smoking and drinking have also been linked to the shrinking of follicles and the onset of baldness.
Stress, pollution and poor nutrition are also factors that contribute towards premature hair loss. While there is obviously not much that can be done to reduce pollution, stress and nutrition can be more easily tackled. Reducing your hours at work, getting more sleep, and drinking more water can all work to reduce stress and help keep your hair looking fuller for longer.
Similarly, there is evidence to suggest that a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle can reduce the speed of male pattern baldness and slow down the process of genetic hair loss.
Regularly consuming protein rich foods is also thought to reduce the progression of hair loss among some medical professionals. As hair is made up of the protein, Keratin, supplementing your diet with plenty of healthy proteins can help supply your body and hair with the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Protein is not the only thing you can consume to help with hair loss. Basic medical advice recommends a healthy quantity of Vitamins B3, B5, B9, and E (found in orange, spinach, chicken, fish, broccoli and soya beans); Zinc (wheat, dairy, oats and egg yolk); Magnesium (milk, tuna, banana, cashews) and Iron (fish, leafy greens, fortified cereals, and beans).
For cases of male pattern baldness where even a good diet plan and close attention to exercise and nutrition are not sufficient, Express Pharmacy offers a number of medications proven to slow the progression of male pattern baldness.