Modern science has done wonders for all kinds of illnesses and ailments. As children we now routinely receive vaccines for all sorts of things - but why is there no lifelong cure against baldness? We ask why people go bald, what dictates the disappearance of follicles and who should be concerned about it.
In the UK an estimated 6.5 million men suffer from male pattern baldness. By the age of 60 most men experience some form of hair loss, but for some it occurs far earlier in life. Most often it starts with thinning of the hair, followed by a receding hairline but the degree of hair loss differs per individual. At whatever age male pattern baldness begins though, and at whatever degree, the cause behind it usually comes down to one of two things: genetics or hormones.
Baldness: genetics vs hormones
GeneticsResearch has found that men who experience baldness frequently have relatives who have experienced the same change over time. This is because the gradual thinning of hair can be inherited throughgenes. Those most likely to face the issue at a young age – in their 20s or 30s – are men whose family members on both their maternal and paternal sides have experienced male pattern baldness. Genetics are considered to be the main contributing factor in hair loss, however an individual's hormones can also play an active role - hormones which are subject to change depending on lifestyle.
HormonesTestosterone is a hormone that naturally occurs in the body, but levels in individuals can vary greatly. Typically testosterone breaks down in later life by an average of 5%. When this occurs, the resulting hormone is called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a substance that causes hair follicles to shrink and eventually stop working.
The link to lifestylePerhaps the most obvious lifestyle choice thought to impact on hair loss is smoking. Smoking is known toaccelerates the ageing process, so it’s no wonder it speeds up hair loss too. The toxins and chemicals in cigarettes (and also in polluted air) can find their way into your skin follicles and even bloodstream.The result of this is that hair growth begins to slow.
By quitting or even cutting back smoking slightly your hair follicles will be saved from withering away prematurely - although not indefinitely.
Similarly, just as an unhealthy diet can affect your overall wellbeing you’ll soon see its effects on your scalp too. Ensuring you maintain a balanced diet, full of nutrients and vitamins, will level your hormone levels and give your hair follicles the TLC they need to boost hair growth.
Stress is a well-known cause of hair loss in both men and women. It increase levels of cortisol, so much so that it is widely known as ‘the stress hormone’. In its regular, day-to-day function cortisol helps us survive. It is the hormone that kicks us in when we face a dangerous situation and gives us that extra boost of energy to react and take control. But when highly stressed we don’t just receive a quick burst of cortisol-fuelled energy. Instead our body generates a steady and constant release of cortisol and in parallel we experience elevated glucose levels and high blood pressure.
Not only does this stimulate hair loss, it can also affect our immune system, bone density and lead to increased stomach fat. To keep cortisol at its most effective level, the body must learn to relax after the ‘fight or flight’ mode cortisol pushes us in to. For some, teaching the body to relax is easier said than done but by employing stress-management techniques gradually it can be achieved over time.
Is there a solution to hair lossWhile there are an incredible number of mythical treatments, wonder therapies and unproven cures for hair loss out in the world today, there are just a few medications that have any real effect.
At Express Pharmacy we offer Propecia tablets, which are proven to be among the most effective hair loss treatments on the market today. In fact 90% of men who take Propecia for a prolonged period of 3-6 months find a noticeable difference to the thickness of their hair.
To order Propecia from Express Pharmacy book a consultation for hair loss medicationtoday or speak to a pharmacist on 0208 123 0703for more information. 0208 123 0703