Male Hair Loss Causes

Male Hair Loss Causes 1 - Feller & Bloxham MedicalFeller and Bloxham understands that you’re losing your hair, and we can help you get it back as quickly and easily as possible. To do this, you need to understand why your hair is falling out. It is most likely genetics. However, there are other reasons.

Genetic (Hereditary)

Follicles don’t “wear out” like an old machine. Hair loss does not happen. It is a complicated set of biochemical steps that requires both energy and time. This means that the body will go to great lengths to remove and kill its own hair.

It is not clear why the body engages with this seemingly masochistic activity. Science now knows how the body does it. This has allowed doctors to diagnose male pattern hair loss and to treat it with medication and hair transplantation.

What is the cause of hair loss and hereditary baldness? Alpha reductase and DHT.

What is 5 alpha reductase?

Normal enzyme found in all healthy men’s biochemistry and hormone systems.

What is DHT ?

DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is a hormone that starts out as testosterone from the testicle and is converted to DHT through an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. DHT is a hormone that all men produce. It travels through bloodstreams and lands on all hair follicles (scalp and facial) of the body. DHT can cause hair to start dying if any of these follicles become susceptible.

Which hair follicles in the body are most susceptible to DHT ?

Scalp hair follicles.

You can call it a cruel joke, or an unfortunate coincidence, but this is the verdict of nature on the majority of men. However, not all men are equal.

What makes a hair follicle susceptible to DHT ?

Why don’t ALL men go to bald?

DHT can only affect hair follicles that have DHT receptors. Hair follicles that do not have such receptors can ignore DHT and be unaffected by it. These men are blessed to have thick hair. Think about actors like Tom Cruise and Jeff Bridges.

What determines who will have DHT receptors on their hair follicles and those who won’t?

Genetics. Period.

Male Pattern Baldness, also known as DHT receptor absence or presence (NOT 5-alpha reductase or DHT which all healthy men have), is a condition that causes hair loss.

These receptors are made by cells in the hair follicle, but they don’t usually start to develop until puberty. This is why men tend to have thicker hair than they do in their youth, and gradually lose it as they age. Some people produce DHT receptors as early as their teens while others do so in their thirties. A few are lucky enough to not have any. Regardless, more than half of all men will have MPB by the age of 50.

How can we tell when DHT has merged with DHT receptors and started killing our hair follicles. Miniaturization.

Hair Miniaturization

This is when each hair’s caliber begins to decrease. The signal sent to the nucleus of each hair follicle cell by the DHT Receptor is when it lands on the DHT Receptor. This signals the cell to shut down and die. This is known as apoptosis, and it does not have any harmful effects. This mechanism is used all the time by the healthy body and is normal. The process of hair loss can take several months, or even years. This can also be genetically determined.

DHT Receptor Distribution

DHT receptors appear to expand in patterns that are not yet understood, but have been extensively theorized. Recession of the hairline was probably the first type of hair loss you noticed. Even men who don’t experience any hair loss will notice a gradual change in the hairline as they age. This is normal and to be expected. This type of hair loss should be recognized by a competent hair transplant surgeon and treated accordingly.

The time to see a hair restoration doctor is when hair starts to recede from the mature line. This is when the hairline has moved upwards from its adolescent state. Two indentations along the hairline are more prominent, creating an M-shaped haircut. This is the first sign of baldness for most men.

Alternately or simultaneously, a small hole in the crown may form which grows in size with age. All cases showed that hair loss was preceded in all cases by the expression of DHT receptors in the bald areas. These patterns were described by Dr. O’Tar norwood.

Fight Hereditary Hair Loss

Because genetic hair loss is a complex process, it makes sense that we might be able to reduce or reverse MPB if we could disrupt any of these pathways. Finasteride is FDA-approved.

Propecia is marketed as Finasteride. It blocks the 5 alpha reductase enzyme which converts testosterone to the deadly DHT. It seems logical doesn’t it? DHT that is less concentrated will have fewer DHT receptors where it can land to start the miniaturization cascade. If you stop the DHT being made, it won’t be able to enter the bloodstream and cause follicular Mayhem.

DHT is needed to make healthy men…well…healthy men. DHT isn’t created by the body to cause hair loss. DHT is an important part of normal life functions, so reducing its production might not be a good idea. Many men have experienced side effects from Finasteride, including a decrease in sexual labedo as well as varying degrees of impotence. These are only the side effects that we know of. We don’t know what other important side effects the deliberate decrease in DHT causes. This is why I rarely recommend it.

My favorite DHT-blocker would be one that targets the DHT receptors on the cells of hair follicles susceptible to DHT and stops it from attaching to them. That would be one product. Unfortunately, there is no product like it. It is better to let our genetic programming play out, and to use other methods like hair transplants to overcome hair loss.

Trauma to Scalp

Hair can fall out from any type of trauma to the scalp. This could be caused by auto-accidents or sports mishaps, hot oils/spatter, fire, and even head and scalp surgery. No matter the source of the trauma, they can be divided into the following types:

  • Blunt Trauma – Something hitting your head, but not tearing the scalp skin
  • Sharp Trauma – A tool for slicing and stabbing the scalp skin
  • Burn Trauma-Scalding oil-water or oil-based

The trauma can cause hair root damage to the extent that they are unable to grow. However, the body’s response to trauma could kill even more hair follicles.

(Click to learn more about Trauma and Hair Loss.)

Significant Body Trauma

Intense Psychological Stress

Medical Conditions