It is a fact that the majority of men will suffer from some degree of genetic hair loss by the time they are in their 50s. Androgenetic alopecia (male pattern baldness) is the most common type of hair loss for men and it affects an estimated 50 million men in the United States alone. This type of hair loss is caused by the male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a derivative of testosterone. DHT causes hair loss for men by reducing the anagen or growth phase of the hair cycle, which causes the follicles to produce hairs that are shorter and thinner. If the man has an extended exposure to DHT, any hair follicles that are genetically susceptible will eventually stop growing completely, leaving baldness behind.
Male hair loss is classified using the Norwood Classification. This classification defines two major patterns of hair loss and a few patterns that are not as common. Dr. O’tar Norwood discovered in 1975 that men start to experience thinning at both temples along with the crown/vertex and this will slowly start to progress until it encompasses the entire scalp.
Androgenetic alopecia can be diagnosed by observing how the hair loss is distributed and the diagnosis is confirmed by noting miniaturized hair in the thinning areas. There are a few different ways in which a man’s hair loss can be treated. There are hair loss medications that can be used and there are surgical hair restoration procedures. In terms of medications, the two most effective types are Propecia and Rogaine. Propecia is a prescriptive oral medication and Rogaine is an over-the-counter topical solution.
Other non-surgical treatments such as FDA approved Low Level Light Laser Therapy; Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy with Stromal Vascular Fraction or Fat Transfer are all beneficial in stabilizing hair loss and reversing some of this miniaturization or thinning process.
There are also surgical hair restoration procedures such as Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) and ARTAS Hair Restoration. Hair restoration is the only permanent solution for hair loss and in these procedures, hair is taken from a donor area on the back or side of the scalp and is transplanted to the balding areas.
Dr. Yates is Chicago’s premiere men’s hair loss physician who has performed thousands of hair transplants for both men and women. He utilizes the most innovative techniques and the most advanced technology to help his patients get the hairline they have dreamed of. If you would like to discuss your hair loss further and explore which options are available for treatment, call to schedule your free consultation.