Androgenetic alopecia is the medical term for male pattern baldness. It is an inherited condition caused by genetics and affects approximately 25 percent of males before the age of 30 and about 65 percent of men before the age of 60. According to the American Medical Association, 95 percent of men who suffer from baldness have androgenetic alopecia.
Hereditary Hair Loss Treatments for Men
Minoxidil is FDA approved and sold over the counter. It is known to stimulate hair growth and help prevent future hair loss when it comes to hereditary balding. One of the brand names for this drug is Rogaine. It is sold in both regular and extra-strength solutions. This solution is rubbed into the scalp twice daily. According to statistics, about 25 percent of men who use the regular solution experience some hair regrowth. The extra-strength solution is about 50 percent more effective than the regular strength. Hair regrowth typically takes two to four months and is usually a bit thinner than the normal hair growth. Minoxidil must be taken on a regular basis. If it’s discontinued, the new hair will likely fall out within several months. Minor side effects from minoxidil include irritation and dryness of the scalp. Before taking minoxidil, it’s important to let a healthcare provider know about any existing medical conditions or whether or not one is taking any other medications.
Finasteride is also an FDA-approved medication for hereditary baldness and is available in pill form. This drug prevents the formation of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is considered to be a major factor in androgenetic alopecia. It is DHT that actually shrinks hair follicles and causes the hair to thin and eventually bald. Although finasteride takes several months to work, researchers indicated that 80 percent of men who take this drug experience hair regrowth along with a slow down of hair loss.
Another option for hereditary hair loss in men is surgery. Dermatologists remove skin with hair from one part of the scalp and transplant it into the bald patches on the scalp. It often requires several surgeries and may be painful in addition to costly. Many times, dermatologists will perform a scalp reduction when performing a hair transplant. Skin is cut away to reduce the area of baldness. Possible problems with hair transplant include infection and scarring.