To keep it plain and simple, testosterone within your body converts to DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) at a pre-determined point in your life cycle. DHT then in turn effects the growth and resting cycles of the hair follicles (kills it slowly). So basically if your genetic make up is programmed for you to lose your hair you will lose it in a pre-defined pattern (male pattern baldness). There is currently no known cure, only treatments.
DHT stands for Dihydrotestosterone which is the resulting product of direct contact between the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, found in the skin and the scalp, with the hormone testosterone.
DHT hair loss is caused by the DHT binding to receptor sites on the scalp and hair follicles which interrupts and interacts with the normal chain of events involved in continual healthy hair growth.
To put it another way, DHT hair loss happens when DHT takes over the receptor cell (the cells on the hair follicle that bind to DHT) and sends false signals to the functioning cells responsible for proper hair growth.
Men usually lose hair first in the temporal area, second in the crown, and third, in the vertex or top of the scalp. This is due to the concentration of sweat glands that carry DHT in these areas.
The interaction of DHT with androgen receptors in scalp skin and follicles, appears to cause male and female pattern baldness. DHT miniaturises hair follicles by shortening the anagen (growth) phase and/or lengthening the telogen (resting) phase. This is usually a gradual process of converting terminal to vellus-like hair. The overall result is an increasing number of short, thin hairs barely visible above the scalp.
The hair, like any other part of the body, is supported by the flow of blood. As blood brings oxygen and nutrients into the papilla area it promotes cellular activity for the hair, and as these cells reproduce, they build a flexible substance called Keratin (hair). As the hair grows in the follicle, it is then lubricated by the sebaceous gland that secretes oil in the follicle, which coats the hair for smooth growth and provides luster and sheen.
A constricted blood supply prevents certain nutrients from flowing into the papilla area where vitamins, minerals, and amino acids are necessary for proper cellular reproduction. Good nutrition is vital for strong, healthy hair. When blood and nutrients are not reaching the papilla area, cells reproduce at a much slower rate. This slow cellular activity produces a thinner, poorer quality hair but this fine hair is a good sign that there is still life in the follicle, so there’s still hope for your hair.
Options To Treat Hair Loss
There are a few options to hide or stop hair loss:
1. Castration (now if you have grown fond of the little guys like me this is not really an option);
2. Wear a hat, even at night;
3. Hair Transplantation is a viable option as good results are achievable, but at a cost. The initial cost is expensive (from around $6,000 to $50,000) and it only treats hair loss at that point in time, meaning it does not stop the rest of your hair falling out over time. It is also risky as, depending on the skill of your surgeon and their technique, you can be left with a patchy plug-like appearance with massive scars on the back of your head;
4. Combover, toupee, rug or hairpiece… not likely!
5. The combination of medication and Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is the safest and easiest way to regrow your own hair, and thanks to regrow your own.com it is now the cheapest!