Male Pattern Alopecia in Indian males: Causes and treatments

Consider it official now ! According to a recent study by trichologists all over the world, more and more men are experiencing hair loss and hair thinning in their late 20s, as compared to their fathers who often walked into their 40s with a full crop of hair. Male Pattern Hair loss or Balding, as it is commonly known, is known to affect all men at some point of time as they grow older. However, the difference now is that this premature balding is turning out to be more of a modern trend rather than a rarity. To some extent, genes may play a big role in it but there is also our modern lifestyle to blame for this increasingly disturbing trend.

Several dermatologists, over a course of last few decades, have been analyzing the hair loss patterns to understand the reasons behind the same and to classify them for the treatment purposes. It was as early as 1950 when there was a study conducted to classify the baldness by dermatologist Beek. However, it was in 1951 when the now widely accepted Hamilton scale of baldness was developed for the males. Hamilton, an anatomist, studied over 300 males with different kinds of hair loss and proposed 8 evolutionary aspects and three subgroups. This division is still widely used to treat male pattern alopecia or baldness among men.

Spike in Hair Fall among men

During a recent discussion of dermatologists in Mumbai, it was unanimously decided that the increase in hair fall among men and particularly in India has been due to 4 main reasons- stress, pollution, modern vices and poor nutrition. While its normal for any man or woman to shed anywhere between 50- 100 strands per day, serious shedding more than that may be a sign of the early onset of alopecia.

  • Stress may be a major factor contributing to hair loss or alopecia in males nowadays. Sometimes, after a major stressful incident or event, the body starts shedding hair after around three months. This may be a direct reaction of the incident. Also, modern man has innumerable things on his mind that may add to that same stress and cause an early onset of alopecia.
  • Genetics too play a vital role in balding. If your mother or father was bald, you too may have a high possibility of being bald due to genealogical factors.
  • Nutrition, however, is one of the key vitals needed for healthy hair growth. No other part of your body grows at the same rate as your hair so you must feed it with proper nutrients and protein rich food. With people increasingly becoming diet conscious and addicted to fast food, essential nutrients are being overlooked which is causing havoc in your body. Include simple lifestyle changes like drinking a glass of water every waking hour, getting seven hours of healthy sleep and having protein rich food at regular intervals – this is what can help you curb hair loss and bring about a major change in the appearance of your body.

Remember, the relation between food and hair is very simple. Just eat well, and you are sure to see your hair grow. Hair is, in fact, made of a protein called keratin that is derived from your food. When there is insufficient protein in your diet, the body is forced to save it for other important purposes like cell rebuilding and other important functions, thus depriving your hair of the same. Include some hair happy foods to avoid an early onset of alopecia and the mental stress that goes hand in hand with it. Some of these foods are- walnuts, almonds, tofu, spinach, milk and green tea.

Chemicals in play behind Male Pattern Hair loss

Men have an androgen called testosterone that is needed for normal reproductive and sexual functions of their body. This is an important hormone that decides the physical changes that take place in males during puberty like facial hair, body hair, penis development and testes. This hormone is then converted into DHT by an enzyme that is more active in some men due to lifestyle and genetic factors. This DHT is the main culprit behind the miniaturization of hair follicles that makes the hair shorter and thinner with each growth cycle from a very young age, thus leading to early balding.

Modern Rapunzels are long dead

Not just men but women too are suffering the repercussions of the above discussed issues with an increase in hair fall. Stress is causing more and more women’s bodies to produce androgens which are then converted into the hair attacking chemical DHT. Heat, excessive styling chemicals and an indiscriminate use of oral contraceptives is also driving their bodies to the brink of alopecia. Other reasons for hair fall include incessant smoking and drinking that clogs your blood vessels and stops your body from absorbing the necessary vital nutrients needed for hair growth.

Treatments and remedies

In order to avoid an early onset of Male pattern alopecia, feed your hair with proper nutrients and run away from the modern vices of smoking, drinking and unhealthy food. Load your meals with vitamins (found in oranges, broccoli, fish, soya beans), zinc (dairy, wheat, oats and egg yolk), magnesium (tuna, banana, milk, cashews) and iron (fish, fortified cereals, green leafy vegetables and beans). In addition to this, heat some oil (preferably almond or coconut oil) and massage your scalp slowly with fingertips. This helps in increasing blood flow to your hair follicles thus enhancing the roots of your hair as well as the scalp. Another faster working option is using Hairpro Laser caps. These caps use Low Level Laser Therapy to stimulate the dormant hair follicles as well as reactivate the thinning ones to promote thicker and shinier crop of hair. These caps help in reversing the hair thinning and hair loss process in most of the alopecia cases.

Male Pattern Alopecia has started affecting lot more men in modern times than previously. If not taken care, it would become more of a commonality rather than a rarity. Hair is an important aspect of our appearance. Shiny healthy hair is an indication of healthy body. Remember, your life can’t be perfect, but with the right care, your hair sure can be.

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