How Testosterone Affects Hair Loss in Men
Testosterone is probably the most well-known of the male hormones. It’s responsible for men’s deeper voices, facial hair, and sex drives. Perhaps one of the hormones less appreciated connections is its link to male-pattern baldness. Unfortunately, it’s a decrease in the amount of testosterone that play a major role in hair loss. To understand how testosterone affect hair loss, who is at risk, and what the implications are for male-pattern baldness, keep reading.
What is the connection between hair loss and testosterone levels?
The hormone testosterone breaks down into two compounds, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and estradiol (E2, a form of estrogen). Male-pattern baldness, also called adrogenetic alopecia, is correlated to a combination of low-testosterone and elevated levels of DHT. Increased levels of DHT has also been shown to be a contributing factor in benign growth of the prostate and increased oiliness of the skin and acne. DHT is made when testosterone interacts with a certain enzyme called 5α-reductase, which is mainly found in the prostate, hair follicles, and skin. Dihydrotestosterone shrinks the hair follicles, which is what leads to hair thinning and ultimately male-pattern baldness.
Who is at greatest risk? What can I do if I lose my hair?
Baldness is primarily a genetic trait. So if your father, uncles, and/or grandfathers, have male-pattern baldness, it’s more likely that you will experience it as well. Age and stress also play a part in male hair loss. Around 85% of men experience hair loss by the age of 50. However, the DHT doesn’t actually kill the hair follicles. Instead, it shrinks them, so there are various hair regrowth treatmentsthat with varying degrees of effectiveness. Minoxidil is a foam that you can apply directly to your scalp. It slows hair loss, and in some cases, actually causes hair regrowth. Finasteride is a pill that blocks the conversion of testosterone into DHT, and takes around 3 months to start working. Hair transplants are another option for men experiencing hair loss.
Other implications of male-pattern baldness
Because DHT is found in the prostate as well as the hair follicles, male-pattern baldness has been found to be associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer as well. Scientists in Australia compared the scalps of around 1400 prostate cancer patients with the scalps of a similar number of healthy men of the same age. They found that men with bald spots at the top of their heads (vertex baldness) were one and a half times more likely to have prostate cancer than those without bald spots.
We encourage you to find out more about the variety of options available to treat hair loss in men and women. If you're concerned about your thinning hair or hair loss, it's important to consult with an experienced hair restoration professional.
To learn more about treating hair loss and regrowth treatment options or to consult with a Capillus specialist in your area click here or call Capillus for more information at (786) 888 6249 or Toll-Free at 1 (888) 272-9599.