What is The Real Hair Loss Villain?

Published 10 January 2019

The popularity of the shaved head is on the rise. According to polls, bald men are perceived to be tidier, manlier, and even look more mature among others. But it is an entirely different situation when you are forced to don this look because you do not have a choice. Knowing that this is the reality of their situation, a lot of men suffering from male pattern baldness often find themselves secretly looking for the reasons and the culprit – testosterone has become one of the usual suspects.

If the aesthetics of having a shiny bald head is not your concern, then your well-being shouldn’t make you worry about the disappearance of the once glorious hair on your head. Hair loss in both men and women can not only be put down to genetics, but can also be an indicator of other potential illnesses that could be anything from hormonal imbalances to issues with nutrition. So, before deciding on what is the best treatment for you, it is necessary to understand the reasons for your hair loss.

In this article we will try best to explain the myths from the facts and educate you exactly on how testosterone can affect men afflicted with a hair loss condition.

What is Hair Loss?

Hair loss, or medically termed as alopecia, can come in many forms and is a result of a range of causes. Some are temporary, while others can be permanent. The most common of all hair loss is androgenic alopecia, or better known as male pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is evident in men, and will usually start after one has reached puberty and as a man ages. 

But in general, hair loss happens when the hair follicles slowly shrinks and falls out and eventually the hair stops growing. This is by no means a threatening disease in itself, and is in fact a normal process of aging. But, hair loss can have a damaging psychological effect on the person who suffers from it. This is where treatments, like medications and hair transplant surgery, come in to reverse the damage. 

Testosterone Factor

To further understand the theory that testosterone causes hair loss, it would be better to equip yourself with the necessary facts. Androgen, which literally means “man-maker” in Greek, creates the traits that would essentially classify a human being as male. These include the deep voice, bigger muscle mass, and the strong bones that make a man. It is also acknowledged to stimulate red blood cell production by the bone marrow. Now give your androgen some steroids and you have testosterone, the most potent form of the androgen.

Male Testosterone

Basking in the glory of its power, it has been proven to have a great effect on male behaviour. An oversupply was determined as the culprit creating aggression in men. On the other end, it is the essential element for the male libido. Related to this is its function in penile erection and sexual performance. It all begins at puberty when testosterone stimulates the growth of the genitals. As the penis grows, the need to ejaculate and pro-create comes and testosterone is still there to help with sperm production. Expanding to the other parts of your body, it can actually act on the liver. High doses of testosterone may cause liver diseases and the production of bad cholesterol, while it lowers the amount of the good ones.

Already a power to reckon with, testosterone can turn into a bigger beast when it is converted into dihydrotestosterone or what is popularly known as DHT. This mutation of testosterone can terribly affect your skin and is the culprit for severe cases of acne and the growth of hair follicles on the chest and other parts of the body.

Dihydrotestosterone is the culprit

Coming from the lengthy evolution of androgen to DHT, we are now in the position to discuss male baldness with more authority and better understanding. After all, a receding hairline is always serious business for those afflicted with the condition. The desperation that comes with this probably started the old wives’ tale that guys who are balding have great libidos, a desperate attempt to turn a negative into a positive. However, the connection between male pattern baldness and testosterone levels is not that easy to understand.

How DHT Causes Baldness?

Let’s start with the basics. Male pattern hair loss is primarily caused by three factors, namely genes, hormones, and age. Now, because nobody can stop the hands of time, hair loss is expected to start by about the age of 35, however can start in your 20’s.

For men who have inherited the gene, the hair follicles are overly sensitive to DHT and this would increase the chances of hair loss at a much earlier age. Everything starts when testosterone is converted into DHT. What it does is it shrinks the hair follicles that result in shorter and finer hair until hair stops growing completely. The hair follicles will remain dormant, however with the appropriate medical treatment, these hairs can be resurrected again and growth can be promoted.

There are some guys who were just born with naturally higher levels of testosterone, and the sad news is that most of the cases are actually hereditary. Studies have shown that guys with naturally lower levels of testosterone were less susceptible to hair loss, even after they were administered extra doses of the hormone. And now that we have discovered the truth and the false relationship between testosterone and balding, on we go to a solution that seems to be the only way to cope with receding hairlines successfully.

The Hairy Wonder of Hair Transplants

Guys who are not really that conscious about their appearance would be pretty sceptical with anything that contains the word “transplants,” even it that word is expected to change their lives forever

To allay these unfounded fears, a hair transplantation surgery involves the extraction of hair that is resistant to DHT and are generally taken from hair follicles from the donor site, usually the side or back of the head, using different techniques – FUT or FUE. The donor hairs are then surgically transplanted into the thinning or balding areas. 

The number of grafts needed is usually determined by the hair type, quality, and color plus the size of the area where they will go to. This, along with the technique to be used, will be discussed with you by your hair restoration surgeon during a consultation. 

After the surgery, expect the scalp to be a bit tender, which is easily managed with paracetamol, taken for the first few days. To protect the area, you would be made to wear a surgical dressing for a day or two. After three weeks, expect the transplanted hair to fall out before the new growth to happen after about 3 months. The final result will usually be evident a year after you had your procedure done. 

If you are in Melbourne and looking for experienced and reliable hair transplant surgeon, Dr. Andrew Kim or Dr Mario Marzola of Medihair Transplant Clinic will provide you with hair restoration plans that is best suited for your specific needs, to give the most natural-looking hair regrowth. 

Call us now or simply fill-out our inquiry form to schedule your consultation with us today!

Call 1300 355 325