Nearly 25% of all men show signs of thinning before the tender age of 21 and an estimated 40% of all hair loss sufferers are women. As a matter of fact, approximately 50% of all women deal with some form of hair loss by the age of 50. In this article, we will go over what causes androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) and how it can be prevented.
What Causes Hair Loss
The simple answer is genetics, but what is the exact mechanism that triggers the male and female pattern balding gene? Well hair follicles, as well as sebaceous glands contain a high level of an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme is responsible for converting testosterone in to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) through the blood stream. DHT is the main hormone responsible for causing androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) in both men and women. Therefore, the main cause for androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss) is an inherited gene from either the mother or father's side of the family however, the actual mechanism that triggers hair loss is hormonal.
Currently, Propecia (finasteride) is the most effective hair loss prevention/treatment drug on the market today with 66% of individuals regrowing their hair after starting treatment and 83% of individuals stopping their hair loss altogether. Therefore, Propecia (finasteride) is exceptionally effective in preventing the progression androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). In addition, Propecia (finasteride) has been approved by the FDA to treat hair loss since 1997. Unfortunately, women can not take Propecia (finasteride), but Rogaine (minoxidil) is still an effective treatment for women.
Rogaine (minoxidil) was initially intoduced as a drug to treat blood pressure in the 1980's however, it was later discovered that one of the drugs side effects included increased hair growth. As a result, Rogaine (minoxidil) was tested as topical treatment for regrowing hair. The results were impressive and the FDA approved Rogaine (minoxidil) as a treatment for androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss). Furthermore, Rogaine (minoxidil) is the only FDA approved treatment that will also work for female patterned hair loss.
Losing one's hair can be emotionally and psycholigically damaging, but it's important to remember that hair loss is a common condition that affects millions if not billions of people worldwide. As the late Benjamin Franklin, once said "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" this quoute holds true today, the sooner an individual can treat their hair loss with Propecia (finasteride) and Rogaine (minoxidil) the longer they will keep their hair.
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