Male pattern baldness is the most prevalent form of hair loss in men, affecting more than half of all men by the time they are 50 years old. Also known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern baldness is evident in a significant number of younger males, with roughly one in four men who have the condition exhibiting signs of hair loss before the age of 21. Below is a look at the most common strategies to deal with male pattern baldness and the single best way to achieve hair regrowth.
What are some common means of addressing male pattern baldness?
The hair loss treatment market is projected to reach $4 billion by the end of 2018. Male pattern baldness is a key driver of growth for hair loss treatments, with men spending over a billion dollars annually on lotions, pills, hair pieces, and transplants in an effort to treat their thinning hair. Additionally, common means of addressing male pattern baldness include the following:
Some men attempt to combat their hair loss by taking prescription medications. Two of the most common oral medications for male pattern baldness include finasteride and dutasteride. While some men exhibit a slowing of their hair loss and some new growth, you must keep taking the medication every day in order to experience these benefits. Hair loss experts with The Mayo Clinic also note that finasteride may not be as effective for men over the age of 60 and point to diminished sex drive and elevated risk of prostate cancer as potential side effects.
“About half of the men using minoxidil have a delay in further balding. About 15 in 100 men have hair regrowth, while hair loss continues in about one in three users…Treatment needs to be ongoing for hair growth to continue; any hair that has regrown may fall out two months after treatment is stopped. Side-effects are uncommon, but minoxidil can cause skin irritation or a rash in some men.”
– Andrology Australia, School of Public Health & Preventive Medicine, Monash University
Topical solutions such as Minoxidil are popular among men seeking a non-invasive way to address their thinning hair. And while Minoxidil is easy to apply to the scalp, results are often unsatisfactory with hair loss continuing in roughly one-third of men. Here are a few reasons why topical solutions are not an ideal means of combatting male pattern baldness:
- Hair regrowth only occurs in approximately 15% of men
- Results may not be visible for months
- Men must continue to use minoxidil in order for hair growth to continue
- Some men experience skin irritations and other unpleasant side effects
“Styling thinning hair requires a good hair thickening shampoo (Kiehl’s, Swell or Aveda are some examples) to boost each follicle. Use a wide-tooth comb to gently comb through thickening styling spray, and then follow with a good blow dry (the wind lifts the hair and adds volume).Lastly, apply a matte-based product (nothing oil-based) and mess around the strands for a fuller look.”
– Benjamin Fitzgerald, D’Marge
Some men turn to thickening shampoos in an effort to combat baldness. However, results are not significant and products can be expensive. While thickening shampoos might help add a bit of volume to your hair, they do not foster hair regrowth or prevent you from losing hair.
Toupees or hairpieces offer a temporary solution for men. However, toupees can be impractical and uncomfortable, causing some men to become hot or sweat. Additionally, they do not do anything to spur hair regrowth or stop the balding process.
“The way a combover theoretically works is that you try to “teach” your hair, which naturally wants to grown down, to grow across your head instead to cover the bald spot…Combovers, as anyone who has eyes would tell you, don’t actually hide anything. The long strands actually do the opposite, highlighting the bald head underneath.”
– Dennis Green, Business Insider
The combover is perhaps the most common method of dealing with male pattern baldness – especially among men whose hair is in the initial stages of thinning. Unfortunately, the combover often calls attention to the balding process and does nothing to help promote hair regrowth.
What is the single best way to combat male pattern baldness?
As outlined above, men utilize a variety of strategies to combat their pattern baldness. However, the methods outlined above are not desirable for many men due to their limited effectiveness, short-term results, and unwanted side effects. Additionally, the strategies above require ongoing purchases and consumption of products or drugs.
In recent years, hair transplant surgery has gained popularity as a highly effective way to treat male pattern baldness. Researchers, medical professionals, and men who have sought hair transplantation point to the procedure’s natural-looking results and longer-term effectiveness as reasons to seek hair transplantation surgery:
“Hair transplantation is one of the most rapidly evolving procedures in aesthetic surgery, accompanied by regular improvement in techniques. The recent advances in technology and the concept of using follicular unit grafts have made this procedure reach a new height. The ability to provide very natural-looking results has encouraged larger number of balding men and women to opt for this surgical solution.”
– Manoj Khanna, Indian Journal of Plastic Surgery
Hair transplant procedures enable patients to see 40% – 50% hair regrowth. This happens in a matter of three months with full hair growth typically achieved within eight months. The procedure is typically completed in an outpatient setting by a team of specialists with advanced training in the latest hair regrowth techniques. Some of the many benefits of hair restoration surgery include the following:
- Hair transplant surgery offers a more permanent solution to hair loss
- The procedure offers natural-looking results
- Hair transplant surgery offers long-term cost-effectiveness
- Patients enjoy higher self-confidence
Male pattern baldness affects the majority of adult males. Some men attempt to deal with their thinning hair by using topical solutions, oral medications, or thickening shampoos. However, these methods often fail to produce desirable long-term results and are associated with unwanted side effects. Hair transplant surgery has emerged as the most effective way to treat male pattern baldness.
To find out how hair transplantation can change your life, we invite you to contact us at the Vera Clinic for a complimentary consultation. Our clinic is conveniently located in Istanbul, Turkey and we provide hair transplantation services to patients across the globe. We look forward to discussing the many ways that you can benefit from hair transplant surgery!