We may not love our partners any less when their hair starts to thin but from conversations with friends and family I have come to realise that it is how men themselves feel about male pattern baldness that is the really important issue. Noticeable loss of hair is difficult for some men to accept and they may experience a loss of confidence at the same time.
Many men see a full head of hair as a sign of vigour and virility, which is ironic as it is testosterone, the hormone responsible for increasing muscle mass, body hair and the development of reproductive organs in their youth, that is indirectly responsible for thinning hair as they enter middle age. I have been reading up on the topic over the last few weeks and was surprised to discover that there are actually several effective solutions available nowadays.
What Can You Do About Male Pattern Baldness?
Among the solutions I discovered online, the following seem to be the most popular, and the most effective.
- Hair Transplant – A small section of scalp where hair is still growing well is removed, split up into very small pieces and grafted onto the problem area. This treatment has a 95% success rate but on the downside, it can take a long time and is very expensive when compared to the alternatives. Follicular unit extraction (FUE), is a variation on this treatment and involves the extraction of individual hairs from an area on the back of the head where they are plentiful, followed by their insertion into the area of the scalp where existing follicles have ceased to grow. It is believed to be the most effective form of hair transplant treatment as far as many experts are concerned but is also one of the most expensive.
- Finasteride – This is a pharmaceutical product known as a steroid reductase inhibitor. It blocks, or inhibits, the production of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which the body synthesises from testosterone. Research has shown that DHT causes hair follicles to shrink, preventing nutrients from getting through and eventually leading to hair loss. Finasteride, which you can buy with an online prescription, stops testosterone from being converted to DHT, arresting and often reversing the shrinkage of hair follicles. With an 80% success rate, it is a popular choice among men suffering from male pattern baldness.
- Minoxidil – The active ingredient in Rogaine, is a proprietary lotion that must be applied to the scalp twice a day, minoxidil is less effective than finasteride (52% success rate in clinical trials) but can be purchased without a prescription. It can take as long as 6 months for noticeable results and the treatment must be continued indefinitely.
The best option for your partner will depend on how much money he is prepared to spend and how much time he is willing to invest in tackling male pattern baldness. From a cost/benefits point of view, finasteride looks to be a good choice.