Typically, men start losing hair in their late 20s and early 30s. Twelve per cent of men lose most of it before their 30th birthday. By the age of 50, more than half develop a bald spot and receding hairline. Hence, we face the problem of Male Pattern Thinning.
The irony is that those shiny bald spots aren't actually bald. Sometimes, one finds that hair are still there, but instead of the thick, lush hair we 'find clear 'pitch fuzz' hair that sprout out of tiny, miniaturized follicles.
Saw Palmetto, is a herb, which is considered to be a breakthrough treatment in Male Pattern Baldness. The medicine Serenoa complex comprises of this herb and it reduces the production of DHT from testosterone.
Now, as scientists begin to understand the mechanics of the hair cycle itself, they're aiming for new drugs that could do just that - regrow hair. Till then there are three solutions to the balding problems namely - surgical, non-surgical and temporary hair camouflage.
FACTS ABOUT BALDNESS IN MALES
1. The Hair follicles of a person are developed in the 4th month of the mother's womb
2. A person has the same number of hair follicles throughout his life as he/she has at the time of birth
3. Male Pattern Thinning is a progressive disorder. It can neither be reversed nor stopped, but can only be slowed down
Hair transplantation was once a difficult operation and it involved taking big chunks of skin and hair moving them around. These days it moved well beyond the artificial-looking "doll's hair" plugs that were used in the 80's.
Surgeons pull out a thin strip of skin and hair, usually from the back the head (where hairs don't fall out in response to DHT), and dissect it under a microscope into follicular units - one or two hairs stuck together. Then they make tiny slits on the top of the scalp and slip the hairs in. Generally, we can move a thousand or a few thousand hairs in one session trying to reconstruct the hairline and cover as much of the bald spot as they can, in as natural-looking a way as possible.
A DIFFERENT PATTERN TO FEMALE BALDNESS
For women, hair loss is a complex matter. Diet, disease, even grooming can cause thinning. For instance, Mrs. Joana was only 32 when she noticed the small bald spot right in the middle of her hair. "It looked like someone took a lawnmower and left a little patch," she says.
That small spot grew into an obsession. She found herself thinking about the fact that tall people could look down on her and see it. She would compulsively put her hands in her hair, and made her husband check every night to make sure the patch wasn't growing.
When she noticed another bald spot a few months ago, she couldn't stand any longer and scheduled an appointment.
When men lose hair, it doesn't make much difference to their look, however, when women start losing hair it becomes the serious cause of concern. Hair loss is far more visible in men - but in fact, nearly 40 per cent of women lose substantial amount of hair after menopause, and 10 per cent to 15 per cent experience thinning in their 30s.
The pattern of loss is different from that of men; women don't usually develop bald spots the way men do. Instead, their hair tends to thin out all over. "It's rare to see a woman lose all their hair, but they can thin dramatically. Female hair loss, like male-pattern hair loss, is related to the testosterone level and the level of one of its by-products DHT.
Although testosterone is a male hormone, women generally have small amounts of it too - and when estrogen levels decline, testosterone becomes more abundant in proportion.
Testosterone can certainly cause women to lose hair under special circumstances. Female athletes sometimes take testosterone to bulk up their muscles - and often find they start shedding hair as well.