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How to stop baldness in men?

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 17.10.2021
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The multifactority of alopecia determines many different methods of solving the problem of hair loss. The treatment regimen can be prescribed only after determining the cause of hair loss, so self-diagnosis and self-treatment in this case usually lead only to disappointment.

In the fight against alopecia, doctors resort to various methods of exposure:

  • drug therapy taking into account the form and cause of the disease, tablets,
  • various methods of physical impact,
  • application of specialized cosmetics,
  • vitamin therapy,
  • correction of the patient's diet,
  • sessions of a psychologist and a psychotherapist,
  • surgical treatment of alopecia or hair transplantation.

It is clear that all of the above methods for solving the problem of baldness are not used simultaneously and in different combinations, taking into account the type of alopecia.

The most common type of alopecia in men is androgenic alopecia. But even the presence of a gene for baldness in a man does not necessarily lead to early hair loss. Usually, the problem lies in the increased production of testosterone and the activity of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase.

Medicamentous treatment of androgenic alopecia is aimed at suppressing the activity of male hormones, which allows to stop the process of hair loss. This is possible through the use of special drugs - antiandrogen, which:

  • or suppress the activity of 5-alpha-reductase (Finasteride, Dutasteride)
  • or block receptors that are sensitive to androgens (Androkur, Flutamide)
  • or stimulate the production of globulins, binding sex hormones.

Most often used drugs of the first and second group, with treatment often lasts a long time, and sometimes drags on for almost a lifetime. The use of estrogens in the treatment of alopecia in men is impractical.

In parallel with antiandrogens, the use of hair growth stimulants is indicated. One of the most popular stimulants is Minoxidil, which initially had completely different indications for use. Analogues of Minoxidil, Aminexil, Generolon and a drug that affects hair growth factors, Adenosine, are prescribed less often.

As a stimulant for hair growth, you can use special liquid formulations: lotion "Minomax", lotion concentrate Ducray, Elixir Jason, lotion Spectral DNC-L, etc.

Complex treatment with synthetic antiandrogens and hair growth stimulants is carried out throughout the year, the field of which is recommended switching to natural remedies that reduce the activity of androgens. Natural preparations act more gently, but they have fewer side effects. So strong synthetic drugs that help in the treatment of baldness of mild and moderate severity can negatively affect spermatogenesis, the libido of a man, which requires parallel intake of special preparations for potency. Natural androgens do not have such drawbacks.

The natural anti-androgens include:

  • extracts of dwarf palmetto serenosa and olive,
  • polyunsaturated fatty acids, contained in the oil of black currant and jojoba,
  • phytoestrogens (wild yam, hops, soybean, flax seed, sage, etc.), which unlike synthetic estrogens are not prohibited in the treatment of male alopecia,
  • phytosterols (flax seed, peanuts, corn oil, etc.)
  • Zinc preparations and dietary supplements containing a trace element.

As stimulators of hair growth, vitamins can be used : vitamin A (retinol), vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid), vitamin B7 (biotin). I must say that many vitamins will be useful for restoring and strengthening the hair:

  • Vitamin A helps against hair loss and promotes hair growth, eliminates dandruff, makes the hair sound shiny and healthy (found in milk, cream and butter, egg yolks, liver).
  • Vitamin B2 regulates the fatness of the head and eliminates brittle hair (found in milk, bread, meat, liver).
  • Vitamin B3 retains the natural color of the hair, promotes vasodilation and improves circulation in the hair growth zone, which in turn improves the supply of nutrients to the roots (found in fish, liver, beef, yeast, whole grains).
  • Vitamin B6 improves the condition of the skin on the head and combats dandruff, reduces the effect of androgens (pork and chicken, yeast, bran, wheat germ, pea, hazelnut, liver).
  • Vitamin B7 helps against hair loss and improves hair growth (it contains yeast, molasses, bran, fish oil).
  • Vitamin B8 prevents hair loss, helps maintain their structure and strengthen hair follicles and hair along the entire length (it is rich in wheat germ, rice bran, barley and oatmeal, oranges, grapefruits, peanuts).
  • Vitamin B9 actively stimulates hair growth (found in cheese and cottage cheese, yeast, fish, vegetables).
  • Vitamin B10 stimulates hair growth and prevents premature graying (it contains nuts, rice, egg yolks, milk products, potatoes).
  • Vitamin E helps to improve the condition of the scalp, normalizes the sebaceous glands, moisturizes, nourishes and strengthens the hair follicles, promotes the restoration of keratin in the hair structure, has an antioxidant effect (oils, hips, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, peas).
  • Vitamin C normalizes blood circulation in the scalp, which improves the nutrition of the hair (apples, greens, lettuce, pomegranate, sea buckthorn, currant, dog rose, zucchini, citrus).

As you can see, almost all vitamins are important for hair health, therefore, for patients with hair loss problem, doctors recommend to revise their diet or, in parallel with prescription drugs to treat alopecia, take vitamin and vitamin-mineral complexes. In pharmacies, you can also buy vitamins in ampulla or oil, which the doctor can advise to apply topically, applying to clean skin in the area of hair loss and next to it.

I must say that vitamin therapy will be superfluous for any of the types of baldness, because it is not so much about treatment as it is about healthy scalp care and hair. But in addition to vitamins, hair needs trace elements:

  • zinc and copper are microelements that prevent early baldness and the appearance of gray hair (oatmeal and buckwheat porridge, cheese, liver, legumes, walnuts, shrimp),
  • Iron also prevents hair loss, but further strengthens them, making them less brittle (liver, nuts, yolk),
  • molybdenum stimulates hair growth (liver, kidneys, peas, cocoa beans),
  • calcium is a building material for hairs (dairy products, especially cottage cheese, fish, eggs, nuts, greens),
  • sulfur makes hair more shiny and elastic (garlic, liver, fish, beans),
  • silicon makes the hairs strong and resistant to mechanical stress (whole grains, root crops).

Positive effects on the skin and hair have some amino acids:

  • cysteine (found in protein products) is necessary for hair restoration, promotes the synthesis of protein - keratin, which is part of hair and nails,
  • arginine (nuts, seafood, pumpkin, legumes, meat) normalizes blood circulation in the scalp and nourishing the hair,
  • Carnitine (in large quantities found in meat) stimulates hair growth.

Minerals and amino acids can also be injected into the body with food as part of the daily diet, but the doctor is likely to advise you to buy in the pharmacy balanced vitamin-mineral complexes for hair health (Revalid, Perfectil, different types of yeast). The content of various constituents in such preparations corresponds to the needs of the skin and hair, so for therapeutic purposes they are more effective, while changing the diet will be an excellent prevention of hair problems (and not only) in the future.

Diffuse hair loss, provoked by various pathological factors, primarily requires treatment of the problem that caused baldness. If these are infectious diseases, then their treatment is carried out with the help of antibiotics. Cope with fungal infections can be through antifungal agents. At an intoxication of an organism, which caused baldness in a man, detoxication therapy is carried out. Diabetes mellitus requires the intake of sugar reduction drugs or insulin injection.

With the hormonal nature of baldness, when diagnosed as a malfunction in the thyroid gland, it may be necessary to take hormonal drugs that normalize the level of thyroid hormones. If the cause of hair loss is severe stress and especially chronic, you can cope with it by taking sedatives and psychotherapy sessions. After normalization of the patient's condition, the problem of alopecia is solved by itself within a few months.

Alopecia areata, if it has not acquired a total form, is considered a temporary phenomenon, which is resolved even in the absence of specific treatment. However, in this case, the risk of recurrence of the disease is great, so doctors recommend still undergoing treatment so that the pathology does not spread further.

To normalize the work of the immune system, the incorrect operation of which caused rejection of the hair, it is recommended:

  • reception of sedatives, regulating the action of the central nervous system (stresses provoke relapses of the disease),
  • local application of hormonal ointments that slow down the activity of immune cells,
  • Injection of corticoids into hair loss zones (only temporary effect and not suitable for large areas)
  • reception of hormones in the form of tablets (a questionable way with a lot of side effects),
  • the use of immunosuppressants that reduce the activity of cells in the immune system (shown only in extreme cases, since these drugs reduce the protective functions of the body and can lead to the development of many other diseases, in particular infectious);
  • taking antihistamines (as part of a comprehensive treatment),
  • local application of hair growth stimulants,
  • course combined treatment with a solution of diphenylcyclopropenone and dibutyl ester of a serum acid (possible with mild alopecia areata, helps in half the case and can be used repeatedly),
  • the use of an agent for the treatment of psoriasis called "DITRANOL" and zinc preparations (there is no precise information on the effectiveness of such treatment).

At present, medicine does not possess an effective regimen for the treatment of focal alopecia, because the immune response to a particular treatment is difficult to predict. The treatment can help during periods of exacerbation and after it the hair seems to grow, but none of the techniques can completely prevent relapses of the disease. Although this is not an excuse to sit back and wait that the immune system may change its mind and begin to react to your hair adequately. With this approach, you can walk for years with unusual marks on the scalp and body, masking them with a short haircut, rejection of the vegetation on the face (and sometimes on the body, which looks somewhat strange).

Physiotherapeutic treatment

It can not be said that drug treatment did not bring good results in baldness in men. In most cases, the effect is, however, in different people the intensity of hair restoration is different, and patient patients do not always get consistent results. For example, the treatment with "Menoxidil" gives good results in many patients with androgenic, symptomatic and focal alopecia, but as soon as a person stops using the drug, the process of hair loss can resume in the near future (and sometimes almost immediately).

The use of hair growth stimulants and vitamin-mineral complexes gives a good persistent effect in deficient states, but with androgenic alopecia this is not enough. And even taking antiandrogen does not always help to get a stable result, especially if the effect of such therapy is not observed for six months or more, which can speak of the death of hair follicles.

To somehow inhibit the process of baldness in men and achieve a more or less persistent effect for several years, drug therapy should be supported by physiotherapy, and the choice of methods of physiotherapy in this case is quite large:

  • Ionophoresis. Impact on the affected area with a constant galvanic current accelerates blood circulation in the skin, stimulates cell division. Improves metabolic processes in them. As a result, hair follicles begin to receive more nutrients, which means they can reproduce strong, healthy hair. The technique allows to strengthen the roots of hair and stimulates their growth.
  • Impact of impulse currents (electrostimulation ). Promotes increased blood flow through the capillaries, improves metabolism and the work of the sebaceous glands, corrects the hormonal background.
  • Impact of pulsed small currents (microcurrent therapy). It improves the metabolism in the scalp, promotes the excretion of waste components from the body, stimulates the regeneration of tissues and damaged hair follicles.
  • Darsonval. The affected area is treated with low-power currents, but high voltage, which stimulates the outflow of lymph and intensifies blood circulation in the vessels of the scalp, improves metabolism in the cells, reduces the fat content of the head, and saturates the tissues with oxygen.
  • Treatment with liquid nitrogen. The procedure is a kind of massage, which activates the work of the scalp cells and hair bulbs.
  • Vacuum massage. A procedure that helps restore normal lymph flow, remove toxins and harmful substances from the body, prevent stagnant phenomena, improve blood supply and breathing of the head tissues.
  • UV-therapy. Exposure to the skin with dosed ultraviolet rays in combination with the use of photosensitizing drugs is used in nested alopecia.
  • Laser treatment. The method improves blood circulation and metabolism. The result of laser therapy is a thickening of the hairs and an increase in their number.

Physiotherapy techniques allow you to activate the internal forces of the body and improve the functioning of hair follicles, but they are effective if baldness has not yet acquired total forms. No physical impact and drug simulation can revive the dead bulbs. In the absence of the effect of the above described methods of treating baldness in men, the only way out for patients who do not want to put up with scanty vegetation on their heads or get their hair cut is hair transplantation.

Surgical treatment of alopecia

The operative method of combating baldness should be treated as at least if other methods of treatment are ineffective. And not because this method is more traumatic than others. Simply, he does not solve the main problem of baldness - the reason for which hair loss has increased, but only masks the bald spot, although it has quite good persistent results.

Surgical treatment of baldness in men  consists in the transplantation of their own or donor hair. It is carried out both with full hair loss, and with a significant reduction in the density of hair. Most often, such a procedure is resorted to androgenetic alopecia, which, for obvious reasons, is hard to correct with medication. Prolonged intake of synthetic antanthrogen can adversely affect male health, and preparations based on plant components do not always have sufficient efficacy, especially when it comes to advanced stages of pathology. The use of the same for the hormonal causes of conventional growth stimulants will give a weak and short-term effect.

With diffuse alopecia, there is usually no need for hair transplantation, because medication and working with a psychologist usually allow to reduce the severity of unpleasant consequences of stress and health disorders, so there is no need for surgical treatment. However, there are always exceptions. If a man is not satisfied with the thickness of his hair, then after carrying out therapeutic measures, he may well resort to transplanting individual grafts that make the hair more fluffy.

In cicatricial alopecia, surgical treatment can be prescribed initially, if there is no possibility of repairing damaged during trauma, burns and bulb operations. Doctors conduct the removal of scar tissue, after which it becomes possible to  transplant the hair.

There is another unusual variant of alopecia - traumatic alopecia, associated with mental disorders, as a result of which the patient pulls out his own hair. Operative treatment in this case is possible only after drug therapy with sedatives and tranquilizers and psychotherapy sessions that allow to restore the normal state of a person and to stop the pathological passion of tearing your hair.

The most difficult thing is with focal alopecia, when the body tries to fight with their own hair. Previously, surgical treatment in this case was considered not only senseless, but also dangerous because there was a risk of provoking activation of the immune system and worsening of the already unenviable situation. To date, there is a proven method of hair transplantation, applicable even in the case of nested alopecia.

When transplantation, hair from one "densely populated" part of the body or head is transferred to another, where they are necessary. Often take hair from the occipital and lateral surfaces of the head, because they are considered more resistant to dihydrotetstosterone, less often the transplant is done by hair taken on the beard or body parts with dense vegetation.

Hair transplantation can be carried out in various ways:

  • The FUT method, which involves the removal of a skin flap under anesthesia, which is subsequently divided into small grafts containing no more than 4 hair follicles and inserted into the scalp in place of the bald spot. A variant of this method is the strip-technique, according to which a thin, but a long enough strip of skin with hair is taken for division into grafts.
  • The FUE method, considered less traumatic, because it does not require skin incisions and a long period of rehabilitation, does not leave visible scars, moreover it is less time-consuming. Its essence lies in the transplantation removed by means of special equipment of follicular associations (a bundle of hairs growing from a single follicle), which are then placed in micro-cuts on a balding area.
  • The HFE method, which does not require any cuts at all, because follicular assemblies are extracted from one site and transplanted to another by means of a thin implant needle, leaving only small punctures in the skin. By this method it is convenient to carry out hair transplantation not only on the head, but also on other parts of the body. In addition, it is not contraindicated in focal alopecia and gives a chance for people with autoimmune pathologies to have a decent hairstyle.

It must be said that even the most modern method does not always give the desired results and besides it is quite costly. If it is a question of hair thinning on the temples and the back of the head, the results can be quite worthy, but patients with pronounced bald for obtaining more or less dense head of hair will have to suffer more than one operation, because the number of grafts or follicular associations transplanted in one procedure is limited.

But again, everything can be complicated by the fact that at some point the doctors will face a shortage of donor hair to achieve the necessary density of hair. This is the case if the bald head is large or if there is no struggle against the cause of baldness. If you do not adjust the activity of hormones in androgenic alopecia, the zone of hair loss will constantly expand. Those. On the top of the crown, the Iroquois will be displayed with transplanted hair, and a semicircle will form a semicircular zone for the further loss of non-transplanted hairs.

But the occipital zone is not unlimited, and having scattered hair around her head, it is hardly possible to achieve a normal density of hair, even if the density of hair on it approaches 350-400 follicles per square centimeter.

It turns out that hair transplantation in baldness in men should be considered not as a method of treatment, but as a cosmetic procedure that masks the internal problem. If this problem is not solved, in time such disguise will become simply ridiculous.

Other ways to solve the problem

It should be said that masking the problem of hair loss through transplantation is quite an expensive pleasure, some will not be decided by any, especially since there are many other options to make the lack of hair on the head less noticeable. It's about choosing a hairstyle for balding in men.

At first glance, it may seem that a young man with active premature hair loss can hide the problem only after a short haircut (ideally a haircut under a zero). In fact, everything is not so sad. Even in this situation, a man can look fashionable and stylish, it is only necessary to turn to the help of a professional stylist.

Yes, it's better to forget about long hair and smooth hairstyles of medium length, because they only increase the contrast between the areas of thick and thinning hair. It is safe to cover them with the bald patch formed on the top of the head, except that you have gathered your hair in a bundle. To comb the hair in advance, thus hiding the bald patches on the forehead is also not the best option.

It must be said that even the hair completely shaved on the head gives many men a certain charm and brutality, which they could not achieve with the help of various hairstyles for medium and long hair. But due to the individuality of our face, this hairstyle does not suit everyone and will already have to be fantasized.

The best option for balding men can be considered a "half-box" haircut, in which the length of the hair at the temples and the lower part of the head is several centimeters shorter than at the top. In this case, the upper hair can be combed in different ways, masking the lack of hair on the frontal-parietal part of the head. Modenize your hair, making it more youthful, you can use the Iroquois, i.e. Combed his upper hair up and a little back, making a peculiar crest.

The appearance of bald patches on the temples and light gray hair is also not a problem. An experienced stylist can offer a man to compensate for the lack of hair on the top of his face with sideburns, a beard and a mustache, which in principle never went out of fashion, and now are considered even symbolic due to the growing interest in our history. In this case, whiskey is again cut as short as possible, the hair at the top of the head is usually raised, and the shape of the whiskers, mustache and beard is selected individually. Such a hairstyle will not make a young man older, but will give his image a certain zest.

With bald spots on the vertex, you can fight by changing the slope of the hair. On the sides of the head should be a short haircut and natural styling, but the upper hair a little longer can be slightly combed sideways or in advance, without pressing against the head (smooth styling only exacerbates the contrast). If the length of hair on the top of the head is more than 3-4 cm to mask, the problem will become more difficult.

For older people, a styling option is suitable, in which the whiskeys are cut short, and the length of the hair on the vertex is slightly larger, while they are combed into a neat hedgehog. Actual will be a conical haircut, in which the density of hair in the lateral and occipital parts is gradually reduced, without touching the hair in the frontal and parietal areas of the head. They can be combed back or on one side.

The fascination with Ukrainian style in hairstyles will benefit men with bald head, which the high forehead line only colors. They do not need to mask the bald patches of their temples, but rather emphasize them. In this case, the hair on the lateral surfaces of the head is cut almost completely, and on the fronto-parietal part the hairdress can remain quite lush, combed back. A special charm to this hairstyle will add additional elements - a rather magnificent beard and mustache.

You can modernize this hairstyle and make it a trend of the season. To do this, we reduce the splendor of the beard and mustache, leave a fairly wide strip connecting the beard and whiskey, and the hair on the temples will make a length of about 1-2 cm. On the top of the head, you can leave the hair of medium length and carelessly comb them back and to one side, leaving a small parting.

Fans of hippie style and fans of a thick beard and mustache can be advised to slightly modify the above described options, removing the strip connecting the temples and beard, but leaving the head at the top of the forehead and up to the top of the hair is long (about 20 cm or more) that will serve as a bang and should be combed sideways.

Young people, whose activities do not require strict elements in the hairstyle, can be advised to try a texture haircut, which should be done by a professional. Hair of different lengths, combed carelessly will not look sloppy, if they are engaged in a professional. On the contrary, such a hairstyle will give some kind of brutality to a man's face.

As an option during the treatment of alopecia (and after all the process of hair restoration is quite long), one can resort to other variants of camouflage:

  • With the thinning of the hair on the head, you can use a special masking powder, the use of which visually makes the hair more dense.
  • With the permission of the doctor, you can try to dye your hair in a lighter shade, because on light hair, the bald areas are less noticeable.
  • Help to mask bald spots on the head and correctly selected headgear (caps, hats, baseball caps, now fashionable national attributes), corresponding to the image of a man.

Hair loss in men is a situation that can be treated differently. And it is not necessary to make a problem out of androgenic alopecia. Thinking creatively, you can treat alopecia as an excuse to work on your image, starting with a hairdo. Sometimes such experiments are not only encouraging, but they also give the man confidence, so that baldness becomes a new, more productive stage in his life. And then the man himself decides whether to stop the process of hair loss or leave it as it is, if a short haircut makes it more attractive.

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