Home > Men's Problems > Baldness: What Can I Do About It?

Baldness: What Can I Do About It?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 14 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Baldness Male Pattern Baldness Hair Loss

Male pattern baldness is a form of hair loss that affects the majority of men at some point in their lives. A receding hairline or thinning hair is often the start of male pattern baldness, and baldness can affect up to 25% of men in their 20s, almost 50% of men in their 50s and almost all men by their 60s. Baldness occurs when hair follicles shrink and hair re-grows thinner and thinner until eventually hair stops growing in the affected follicles. The good news is that there are a variety of medical, surgical and alternative treatment options for baldness and wigs always remain a possibility for hiding baldness as well.

Medical Options for Treating Baldness

There are two well-recognised medical options for treating baldness. Finasteride, trade name Propecia, is a prescription medication which comes in tablet form and works by blocking the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. This conversion means that testosterone does not affect hair follicles and they are able to return to a normal size. In about 66% of men who take finasteride hair will regrow in the follicles, and the other 33% or so will have no hair regrowth but will not experience any further hair loss. Only about 1% of men will experience no noticeable effect. The second medical option is minoxidil lotion, trade name Regaine, which is available over the counter and is not as well understood. About 15% of men who use minoxidil lotion experience hair regrowth and another 50% experience no further hair loss. This lotion is rubbed onto the scalp daily and it may take up to four months for any results to show. Neither option is typically available on the NHS.

Surgical Options for Treating Baldness

Hair transplants and scalp flaps are probably the two best known surgical options for treating baldness. There are a variety of hair transplant procedures including follicular unit micrografting, megasession follicular unit micrografting and follicular unit extraction. These procedures all involve taking healthy hair from another area of the scalp (the donor site) and placed in the balding area of the scalp. The hair is implanted via tiny slits, and what is inserted into these slits is referred to as grafts. A hair transplant usually takes a few sessions to complete. Scalp flap surgery involves transplanting healthy scalp and hair from a donor site to the balding area of the scalp. Generally this procedure is best for those who have complete balding at the front of the scalp. Neither of these options are typically available on the NHS.

Alternative Options for Treating Baldness

Myriad alternative options for stimulating hair and treating baldness are available to consumers today but it is very hard to regulate such products and determine if they actually do what they promise. Vitamins, herbs and shampoos are the most common forms for such alternative treatments. Anyone interested in using these products should check with their GP prior to doing so. These options are not available on the NHS.

Wigs for Hiding Baldness

Wigs always remain an option for men experiencing baldness, however poorly made wigs are often more noticeable and can be more embarrassing than the area of baldness the man is attempting to cover up. Types of wigs for men such as toupees or hair pieces are available via various online retailers, though purchasing such a product from a trained wig maker who can do a professional fitting and offer advice from experience is always optimal. Wigs can be made from a variety of fibres including human hair and need regular cleaning and upkeep. Wigs are not usually available on the NHS.

Though it affects the majority of men at some point, many men remain highly embarrassed by baldness. Today there are a variety of medical, surgical and alternative treatment options for baldness and hiding baldness with a wig always remains a possibility.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Jojo
    Re: Verrucas
    I'm 13 in about 6 days I've had verrucas since I was 8-9, it's so embarrassing because I have to get changed in a group for PE I have one on the outside of…
    12 June 2019
  • Anto
    Re: Hairy Toes & Feet
    So funny how bigots of both signs say the opposite, that the shaved man aesthetics is influenced by gays, now some gay people say it's…
    26 May 2019
  • brinn
    Re: Inverted Nipples
    Hi im 13 and yesterday i realised i have inverted nipples but i had a surgery near my heart when i was four months old and i just want to not have…
    26 October 2018
  • Logan
    Re: Adult Bed Wetting
    i have been a bedwetter for so long now i am used to it and sleep in a single bed next to my wife
    29 September 2018
  • Kells
    Re: Adult Bed Wetting
    Hi im 52 the last 6 months ive started to.wet the bed. It can happen 2 or more times a week . I went to bed at 2am i woke up at 5am needing to…
    25 September 2018
  • Serena
    Re: Unsightly Warts on the Face and Neck
    Ihello I have face warts many years and Neck ,pls help
    20 September 2018
  • Storm
    Re: Adult Bed Wetting
    i was a bedwetter as a child until 15 due to molestation a few times growing up.. then went in hospital age 18 and wet the bed whilst staying…
    9 September 2018
  • EmbarrassingIssues
    Re: Inverted Nipples
    Blb - Your Question:Hi I’ve recently had my baby and ever since Then I have one inverted nipple not breastfed should I be concerned?
    14 August 2018
  • Blb
    Re: Inverted Nipples
    Hi I’ve recently had my baby and ever since Then I have one inverted nipple not breastfed should I be concerned?
    14 August 2018
  • Maddie
    Re: Adult Bed Wetting
    I am in my sixtys and have wet the bed off and on for the last 18 yrs it started when I started going through the menopause I suffered from…
    1 August 2018