What do Charles Darwin, Michael Jordan, Jeff Bezos, Mahatma Gandhi and many more have in common? They are all bald. Baldness is something which looks like the person they are from inside. As they say, your hair doesn’t appeal to your body but to your personality.
So, if you are cool like Dwayne Johnson, your baldness is as cool as you. Despite being it a mental cap, so many bald people wish they were not bald despite want a perfect hairline. Helsinki in money heist sure is cool for a heist but not for a hair style.
Let’s find out
- What is the hair mechanism?
- Why do some men get baldness?
- What are its early signs?
- How can it be cured?
What is the hair mechanism?
An average scalp contains of 100,000-150,000 hair stands, and two discoveries have been made about this fauna. Firstly, the hair strand is mostly made up of keratin. It is the building block of the strand. The protein leftovers from the dead cells are forced upwards in order to make space for new cells to grow.
Secondly, the roots of the hair from which the strand sprouts are called a hair follicle. This network is formed before we are born, and it grows hair into an everlasting cycle.
This cycle has 3 main stages:
- Anagen: It is the growth phase. It is continuously experienced by 90% of the hair follicles, causing the hair to sprout at the rate of 1cm/month. Anagen can last to 2-7 yrs depending upon the genes.
- Catagen: The skin sends the signals to the follicles to enter this next stage, known as the regressing stage. It causes hair follicles to shrink to a fraction of their original size and lasts for about 2-3 weeks. It cuts the blood supply to the follicles and create a club hair that means it is ready to be shed.
- Telogen: It is the last phase, also known as the resting phase. It lasts about 5-10 weeks and it affects about 5-15%, maybe 20% in some cases, of your hair follicles. During this stage, up to 200 club hairs can be shed in a day which is quite normal. After this entire process, anagen that is the growth stage begins again.
Why do some men get baldness or its early signs?
All heads are not full of hairs. In fact, some of them get complete baldness naturally. It happens in response to bodily changes. Over 95% times, signs of baldness in men can be attributed to male pattern baldness, this is purely inherited.
In this condition, the follicles get sensitive to a by-product of testosterone called DiHydroTestosterone (DHT). This hormone causes shrinkage in these overly sensitive follicles which results in thin wispy hair.
This loss isn’t accomplished suddenly. It happens over the years. Scientists have designed a metric for it called the Norwood scale. It describes the severity of the hair loss.
Firstly, the hair starts receding along the line parallel to forehead and becomes not so parallel. Then hair on the crown begins to thin in a circular pattern. At higher end of this spectrum, these balding areas meet and expand dramatically, eventually leaving the scalp with just a ring of hair on the side temples and the back.
Not only genetics are responsible for baldness. Stress is a major contributing factor to the same. Too much pressure can send shock signals to the follicles and force them into resting phase prematurely. They can also make them sensitive to DHT.
Certain situations paralyze the anagen or the growth phase. It can happen in:
- Some women after childbirth.
- People going through chemotherapy
- Old age, etc.
What are the early signs of baldness?
There are several signs which reflect the signal of a person going into male pattern baldness:
- Firstly, investigate your family tree. You are most likely to get what your folks have.
- Secondly, keep an eye on your pillow and comb. Basically, losing 100-150 strands of hair is very normal and natural. But if you are losing more than that, you might be moving towards male pattern baldness.
- You can compare your current pics with your older pics. They give a lot of reference.
- Take a close look at your temples and hairlines. Also, the crown will slowly start getting more visible.
- Itchy and flaky scalp. If your clean scalp itches much and/or producing abnormal amount of dandruff despite all precautions, it may be a signal of balding.
- Hair growth goes down and down. That means the anagen phase is on its early stages of failure. Hair takes more and more time to grow and produces thinner hair than it was before.
How/Can baldness be cured?
Baldness is something which when once achieved feels something to be permanent. But today in this era of technology, there is pretty much every area of life where in by science and technology we can manoeuvre the barrier and cross over.
Scientist have found a lot of solutions which help in eradicating the problem of baldness. They have discovered that even in some bald heads the follicles are still alive and not sprouting due to several reasons. Some of their cures can be:
- Follicles can be in the resting phase for an abnormal amount of time.
They have created drugs which are successful in shortening the span of resting phase and forcing the follicles to fall into the anagen.
- Several prescribed drugs can control oversensitivity of follicles to DHT.
- Scientists have made drugs to combat male pattern baldness by blocking the conversion of testosterone to DHT.
- Stem cells also play a role in regulating the growth cycle, so scientists are investigating if they can manipulate the activity of these cells to encourage follicles to start producing hair again.
Baldness is a very sensitive subject to the one who is at the edge of it. While some embrace the way they look, others find it hard to accept the reality. There are many artificial ways to install hair follicles in your scalp. These procedures are expensive and surgically processed.
There are some of the early signs of male pattern baldness. Recognising the stage one can move ahead to prevent it from happening or at least delay it by some amount of time using home remedies and proper diet. You can find out does shaving head helps in hair growth.
There are drugs made by scientists which are effective depending upon the condition which one is suitable for. Proper consultation and correct dosage can prevent or even cured male pattern baldness .
Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]
It is a very subjective call but yes there are several ways by which you can stop baldness under some conditions. Provided it is not what you have inherited and also you are not going through any disease, you can alter your diet, inculcate good habits to stop baldness.
There is not much effective natural remedy known yet which can regrow hair.
Hair transplant is an artificial way of installing more follicles to a selective part of your scalp.
It differs in male and female. The male pattern baldness generally starts from receding hairline. Then it starts from the cyclone at the centre of scalp. The sides are the last to fall.
It is mostly unlikely for a young healthy scalp to go naturally bald. If not genetic, then the male pattern baldness starts after the age of 30. Receding hairline can start after 20 years of age.