For men approaching middle age, one of the first signs that age may be catching up with them is a receding hairline. Scientists have begun to use the phrase ‘Andropause’ to describe the decrease in male hormones experienced by most men some time after the age of thirty.
What is the Andropause?
Most people are familiar with the Menopause which is experienced by women as they age and stop menstruating; a condition triggered by a change in hormone levels which have a distinct physiological effect. Long denied by some doctors, as far back as the 1940s similar hormonal changes were noted in men. These also had a considerable effect on a man’s body.
Known as Andropause (or more jokingly ‘Manopause’), the change results in significantly lowered levels of the male sex hormone Testosterone. Testosterone is responsible for male sex drive, facial hair growth and muscle mass among other things, so a reduction in testosterone will affects all these male characteristics. Other side effects include depression, mood swings, insomnia and increased irritability – very similar to those experienced by women going through the menopause.
So I’m in the Andropause: What’s Happening with My Hair?
The drop in testosterone levels causes other hormone levels to fluctuate which can have a negative effect on a man’s hair. Most problematic to the hairline however is another androgenic hormone called Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT for short.
DHT is produced when Testosterone is converted by a reaction with the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. This secondary androgen has the unfortunate side-effect of inhibiting the growth of new hair cells. As old hair falls out (it is quite natural for a healthy man loses between 80 and 100 hairs every day), the inhibitive effect of DHT on new hair growth means that it is not replaced. This then leads to a receding hairline or patches of hair loss, generally at the temples, crown or both.
Known as Androgenic Alopecia, or male pattern balding, hair loss as a result of DHT imbalance is common for men going through the Andropause, but it is also a treatable condition.
Beating the Andropause
Although the Andropause is a hormonal change, several proven treatments exist which can combat the side effects, particularly those related to hair loss. Here at The Belgravia Centre we create customised treatment plans for our clients which make use of medically proven medications to promote hair regrowth.
One of our most successful treatments to prevent the onset of Androgenic Alopecia and reverse its effects is a medication known as Propecia. Taken orally, Propecia actively inhibits the formation of DHT, thereby preventing it from ‘attacking’ a man’s hair follicles and allowing new hair to grow normally.
Propecia has been authorised for treating hair loss in men by both the British (Medicines and Healthcare Product Regulatory Agency) and American (Food and Drug Administration) drug regulators and has been proven to reverse hair loss. Where Andropause related hormone changes and age conspire against a man’s hairline, Propecia provides hope to those affected.
Other Hair Loss Treatments
Depending on the advice of our hair loss experts, patients may be prescribed a variant based around another clinically proven medication called Minoxidil. Designed to increase blood flow to the scalp, and thereby delivery of nutrients critical to healthy hair growth, Minoxidil also has a high degree of success in restoring receding hairlines.
Belgravia’s minoxidil formulations contain additives that help to reduce the amount of the DHT (the hormone derivative that damages hair follicles) and are available in a number of different strengths and forms including Belgravia’s extra-strength minoxidil 10% + azelaic acid cream.
Complementary Hair Loss Treatments
In order to ensure the maximum levels of regrowth, The Belgravia Centre also offer a number of complementary therapies to clients using our treatment plans. One of the most popular additions to our treatment plans is a unique dietary supplement called Hair Vitalics. Using ingredients including Saw Tooth Palmetto, Hair Vitalics contains vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts believed to promote hair growth, improve blood flow and provide all the chemical building blocks required for strong, healthy hair.
Clients may also be offered the FDA-cleared HairMax LaserComb as part of their personalised treatment plans. The LaserComb can be included free with most treatment programmes. This futuristic device emits a low level laser which when passed over the patient’s scalp stimulates a chemical stored in the scalp known as ATP. ATP carries energy between cells in the human body, stimulating growth and making it essential to hair growth. The Laser Comb increases ATP activity, thereby speeding up the hair regrowth.
More on the Manopause
Although medical experts remain divided on whether the Andropause is a genuine medical condition, they all agree that men undergo significant hormonal changes from the age of 40-onwards. These hormonal shifts create physiological and psychological changes with long-lasting, or even permanent effects. Life can become quite complicated and stressful for men experiencing the Andropause, and the sudden loss of hair which often accompanies it can be a further blow to self-confidence.
Through a combination of proven hair loss treatments and the finest personal attention, The Belgravia Centre can help restore hair and confidence. Although we cannot beat all the side effects, or restore a hormonal shift, we can certainly assist with the hair loss side of the Andropause.
To find out more about the hair loss services offered by The Belgravia Centre, contact us to arrange a free, no obligation consultation with one of our hair loss specialists who will then be able to create a personalised treatment plan. And if you are unable to attend our Victoria-based clinic, use the online diagnostic form to find out more about your hair loss situation, its causes and the treatments available. We can send you treatments wherever you are in the world.