Famously floppy-haired actor and prankster, Ashton Kutcher has revealed he is losing his hair.
During a TV chat show appearance in the USA, host Conan O'Brien complimented Kutcher's "good hair"; the 40 year old then pulled back his long fringe to reveal a receding hairline to audible gasps from the audience.
He went on to speak openly about his hair loss, which started when he was 25, proving that appearances can indeed be deceptive.
Ashton Kutcher said he started using a DHT-blocking drug to treat his Male Pattern Baldness. However, the type he mentions taking - Avodart, a brand name for the generic drug dutasteride - is actually an enlarged prostate medication which is not approved for use as a male hair loss treatment in the USA, nor is it available for this use in the UK due to its lack of MHRA license. In fact, the only areas where it is presently possible to legally obtain the drug for this specific purpose are Japan and South Korea.
"When I was like 25 I noticed it was starting to go so I went and met the hair guy doctor and he put me on this medication called Avodart," Kutcher told Conan, before correctly stating that it was similar to finasteride 1mg. This is the only clinically-proven, oral treatment for Male Pattern Baldness that is both MHRA licensed and FDA-approved, and works by blocking dihydrotestosterone (DHT), the hormone derivative which causes receding and thinning hair in cases of genetic hairloss. This is a testosterone by-product which is crucial during puberty and plays an important role in the development of sexual characteristics, but is futile after this time.
"So, your body produces testosterone - the by-product of testosterone actually causes follicles to get weaker and fall out, and you take this stuff and it washes away the by-product of testosterone... so I've been holding on to the hair pretty good," explains Kutcher. Adding, "...when we decided we [Kutcher and wife Mila Kunis] were going to have children, I didn't know was it OK, was it safe to take? So I stopped taking the stuff about three years ago so now I'm experiencing the hair loss."
As Male Pattern Baldness is a permanent genetic condition with no cure currently available, the only effective way to manage this type of hair thinning that is upheld by the necessary medical regulatory bodies, is through the on-going use of MHRA and FDA licensed and approved, topical and oral hair loss treatments. If someone using treatment stops, the effects of DHT will resume and their shedding will start again, generally within around three to twelve months.
Kutcher is correct in his assumption regarding hair loss treatment use whilst trying to conceive; it is widely advised that men stop using oral hair loss medication at least one week before they start trying for a child.
They can still use topical treatments during conception and pregnancy, but should only resume their tablet use once the baby has been born. Additionally, if they are having intercourse with the mother during the period when she is breastfeeding, barrier contraceptives should be used as a further precaution.
Using topical applications of appropriate high strength minoxidil formulations can actually be particularly useful when treating stubborn areas of hair loss, such as the receding hairline Kutcher has developed.
Conan O'Brien pontificated that, based on Kutcher's explanation, the less testosterone you have, the more hair you should have. Whilst both admitted to not being scientists, the testosterone level theory does seem a logical conclusion, however, it is not in fact the case. Genetic hair loss is less about how much testosterone is present and more about how sensitive an individual is to it.
Joking about going bald, Ashton Kutcher said, "I'm a baseball cap guy so I think I'll be alright. I've established myself as this baseball cap wearing individual... when it does go, you're not going to know that it's gone because I'm just going to have the ball cap on."
For those wanting alternative hair loss solutions to wearing a baseball cap - especially those who worry about not suiting a cap, their ears being too prominent, or whose job doesn't permit such attire - there are clinically-proven options available for preventing baldness.
In addition to the well-established topical and oral treatments MHRA licensed and FDA approved hair loss treatments, supplementary hair growth supporting products can be used.
These range from low-level laser therapy devices which are used at home a few times each week for a few minutes per session in order to stimulate the hair follicles, to highly-targeted food supplements, such as Hair Vitalics for Men which contains a considered combination of key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botanical extracts including biotin, selenium and zinc for the maintenance of normal healthy hair growth.
For some men who are worried that their hair is starting to thin, or their temples are receding, it can be helpful to speak to a specialist in order to get a professional diagnosis and advice. Furthermore, the earlier treatment is started, the better the response is likely to be, so finding out about potential options and receiving bespoke recommendations via a consultation can be a great way to start - especially if you're not keen on being a 'baseball cap guy'.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.