A leading Washington DC cosmetic dermatologist has revealed that when men come to him to freshen up their appearance, their number one concern is nearly always hair loss.
Talking to the refinery29.com website, Dr Terrence Keaney says that around 60 to 70 per cent of his clients are male (it is a sector he specifically markets to) and a “decent amount” of these are politicians. When they come in to see him, he says, they tend to tell him who they don’t want to look like as opposed to who they would like to resemble, and their concerns, he says, usually begin with their hair.
Despite Male Pattern Baldness often being tarred as a ‘sign of ageing’, it can actually start in genetically predisposed men any time following puberty.
Hair loss can age a man
Most men categorically do not want to lose their hair – and perhaps with good reason: researchers in Germany found that men who feel youthful are more successful than those who don’t. Another study found that visible signs of hair loss adds up to eight years to a man’s perceived age. Greying hair adds up to seven years, while being heavily unshaven can add up to three.
Male pattern baldness is an hereditary hair loss condition, which can be inherited from either side of the family though recent research suggests this is most likely to be passed on through the father’s side of the family. Because of this, an emotional link often exists between hairloss and ageing, because a man remembers his own father losing his hair. In turn, this can lead to the feeling that a man is effectively turning into his own dad – someone they have witnessed growing old before their very eyes.
“Men think about ageing differently and have different concerns,” says Dr Keaney. “There are three major areas they tend to focus on when they look in the mirror. Hair loss and hair thinning is, by far, the biggest concern. It’s the number one thing that ages a man.”
He adds: “Men care about their appearance – just look at luxury fashion or skincare sales – but have been largely ignored in the dermatology field, so they think that treatments aren’t for them.”
While this statement may be true when it comes to the likes of facial fillers like Botox, it is less so when it comes to hair loss treatment, a field in which men are well-served in relation to effective treatments for the genetic condition Male Pattern Baldness.
Regrowing hair and preventing baldness
Most men associate genetic hairloss with the ageing process – even though thinning can begin at any time post-puberty if a man has a predisposed sensitivity to a testosterone by-product named DHT (dihydrotestosterone). DHT latches on to sensitive follicles situated around the top of the scalp and hairline, causing them to produce weaker, thinner hair over time, ultimately leading to hair loss. Because of this ingrained fear of hair thinning, male pattern baldness is often tackled as soon as evidence of it is spotted, often through following a recommended hair loss treatment course.
Hair specialists are often asked if it is possible to start a treatment course before they start losing their hair in order to prevent hair loss from affecting them. The answer to this is, no – the simple reason being, you may not have the genetic makeup for male pattern baldness! This type of hereditary shedding can even skip generations if it does run in the family, so following an unnecessary treatment regime ‘just in case’ is not advised. Should any signs of thinning or a receding hairline start to become noticeable, however, at that point a professional diagnosis should be sought and – where appropriate – personalised treatment recommendations can be made at that point.
There are currently two clinically-proven, MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved hair loss treatments for male pattern baldness; one comes in tablet form (finasteride 1mg) and inhibits DHT production, the other, which complements this, is a topical vasodilator named high strength minoxidil. Applied directly to the scalp where it is needed, this solution comes in a number of formulations, all of which are understood to open up potassium channels in the scalp and encourage hair growth.
These treatments can be used on their own, individually, or alongside each other as long as the person using them is deemed suitable. They can also be used in tandem with additional hair growth supporting products.
This type of approach is often recommended to men who want to regrow hair who are thinning or receding but are not already bald, and as a way to manage this permanent hair loss condition through on-going use, with the goal of helping them to prevent baldness discreetly.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies 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 Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.