Think male pattern baldness and odds are your immediate association is a chrome-domed, pot-bellied cop or an oppressive, cue-ball-topped businessman in a suit. But life isn’t a movie and in spite of stereotypes, hair loss can strike in anyone at any time. In fact, an increasing number of younger men are seeing early signs of hair loss, but more are also realising that there are ways to successfully control balding. Propecia is a familiar name in the world of male hair loss but there’s still a lot of hesitation regarding its side effects, particularly among younger men.
It’s one thing to go bald but the thought of impotence is an entirely different ball game. Being bald isn’t such a bad thing; surely if one Vin Diesel can be seen as a sex symbol then any man with a bit of hair loss is in with a running chance – provided he’s built like a Mack truck and can drive one off a cliff and over a three mile canyon. But how sure of himself would he be if even he was otherwise incapable?
Hair loss is not the end of the world – apart from altering one’s physical appearance, you’re in no danger of infection, premature death or any other side effect. Men have been balding since the beginning of time, but for just as long they’ve also been trying to stop their hair falling out. And with so much demand to find a cure, it’s no wonder there are so many hair loss products, treatments and remedies available today. But aside from castration, Propecia is widely regarded as the most effective treatment for male hair loss.
Propecia is a tablet that prevents hair loss in men by inhibiting the formation of DHT (dihydrotestosterone). It doesn’t affect testosterone levels but because DHT is a converted form of testosterone, a lot of men think it must still somehow be a useful hormone. DHT is essential for setting out male characteristics during the development of the male foetus and throughout puberty, but as an adult, the only thing DHT is believed to contribute to is prostate enlargement and acne. As a matter of fact, the active product found in Propecia – finasteride – was first used 20 years ago in much larger doses (5mg compared to 1mg) to treat benign prostate hyperplasia, and it is still today one of the treatments for this condition.
The most effective solution for the balding process is but at the fingertips of men, but so many are hesitant to even try it because of its noted side effects. Men are already feeling slightly vulnerable at the recession of their hairlines and particularly for young men in their prime, decreased sex drive, less semen production and difficulty in getting an erection are side effects they wouldn’t risk going near with a ten foot pole. Most men would happily sacrifice their locks if it meant they could keep their sexual dignity, but the thing these guys probably don’t know is that they’ve got more chance of ending up with a swollen pancreas on paracetamol or bleeding intestines from ibuprofen than any of the side effects of Propecia.
Less than 2% of men who take Propecia experience any side effects and unlike the more physically harmful ones just mentioned, they will soon disperse once a person stops using the medication. A lot of men would agree that if baldness is a major concern it’s worth taking the risk because Propecia doesn’t stay in the system for long. It is metabolised in the liver and has a six to eight hour half life which means for each 1mg tablet taken, 0.5mg will still be in the body six to eight hours later and 0.25mg another six to eight hours after that. It should be out of the system in a week and any side effects experienced should then stop. Although if you want the best of both worlds, it may be worth sticking to Propecia. The majority of those who do experience side effects see a gradual cessation within a couple of months of continued use.
There may be nothing more natural than going bald but it doesn’t mean we have to like it. Men who are concerned should speak to a hair loss specialist about what method of retention would be best for them – because we’re all different. Some might not mind the idea of acupuncture for hair loss while others would prefer scalp reduction surgery. As far as Propecia goes, it’s possibly the most magical pill you’ll ever take so just be open to the idea if it’s suggested.
To book a consultation with a hair loss specialist, contact the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 or send an email. If you can’t make it into the centre or would like fast and convenient access to advice and treatment, fill in the online diagnostic form and a Belgravia treatment advisor will contact you shortly with the results.