Baldness is often associated with a mans virility but a thinning pate can also be the butt of many jokes. If you thought a man’s hair loss was related to his testosterone levels, you’d be right. But perhaps not in the way you had assumed.
Some believe testosterone is the primary cause of hair loss, and a few men can handle it by falling back on the belief that it also means they’re more masculine, or that the extra testosterone provides extra ammunition in the bedroom. Now there’s nothing wrong with thinning gracefully, but you may be interested in knowing how testosterone truly relates to baldness so you can understand how hair loss treatments work.
Testosterone itself does not cause hair loss, although it is indirectly one of the main reasons why women don’t have such problems nearly as often as men. It is the transformation of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that can have a negative effect on hair growth, not testosterone itself.
The 5-alpha reductase (5AR) enzyme is responsible for the conversion of testosterone to DHT, which acts to miniaturise the hair follicle by binding to receptor sites at cell level. This in turn shortens the hair lifecycle leading to regular shedding and reproduction of thinner strands. In time, hair growth could cease altogether.
Unfortunately for men, receding hairlines are not necessarily indicative of surging hormones and baldness is not a scientifically recognised sign of virility. Like testosterone, the 5AR enzyme is present in women as well as men and hence DHT, which can lead to thinning hair in both sexes. But men and women with high testosterone levels are not necessarily placed at a higher risk of hair loss. The negative effects of DHT tend to only present in those with a genetic sensitivity to that chemical bi-product.
Genetics and hormones – and indirectly, testosterone – are by no means the only reasons for hair loss in men and women, but they do play a major part in most cases. To find what can be done to prevent and reverse hair loss, contact The Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 or send an email for more information. Alternatively, fill in an online diagnostic form to find out what’s contributing to your hair thinning.