As we age, it becomes statistically more likely that we will experience hair loss. From a 40% chance at age 35, this gradually increases up to an 80% chance at age 85. It could therefore seem logical that sensitivity to DHT, the androgen hormone that causes male pattern hair loss by shrinking hair follicles atop the head, increases with age, but is this the case?
First off, it's true that there is an association with male hormone testosterone (T), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and male pattern hair loss (also known as androgenetic alopecia). This fact is easily proven by looking at people born without the enzyme (5 alpha reductase) that converts T into DHT: these men never develop pattern baldness.
It's also true that when one of a pair of identical twins is castrated before puberty, that twin never experiences genetic hair loss, whereas the other twin does. On a clinical level, there have been many studies that have proven the efficacy of DHT blocker (and hair loss medication) finasteride 1mg, which reduces the amount of DHT produced by the body.
Of course, in men with pattern hair loss, it is impossible to predict at what point the hair loss will onset, how rapid it will be, and other variable factors, even when comparing close family. It's therefore important to remember that sensitivity to DHT is just one genetic trait that seems to make a person's cells more responsive to their own hormones.
The consequence of this discovery is that two people of the same age can have the same levels of a hormone in their system, but their bodies' responses to the hormone can be very different. Studies have indicated response to an anti androgen therapy, such as finasteride 1mg as a treatment for male pattern hair loss, is greater among patients who are more androgen sensitive.
So, finasteride 1mg is a clinically-proven way in which to combat the effects of DHT on male pattern baldness. However, older men are not necessarily more sensitive to DHT nor to finasteride 1mg; it's more likely that older men have been experiencing thinning hair for a longer time than their younger counterparts, hence why they have more hair loss overall.
On the other hand, it's true that there does not seem to be a great deal of protection against hair loss as men age and testosterone levels fall. Low T levels may be due to an undiscovered genetic clock, but also because the androgen cells are able to produce the hormone inside themselves, even when the ‘endocrine’ hormones, those produced by the testes and adrenal gland, diminish. As long as the cell can produce DHT, and among those more sensitive to it and genetically predisposed, thinning will likely progress in the absence of a hair loss treatment plan.
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.
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