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 or androgenic 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 hair loss.
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) Propecia, which reduces the amount of DHT produced by the body.
Is It An Age Thing?
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 Propecia as a treatment for hair loss is greater among patients who are more androgen sensitive.
An Undiscovered Body Clock
So, Propecia is an ideal way in which to combat the effects of DHT. However, older men are not necessarily more sensitive to DHT or to Propecia; it’s more likely that older men have been experiencing hair loss 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, hair loss will likely progress in the absence of a hair loss treatment plan.
The Belgravia Centre—————————————————————————————————–
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. We offer clinically proven treatments for hair loss, as part of comprehensive treatment programmes offered by our hair loss specialists. Our in-house pharmacies produce high-strength medications for hair loss that contain medically proven ingredients and are available at no other clinic worldwide. Treatment programmes are available by visiting the centres or for home-use, anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our hair loss success stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of hair regrowth that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 0800 077 6666 for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.