Hair loss is a natural by-product of the dust and pollutants faced every day, added to the stress of maintaining hectic schedules and aging. Everyone loses hair – up to 100 strands a day is the estimate that doctors put on it. However, if you have previously had a full head of hair and you suddenly begin to notice that it’s thinning drastically, getting weaker and losing its strength and texture, it’s time to do something about it.
Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) is one of the commonest conditions to affect men once they are past their teenage years. A large number of men experience complete hair loss, while others lose hair in a few characteristic patterns. MPB is almost always genetic in origin, especially if you have a close relative who shares the condition. Studies show that the gene affects the sensitivity of hair follicles to a hormone called DHT. This hormone causes shrinkage and eventual death of hair follicles.
Staying aware of the typical symptoms and treatments of MPB can help those affected to take preventive measures and explore new ideas in research treatments. It’s important to also be aware of the many myths and misconceptions that surround this condition. These can prevent you from accessing the right treatment and they also result in the wastage of time, effort and money, leading to disappointment and frustration.
MPB is inherited from the mother’s side
Though there’s some truth to this misconception, it’s not the whole story. Male babies inherit the X chromosome from their mothers and the androgen receptor gene is indeed located on this chromosome. However, doctors say it’s not that simple. MPB can be inherited just as well from either side of the family.
High testosterone levels cause MPB
The two don’t necessarily go together and there are enough cases where men with normal or even low testosterone have the condition. Hair loss is linked to sensitivity to DHT, a converted form of testosterone.
MPB is inevitable once you cross 50
There is no age for MPB to start. Some men may begin losing hair by their late 20s, while others experience it at a later age. This is based on their genetic make-up.
Stress, styling, over-exposure to direct sunlight, harsh cleansing products are responsible for MPB While these are certainly some of the factors that can cause hair-loss, MPB cannot be linked to them. You can protect whatever hair you have left by being more gentle with it.
Once you discover the “baldness gene” you’ve got the cause for MBP
MPB isn’t caused by a single gene. While the androgen receptor gene does play a major role, scientists have identified at least 200 different genetic predictors of the condition. Added to this, people with these genes don’t necessarily develop MBP. There are multiple factors at play here and as of now, no known sure-fire cause-effect equation has been discovered.
It’s a men-only condition
Because testosterone plays a significant part in developing MPB, women with higher levels of the hormone can also develop it in certain cases.
Steroids are the answer
Consuming steroids cannot reverse the problem as MPB is usually permanent. This misconception can lead to patients suffering from side-effects and other problems if they take steroids continuously.