Posts tagged Hair Loss

Male pattern baldness: getting to the root of the problem

Posted 3 October 2018 in Hair Loss, Men's Health

A man examines his receding hairline. Source: medicalimages.comMale pattern baldness, sometimes called genetic hair loss or alopecia androgenetica, affects or will affect as many as two thirds of all men at some point in their lifetime. For many, it is a source of embarrassment and upset and may even contribute to depression in some cases, as hair is often considered to be an important part of our identity, one of many ways in which we can express ourselves. (1)

What is male pattern baldness?

Male pattern baldness is the most commonly occurring type of hair loss in men. The first sign is often a bald spot forming on top of the scalp, with thinning of the hair at the temples (sides of the head). Usually a receding hairline will develop. It can sometimes result in complete baldness of the scalp, though this happens rarely, and if it does happen, it’s very gradually. The condition may occur in men of any age, but symptoms most commonly begin to appear in men in their thirties. (1)

Why does male pattern baldness happen?

Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition, meaning it runs in families. It’s commonly believed that the gene responsible is passed from mother to son, but it has been found that genes from either or both parents can contribute to male pattern baldness. (2)

It is believed that the genes involved code for hair follicles (the ‘roots’ from which individual hairs grow on the scalp) that are more sensitive to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, which causes follicles to shrink and eventually stop working altogether. This translates to hairs becoming thinner and shorter until they are no longer produced. (2)

Can male pattern baldness be cured?

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for male pattern baldness. Thankfully, the progression of the condition can be slowed or stopped with the right treatment. A surgery known as a hair transplant can also be performed for more instant results, but this will still need aftercare with the right treatment. (1)

What treatment is available from Webmed Pharmacy for male pattern baldness?

Finasteride is an oral drug used to treat male pattern baldness. It works by lowering dihydrotestosterone levels, helping to slow the shrinkage of hair follicles, therefore promoting hair growth. It may take as long as six months for effects to show. If used after a hair transplant, it can help to maintain the hair. Finasteride needs to be taken daily long-term, otherwise the effects will be lost. It is available to purchase from Webmed Pharmacy as the branded product, Propecia, or the generic, Aindeem (Finasteride). Both the branded and generic products work in exactly the same way as they both have finasteride as the active ingredient at the same strength. The only difference is that the generic is considerably cheaper.

There will soon be a range of topical products available to purchase from Webmed Pharmacy which can be used alongside finasteride to optimise the effects. These products are recommended by Dr Mabroor Bhatty, one of the top surgeons in the field of hair transplant and cosmetics in the UK.

The first of these products is Tony Maleedy Juniper Scalp Therapy Shampoo. Composed of essential oils and moisture-binding compounds of natural origin, it works by deeply cleansing the scalp to remove scale (dead skin and oils); reducing the levels of a fungus which can live on the scalp and cause a number of irritating and uncomfortable conditions such as dandruff, spots and flaking of the scalp; and slowing down the life cycle of skin cells on the scalp, which reduces further build-up of scale. All of this promotes optimum health of the scalp and can strengthen hair follicles, reducing hair loss.

This shampoo should be used at least twice weekly to tackle hair loss, but ideally daily for six months, after which frequency can be reduced.

The next product is Tony Maleedy Juniper Scalp Therapy Conditioner, which can be used alone or alongside the shampoo. Containing four plant-derived organic oils and amino acids, it works by sealing moisture into the hair, preventing breakage and strengthening the hair. This in turn helps to protect against hair loss.

According to Dr Bhatty, Tony Maleedy products can be used both before a hair transplant to prepare the scalp, and afterwards to calm the scalp and promote the health of the scalp and hair.

The final products are Regaine for Men Extra Strength Foam and Solution. The active ingredient in Regaine is minoxidil 5%, and it works by improving blood flow to the scalp, which reinvigorates hair follicles, even reversing the shrinkage in some cases. This will result in thicker, longer, stronger hair growing from the follicles.

Regaine should be massaged into the scalp twice daily, preferably every twelve hours. The hair and scalp must be completely dry before application. It usually takes two to four months to take effect.

All of these products can be used alongside one another to combat hair loss and will be available to buy from Webmed Pharmacy as part of an online Hair Loss Clinic, with discounts applied when multiple products are purchased at the same time, or when longer ‘courses’ of treatment are purchased. Watch this space to make sure you know when Webmed’s Hair Loss Clinic gets up and running!

Author: Gabby Gallagher MPharm

Medically reviewed by: Superintendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 03/10/18

References

  1. Men’s Health Forum. Hair loss FAQs [cited 20 September 2018]. Available at: https://www.menshealthforum.org.uk/hair-loss-faqs

  2. Alopecia UK. Types of Alopecia [cited 20 September 2018]. Available at: https://www.alopecia.org.uk/Pages/FAQs/Category/types-of-alopecia

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow - The distressing condition of men's hair loss and the latest remedies

Posted 14 October 2015 in Hair Loss, Men's Health

HAIR TODAY; GONE TOMORROW. I wanna look like that - Hair Loss Finasteride Aindeen Propecia
The distressing condition of men’s hair loss and the latest remedies

There are different types of hair loss or alopecia but androgenic alopecia, commonly known as male-pattern baldness accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men. It’s a genetic hair loss condition and usually begins with a receding hairline followed by thinning of the hair on the crown and temples to form a horseshoe shape.

Alopecia may not be life threatening but it can be very distressing to those affected. People who haven’t experienced it may be inclined to see it as a purely cosmetic issue but for many sufferers it destroys their confidence which can lead to depression and create terrible stress.

About half of all men will be affected by male pattern baldness at some point in their lives.

Another type of alopecia that has become more prevalent recently is traction alopecia. It is caused by excessive pulling or tension on hair shafts as a result of certain types of hairstyle. It used to be seen more often in women, particularly those of East Indian and Afro-Caribbean origin, due to braiding their hair. However, there is a popular hairstyle for men that is trending at the moment , the “man-bun” or “top-knot”,  sported by celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Jared Leto and Harry Styles. Here the hair is tightly scraped back and if you wear it like that all day, every day then it puts long term stress on the hair, pulling the follicle and damaging the root, pulling it out. It's just like plucking an eyebrow hair where if you keep plucking it, it won't grow back. 

Another at-risk group is men who suffer baldness on the top of the head and so they pull the remainder back into a ponytail. This again causes tension on the root leading to even more hair loss.

Furthermore, Sikh men who tie their hair up tightly under their turban may cause traction alopecia.

However, the good news is that traction alopecia is relatively rare, even for men who regularly sport man buns. Therefore, I suggest that those who want to have a bun hairstyle, should style their hair into a looser bun. Also, it’s best to use a soft, snag-free elastic which is kinder to your hair, like a scrunchie.

The latest research into hair loss treatments involves hair cell cloning. The technique takes small amounts of a person's remaining hair cells, multiplying them, and injecting them into bald areas. Cloning is intended to treat both male- and female-pattern baldness. However, the science behind the technique is new and more trials are needed before it can be fully assessed.

Another potential treatment for male pattern baldness is a pioneering technique involving wound healing. The process involves creating a very minor “wound” on the scalp that subsequently allows the formation of new hair follicles.

However, at the moment, the two main treatments available for male-pattern baldness are minoxidil and finasteride.

Minoxidil is available over the counter from pharmacies without a prescription. It takes the form of a foam or solution that can be rubbed into the scalp on a daily basis. It comes in two strengths containing 5% or 2% of minoxidil. Women are recommended only to use the 2% solution and the evidence is mixed as to whether men benefit from using the higher strength. However, side-effects are more likely with the higher strength which involves scalp itchiness or dryness. Also, the treatment seems to be more effective for female pattern baldness. It takes a few months for signs of regrowth to appear  and the situation will revert back to the start if treatment is stopped.

Finasteride is a daily tablet treatment for only men with male pattern baldness. It prevents testosterone  from being converted to dihydrotestosterone(DHT). DHT is responsible for shrinking the hair follicles and therefore they return to their normal size, allowing natural re-growth. About  90% of men see either increased hair growth or prevention of further hair loss. It usually takes between 3-6 months before any effect is seen and hair loss will start again within a year if treatment is stopped.

At WebMed Pharmacy we can supply finasteride treatment, after completing a short medical questionnaire that our doctor will review and it will be discreetly delivered the next day, in a 1 hour time slot , by dpd .

Medically reviewed by: Super intendent pharmacist Margaret Hudson BSc(Hons)MRPharmS 14/10/15

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