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It is a condition wherein an individual faces severe hair fall from the scalp. The most common cause of baldness is hereditary hair loss due to ageing. People generally consider it as normal and leave it untreated but actually, it can be prevented and treated. It is more prevalent in men than women. Male pattern baldness is also called androgenetic alopecia. It starts from progressive thinning of hair strands and if left untreated it results in baldness. Initially, the hair starts thinning at the temple which is then followed by the hair at the crown. In cases of severe baldness, there appears a horseshoe type of hair in the back and both sides of the head. Most men suffer from hair loss as they start ageing. About 20% of men under 20, and 40% of men above 30, and 50% of men above 40 suffer from baldness.

Causes

A person undergoes severe hair loss if the hair growth cycle is disturbed or if the hair follicle is damaged and patched with the scar tissue. Testosterone is vital for healthy reproductive and sexual function. Testosterone is responsible for the physical changes that occur during male puberty, like penis and testes development, and growth of facial & body hair. An enzyme called DHT is produced from testosterone which enhances the growth of hair follicles People with genetic problems have higher predisposition to suffer from androgenetic alopecia. The hair follicles in these type of men are very sensitive to DHT. Hair thinning then leads to hair miniaturization at a younger age. No other part of the body is affected during the entire balding process.

Risk factors

Various factors that can increase the chances of baldness are: -Hereditary issues -Ageing -Weight loss/gain -Certain Diseases -Stress & anxiety

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Prevention

Baldness is usually caused due to genetical issues and is not preventable. However, if it is due to any other reason, it can be avoided or delayed. The following tips shall help to avoid hair fall or baldness: -Do not make tight pigtails, buns & braids. -Do not pull or twist the hair. -Wash & brush the hair gently with a wide tooth comb. -Do not get any harsh treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons, hot oil treatments and permanents. -Avoid consuming any medications or supplements that can lead to hair loss. -Protect the hair against ultraviolet light. -Avoid smoking

Symptoms

The common symptoms of baldness are: -Gradual thinning of hair on the front and back of the head -Orbicular or uneven bald spots -Sudden hair fall -Alopecia areata -Spots of scaling that spread over the scalp

Treatments

-Lifestyle changes -Hair care -Medications: Minoxidil, topically applied. This drug prevents hair fall by causing increased blood flow and circulation to the hair follicles in the area of hair loss Corticosteroid injections or pills may be advised to alopecia areata to treat extensive hair loss -Hair transplantation In hair transplantation, the hair follicles are transplanted based on their growth factor. Chances of skin infections are very low and also trivial scarring in the donor regions. Other treatment procedures include Cosmetic hair treatment or Hair products.

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