Going bald can be a “very emotionally distressing” experience, says a hair loss specialist at FUE clinics. It is said that about six and a half million men suffer from baldness. Women also suffer from the disease, although it is less common. Some studies have suggested that around 40% of women may develop the condition.
The unfortunate news is that the condition “cannot be prevented” as it is “linked to an individual’s genetics”, says FUE clinic specialist Arron Isherwood.
Androgenetic alopecia is thought to be caused by a by-product of testosterone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) – which is produced in large amounts in men. As men tend to have more testosterone, DHT is more likely to be found in them than in women.
Although the genetics of hair loss are not fully understood at this point, it is believed that baldness is strongly linked to specific genes.
A study of more than 12,000 men of European ancestry found that people with a gene called the AR gene had more than double the risk of developing baldness.
Can baldness at least be slowed down?
It may be unavoidable, but as Isherwood explained, it can be “slowed down” by changes in medication, diet, and lifestyle.
Many scientists agree that the sooner you start this treatment, the better you can counteract worsening baldness.
So what are some of the options for people concerned about androgenic alopecia?
DO NOT MISS
A 2019 study in the Indian Dermatology Online Journal found that vitamin D deficiencies can worsen hair loss over time.
Raw vegetables and fresh herbs – the type of things in a Mediterranean diet – have also been shown to slow the onset of androgenetic alopecia.
A study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research, which concluded that there was a relationship between slowing baldness and this diet, suggests that foods like these should be eaten more than three days a week, suggests the study.
In terms of medications, finasteride and minoxidil are often used to treat baldness.
However, the NHS recognizes that they do not work for everyone and only work as long as they are used and are not available for free with the NHS.
Both have also been shown to have side effects that men may consider serious, such as the inability to get an erection.
The NHS explains: “These side effects usually go away after a while. If these side effects do not go away, cause you concern, or are affecting your sex life, talk to your doctor.