Hair loss is not something usually for one to worry about, however, it can be upsetting for some. At times, hair loss can be only temporary and can be caused by an illness, genetics, stress, weight loss or an iron deficiency. In others, hair loss is a normal part of getting older but what can be done to help halt the process? Dr Earim Chaudry spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to discuss all things hair-related and what are some of the best supplements one can take to help with hair loss.
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Dr Chaudry said: “Approximately 30 percent of men by the age of 30 and 70 percent by the age of 70 are affected by Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) but it can appear as early as teenage years, particularly if there is a strong family history of early baldness.
“First, a little background on male pattern baldness and how it happens.
“Androgen hormones ‘communicate’ to hair follicles through specific androgen receptors located at the root of the hair follicle. Interestingly, these receptors are only present on hair follicles located at the front and crown of the scalp.
“They are not present on the back and sides – which is why these areas are not normally affected by the process of MPB.
“Genetic factors determine how active these receptors are and therefore how sensitive the hair follicles are to the effect of androgens. The gene that codes for the androgen receptor (AR) has been confirmed to play a role in MPB.
“The androgen receptor (AR) gene is located on the X chromosome, which in men is inherited from the mother.
“This explains the common belief that MPB is inherited from the maternal side of the family. New research supports that there are far more genetic factors, which can come from one or both parents that contribute to the overall risk of MPB.
“Equally, early-onset MPB has been independently linked to metabolic syndrome and other risk factors for heart disease.”
When asked what happens during the hair loss process, Dr Chaudry replied: “MPB is the most common form of hair loss, caused by your genetics primarily.
“It accounts for 95 percent of male hair loss and is treatable. In MPB hair follicles gradually shrink, your hair becomes thinner and sheds more quickly.
“At the hair follicle, there is an enzyme called 5-alpha-reductase (5AR) which changes testosterone into DHT (a more potent hormone). Hair follicles susceptible to MPB are more sensitive to DHT, and it causes them to shrink.
“The hair at the back of the head is more resistant to the effects of DHT and because of receding hairlines and the crown usually are the areas of MPB.”
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When it comes to the best supplements one can take to help with hair loss, Dr Chaudry recommends: “Part of the B family, biotin is one of several vitamins that convert nutrients from food into energy.
“It plays an important role in the healthiness of your hair, as well as your skin and nails, and is one of the only natural remedies for hair loss that is backed by science.
“Biotin deficiency is extremely rare, so the chances are it will not be the root cause of your hair.
“However, some studies have shown that taking biotin helps speed up and increase the rate of hair growth in certain individuals.”
Other treatment options are available such as PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injections and low-level laser treatment (LLLT) have worked for some people but do not have clear evidence to show their effectiveness.
“Hair transplants have shown rapid improvement over the last few years, but they can be expensive and success rates vary greatly,” said the expert.
“Also, usually even after your hair transplant, your surgeon will recommend prescription medication such as finasteride and minoxidil to ensure you keep the hair that is still there.
“Hair pigmentation treatments and hair fibres are other possible treatments/applications to disguise your hair loss, although they don’t actually prevent the hair loss itself, they can really improve your look.
“There is no clinical evidence to suggest that herbal pills help with male pattern baldness.”
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