Baldness among men at a young age is common these days. So much so that even you may be wondering why majority of men lose hair at such a rate. Here are 2 most commonly recognized allopathic treatment options for individuals suffering from hair loss or hair fall:

Male pattern hair loss, also known as Androgenic Alopecia is a genetically inherited disorder. This means that if your father or grandfather ever faced hair loss issues, there are more chances of you experiencing the same.

The most important chemical or hormone implicated in male pattern hair loss is Dihydrotestosterone or DHT. This hormone is an active form of testosterone. Testosterone is converted into dihydrotestosterone with the help of enzyme 5-alpha reductase. It has been found that DHT not only has deleterious effects on prostate in old age, but also causes thinning of hair and consequent hair loss.

Although Androgenic Alopecia cannot be cured, some treatment options to slow it down do exist.

Androgenic alopecia

Finasteride is one such drug which helps to cope with hair loss by acting as a DHT blocker and working to inhibit the 5-alpha reductase enzyme. Hence, prohibiting the formation of DHT. Although Finasteride has shown positive results in the past, there can be unfavorable side effects linked with it as well. Men may experience a loss in sexual desire or libido and in some cases, even erectile dysfunction.

Another allopathic option available is Minoxidil, whose story is quite intriguing. Earlier, this drug was used to reduce blood pressure among patients with severe hypertension. However, many patients who consumed its oral formulation, began complaining about hair growth on their face and other body parts. This is how the side effect of Minoxidil was taken into account and a topical preparation was created to mange hair loss. In order to fully understand how Minoxidil works and promotes hair growth, you need to know how your hair cycle works.

Hair goes through three phases:-

  1. Anagen phase: the growth phase during which hair follicles grow in size.
  2. Catagen phase: the transition phase in which blood supply to the follicle is reduced and hair roots come closer to the scalp.
  3. Telogen phase: the phase in which hair follicles become deprived of their essential blood supply and hence, shed over time.

Minoxidil has three mechanisms through which it promotes hair growth:

  1. It prolongs the Anagen phase so that more hair follicles are in the growth phase and their follicle size increases.
  2. It shortens the Telogen or shedding phase so that hair follicles can re-enter the Anagen phase over a shorter duration of time.
  3. It is also a potassium channel opener, allowing more essential nutrients to enter hair roots and enhance hair growth.

Minoxidil is available in a 2% and 5% solution as well as in foam form. Research shows that the 2% solution is preferred more by females, while the 5% solution is preferred more by males.

Medically reviewed by Rishabh Verma, RP

Natural, little to no side-effect prone hair health measures also exist. Try India's first Ayurvedic Hair Growth Pack for Men here: