Baldness in men is a very common problem and in fact, one of the most irritating problems faced by all men. But did you know that your hair loss is actually a marker of your general health? There are many factors which lead to hair loss in men. Hair loss is medically termed as alopecia and there are two types of alopecia affecting men. These are: –
- Telogen effluvium where the hair follicles remain dormant and do not grow and thus fall out.
This is most common but less severe in nature.
- Alopecia areata is another kind of baldness where the white blood cells affect the hair follicles and cause them to fall out. This causes thinning of hair and baldness in patches.
Heavy hair loss needs treatment to make the hair grow back again. But to treat the hair loss you need to get to the root of the problem. The causes of hair fall are internal and varied in nature. Some reasons behind hair loss in men are:-
Side effects of medicines
People undergoing some other treatment may have hair loss as a side effect. Medicines like anticoagulants, beta blockers, NSAIDS, antidepressants cause hair to thin out. Cancer affected patients undergoing chemotherapy too suffer hair loss.
When the body is undergoing high stress levels, the adrenal glands produce cortisol in high amounts. This cortisol is responsible for collagen depletion, decreasing of bone density and hair loss.
Hair loss is a marker of thyroid imbalances in men. It occurs when the thyroid gland is not functioning or there are hormonal imbalances. One of the biggest symptoms is change in the hair texture and thinning of hair in men. Some even face stunted growth of facial and body hair.
Often lack of nutrition is responsible for hair loss. If the body is not getting the sufficient amount of minerals, nutrients and vitamins needed by it to maintain proper functioning of all the organs, one of the symptoms of such deficiency is hair loss. Lack of protein, zinc and iron can cause weakness and hair loss in men.
Both low and high testosterone levels are related to hair loss. Men also go through a decline in their sex hormones like women have at menopause. This can affect their hair growth and cause them to fall out. However, high testosterone levels also create a derivative called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which affects the hair follicles and causes them to die. This results in heavy hair loss and baldness. DHT lessens the growth cycle of the hair follicles and thus with time, they become shorter and stop growing. Some areas of the head are more sensitive to this hormone and suffer greater baldness.
Hair loss due to high testosterone
National Institutes of Health has reported that on an estimate about 50 million men in the world suffer from male pattern baldness. Half of this kind of baldness results from high testosterone levels. The hair follicles shrink, become dormant and the growth cycle becomes shorter and shorter till no hairs are left.
Normally, testosterone exists in a male body in two forms. One form is a “free” form where the testosterone isn’t tied to the proteins in the body. Another form is bound to a protein called globulin. This sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) is present in your body but isn’t active. But if you have low SHBG in your body, you have high levels of free testosterone flowing in the blood. This produces another derivative called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This DHT is more potent than testosterone and is responsible for male pattern baldness. DHT is generally found in hair follicles, skin and prostate but hair follicles are especially sensitive to it. This sensitivity is determined by a person’s genetics. If you are very sensitive to DTH, even a small amount of it can trigger hair loss.
Treatment of hair loss caused due to Testosterone
Your doctor may suggest you various treatment for male pattern baldness but to stop hair loss due to DHT, you need to lower its levels from within. You need to check the levels of hormones in your body and get them to a normal level to prevent hair loss.
Exercise on a regular basis
Not too much of intensive exercises but exercising even for an hour or two that too on a daily basis is of big help. Exercises are relaxing and they help in balancing the hormones of the body. It treats hair loss by regulating insulin resistance issues responsible for the same.
Stay away from toxic people and things
There is no need to add some more burden on your head when there is already no room for the ones that have already been there for quite some time now. When you are stressed or tensed the testosterone levels increase in your body and that again causes hair loss.
You are running on schedule where it is not possible to always have a good night sleep but always try to catch up at least 8 hours of sleep. In that way you neither become stressed out and your mind as well as your body stays in a positive mood. Sleeping for less number of hours that too repeatedly causes the testosterone levels to rise.
Smoking or Alcohol
If you smoke too often or you drink too often then it can hike up the level of testosterone to many folds. In order to stop the hair loss that is arising due to testosterone it is very important to restrict the habits of drinking and smoking. Both (Smoking and Alcohol) overproduce DHT which can even make you bald.
Foods to eat to treat hair loss
Along with medicines and dietary supplements, there are certain foods that naturally bring down the level of DHT in the blood. They balance the hormonal levels and as a result you may not suffer from hair loss due to high DHT. Know about these foods so that you can include them in your diet.
Avoid as much as dairy food items as you can since they are rich in cholesterol they increase the production of testosterone in the human body. With an increase in the level of testosterone there is a creation of DHT on the scalp and that causes hair fall. Items like cheese, milk, cream etc. should be avoided.
Animal based foods
Consuming animal-based foods which are rich in iron acts as a vital addition to the diet especially when there has been a hormonal imbalance. Items like lamb, turkey, chicken, lamb etc. are iron sources that add nutrients to the scalp stopping hair loss.
It is an old-fashioned custom to eat raw pumpkin seeds to cure benign prostatic hyperplasia. The use of pumpkin seed has been approved by U.S. Federal Drug Administration for the natural treatment of prostate disorders. It has also been seen that pumpkin seeds have certain amino acids like cucurbitacin and plant steroids, especially delta-7- sterols which block DHT in the blood.
Saw palmetto is a herb that is known to block DHT. A sterol in the plant known as beta-sitosterol has certain anti-androgen effects which inhibit the 5-alpha-reductase type II enzyme. By blocking this it in turn stops the conversion of testosterone into DHT.
Green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-Gallate which is known to block the formation of DHT in the blood. Researchers have found that green tea reduces high testosterone levels and DHT in the blood and also promotes hair growth in general.
Almonds have a substance called L-lysine in them which works as a DHT inhibitor. Moreover, almonds are also rich in protein, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and support the growth of hair. They provide strength to the hair strands.
Bananas have a substance in them called biotin, which does not let testosterone convert into active DHT. This in turn stops the process of baldness. Additionally, bananas also are rich in potassium which give nutrient to the scalp and develop good gut bacteria that stops DHT production.
Egg yolks too have biotin present in them, which reduces DHT production. Egg yolks also have fatty acids, sulphur and proteins which are necessary for promoting healthy hair growth.
Cashews have high zinc content which stops testosterone from changing into DHT. Cashews are also rich in copper, manganese and phosphorus which promote hair growth.
Carrots have lycopene which inhibits DHT in the blood by reducing the effects of 5 alpha re-educate.
Kale contains high amount of zinc that stops the changing of testosterone to DHT. DHT also causes hair follicle inflammation and causes hair loss. But the flavonoids in Kale help to fight scalp follicle diseases and reduce inflammation.
Oysters are also high in zinc content and act as a DHT blocker. Additionally, oysters also contain magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, selenium and copper which are beneficial for hair growth. It also has vitamin C and E which are needed for scalp health.
Wheat germ contains zinc, Vitamin E, Folate, proteins, omega fatty acids and all B vitamins which not only block DHT in the blood but also provide all the nutrients needed for healthy hair.
Like almonds, walnuts too contain L-Lysine and are high in proteins and Vitamin E that promotes hair growth. Moreover, this nut also contains some anti-inflammatory nutrients known as Juglone, Morin and Tannin.
Tuna contains Biotin which helps to slow down the process of hair fall by decreasing the DHT production in the body. It reduces the levels of DHT and in addition, contains selenium, EP and DHA which promote hair growth, nourishes the scalp and prevents inflammation.