With balding (androgenetic alopecia) you slowly lose part of your head hair. Going bald is not a disease. It is normal with age. The older you get, the more likely you are to go bald. But it can begin before the twentieth year of life. In men, baldness is more common than in women. By age 70, 8 out of 10 men have this form of hair loss, and 3 out of 10 women. This form of hair loss is permanent. The hair growth does not come back by itself. That is why men can only opt for remedies such as Scalp Micropigmentation or SMP.
You will slowly become bald, over the years. The bald spots gradually increase and do not go away. In the places that become bald, thin, short hairs can first appear. Only then do the spots become bare.
Your scalp usually looks normal. And you have no itching or pain.
Balding usually follows a certain pattern:
Going bald has to do with hypersensitivity to hormones. Aptitude plays a major role in this.
Hairs grow from hair follicles. Hair follicles are on almost the entire skin, except on the palms and soles of the feet. When balding, the hair follicles are hypersensitive to male hormones. This mainly concerns testosterone. Men and women have these hormones. Because the hair follicles are hypersensitive to male hormones, the hair follicles eventually disappear.
Does baldness occur in your family? Then there is a good chance that you will also become bald.
Sometimes baldness is due to too many male hormones. This may be because you use anabolic steroids (in bodybuilding).
There are many remedies for baldness for sale, such as lotions, creams, and shampoos (for example, with caffeine). The effect of these agents has not been proven. Also, diet or vitamin pills do not help.
Do you have bald spots? Protect your scalp well from the sun. Wear a cap or hat. And lubricate the bare scalp with sunscreen. This way you limit the risk of skin cancer.
Are anabolic steroids making you bald? Then stop doing this. Then your hair can grow back. This doesn’t always happen. For example, it depends on how many hair follicles have already disappeared through the waist. The hair follicles that are gone do not come back. And neither is the hair growth there.
Baldness does not need to be treated. It’s part of getting older. It says nothing about how healthy or unhealthy you are.
Do you suffer a lot from baldness? For example, because you are still young, or because it makes you insecure? Then your doctor can prescribe medicine.
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There are medicines for baldness. These medications can ensure that fewer hair follicles disappear. And the drugs allow hairs to grow back into the bald areas.
The effect of the drugs is only small. Only after 6 months, you can see clearly whether the drug works for you or not. The effect of the drugs is temporary. As soon as you stop taking the medicine, the balding continues. The baldness can even make a ‘catch-up’. The effect of the drug is then completely gone within a few months.
For a long-lasting effect, it would be necessary that you continue to use the drugs for a long time. However, the effect and side effects of long-term use are not known.
The medications can have unpleasant side effects. Doctors are careful about prescribing these agents.
Medications for baldness in men are minoxidil and finasteride.
Your doctor may prescribe minoxidil lotion in case of baldness. You apply this lotion twice a day on the scalp that becomes bald.
Minoxidil has (some) effect in about 1 out of 6 people. After 6 months it can only be seen whether the lubrication has helped. If you stop taking this medication, the baldness will continue.
Minoxidil can irritate the scalp. Do you have cardiovascular disease? Then it is better not to use minoxidil.
Your general practitioner can finasteride prescribe. You take 1 tablet once a day. Doctors prescribe this remedy only to men. There is no evidence that this drug works in women.
Finasteride has (some) effect in about 1 out of 4 men. Only after 6 months can it be seen whether the drug has helped you. If you stop taking finasteride, the baldness will continue.
Finasteride can cause you to have the following side effects:
If you have started medication, you will have (telephone) contact with your doctor after 2 to 4 weeks. The doctor will discuss how you are doing. And if you have any side effects.
Do you have any unpleasant side effects? Then it is better to stop taking the drug.
Do you have no or few side effects? Then you can proceed with the drug. The doctor checks after 6 months whether the medicine has worked properly.
It is not known how long you can use the drugs. The effect and side effects of long-term use are not known. Discuss your medication use with your doctor.
There are also other treatments for baldness. Your general practitioner may refer you to a dermatologist to discuss other treatments.
Does the doctor think that your baldness may be due to too many male hormones? Then your general practitioner can refer you to a specialist for further examination and possible treatment.
Some people have trouble going bald. It may make you feel insecure or gloomy. This is especially common in young people who become bald. Discuss these psychological complaints with your doctor. Together you can see how you can deal with this.
In case of baldness, a hairpiece or hair work can offer a solution.
A hair transplant is possible for some people. If you become bald, there will always be hair on the back of the head. With a hair transplant, the doctor removes hair follicles from the back of your head. The doctor places the hair follicles back on a bald part of your scalp. In those displaced hair follicles, hair can then grow again.
The long-term effect of a hair transplant is not known.
The baldness will get worse and worse. For one it goes fast, for the other slowly. How exactly the baldness in you will continue, is impossible to say.
Are you going bald? And does that not bother you much? Then you do not have to contact your doctor.
Do contact your doctor if:
Do baldness you use finasteride or minoxidil against baldness? Then contact your doctor:
Didn’t medication help? Or could you not take them due to side effects or other diseases? Then go to your doctor to discuss other treatments.
Would you like a hairpiece or hairpiece? Or are you considering a hair transplant? Then discuss this with your doctor.