Hair loss (alopecia) affects many men. It can be the result of aging, genetic predisposition, medication, or an underlying medical condition. Men can lose their hair in patterned areas or patches, or their hair can thin all over. Depending on what causes it, the condition can be temporary or permanent.
There are several treatments for combating hair loss; the most common are taking medication to promote hair growth, and undergoing a hair transplant.
Causes of Hair Loss in Men
Hair loss in men is caused by a variety of factors, including the following:
- Fungal infection of the scalp
- Male-pattern baldness
- Poor nutrition
- Certain medications
- Traumatic stress
- Thyroid or pituitary disorders
- Skin disorders (psoriasis or eczema)
- Chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Alopecia areata (autoimmune disorder)
A condition called telogen effluvium, in which too many hair follicles remain in a "resting" state rather than a growing one, is also a cause of hair loss.
Treatments for Hair Loss in Men
Treatment for hair loss is usually based on its extent and cause. When hair loss results from a fungal infection, it is treated with antifungal medication. Hair loss that results from cancer treatments is generally temporary, so does not require treatment. For other types of hair loss, the following may be used:
- Hair transplants
- Over-the-counter medications (such as Rogaine or Nizoral)
- Finasteride (prescription medication sold as Propecia)
Hair-transplant methods include follicular unit extraction (FUE) and strip grafts.