Hair loss is an occurrence that affects a larger portion of the male population across the globe, much more than people realize (the female population is not excluded from hair balding, by the way). With such a prevalent and far-reaching problem, it is no surprise that there is an overabundance of products that claim to solve hair loss in an instant. Only and unfortunately, this usually results in zero hair-growth improvements.
Here’s why finasteride is among the most trusted medications for male pattern baldness.
Hair Loss Versus Male Pattern Baldness Versus Hair Shedding
As you find help regarding regaining your locks and regrowing them right, let us try to shed some more light on what hair loss actually is.
Hair loss is the general term used to describe an occurrence wherein hair strands grow less and less, usually over time. There are a number of causes that lead to this, and a number of categories that are specific to the type of hair loss which may take place.
Male pattern baldness is a kind of hair loss that is distinct to itself. It manifests on the scalp when patches grow less hair. Simultaneously, these patches will see thinner hair follicle growth. After some time, these patches will eventually be bald because of the loss of the capacity to grow hair strands. Hence, the phrase male pattern “baldness”.
To add to this, male pattern baldness tends to follow specific hair loss patterns. These include, but are not limited to, hair recession in an “M” structure, with the sides of the temple balding first. The U-shape or horseshoe pattern has the centre of the temple (and upward) losing hair before the sides. Another has the “vertex” balding at the onset. It is not easily spotted since it occurs close to the upper back of the head.
Hair shedding, on the other hand, is a natural process of the hair cycle that will remain a constant in both men and women. In fact, science dictates that on average, you shed 50 to 100 strands every day.
This only becomes a problem when it is aggravated due to stress and/or the lack of intake of vitamins and minerals.
The main causes of male pattern baldness are still continually being studied and reviewed to this day. This being said, experts conclude that one of its factors has to do with hormone production.
An enzyme referred to as 5-alpha reductase is related to hair loss, which, incidentally, is also what instigates prostate enlargement. 5-alpha reductase is responsible for converting testosterone into DHT. The androgen dihydrotestosterone is a more potent version of the first. Both are naturally occurring.
However, the overproduction of these, specifically 5-alpha reductase, is linked to the shrinkage of hair follicles. The shrinkage of follicles then brings about the growth of thinner hair. Later, hair growth will be impeded altogether.
Finasteride is a 5-alpha reductase blocker. Its creation was primarily aimed at being able to shrink back the prostate to its average size. But scientists have learned that this is inexplicably related to hair-follicle decline. Thus, finasteride is now considered a medication for hair loss.
It is a “topical” which should be used over a period of time and said duration varies from one person to the next. There may be side effects like redness, itchiness, etc. Still, these are rare cases. And in such cases, consult your physician for a monitored utilization of finasteride.