In honour of Alopecia Awareness Day, we continue yesterday’s discourse this time talking about baldness
Q: Hello Dr Ketch, I am a 33 year old guy from Lagos. I am experiencing rapid hair loss which is resulting in baldness. Please I’d like to know if there are natural remedies or vitamin supplements for men with no side effect on fertility. Cheers.
A: Baldness is excessive hair loss from the scalp. It usually starts from thinning hair before it involves wider areas of hair loss.
How does this happen? Usually, a hair follicle produces hair and each hair grows from a follicle for as long as three years before it is shed and a new one produced. Testosterone is produced normally by the hair follicle and these follicles now convert testosterone to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). In baldness, the hair follicles are overly sensitive to the effects of DHT causing the hair to thin out and also last less than the usual 3 years.
Now it is usually assumed that being bald is a sign of great virility but studies have shown that this is not true. Bald people do not have more than normal amounts of male sex hormones, their hair follicles are just more sensitive to the effects of the hormones.
Baldness runs in families and may start as early as late teens in some people with most men at 6o years of age having experienced some level of hair loss. It is, of course, more traumatic when it happens at an early age like 33 years as in this case.
Treatment runs from doing nothing (always an option :D), wearing wigs or styling hair in such a way as to cover the bald patch if possible to surgery where individual hair strands are transplanted. Other treatment options include the use of medications like Finasteride (which prevents conversion of testosterone to DHT thus allow the hair follicles to enlarge back to normal) and Minoxidil. It usually take about 4 months for any effect to be noticed, though. There are still issues surrounding the effects of these drugs on fertility.
Diet may not really help with baldness. However, ensure that your diet has sufficient amounts of protein and iron rich food to prevent thinning out of hair.
So, have a chat with your doctor and hear what he suggests. Ultimately, you may very well decide to just love the skin that you’re in and leave well alone or perhaps, settle for a wig.
Have a good night everyone 😀