Body building and Hair loss | Creatine and Baldness

In today’s post we will answer two frequently asked questions on hair loss in men – Does body building cause hair loss and do creatine supplements for body building lead to baldness.

Having done so many episodes on DHT and hair loss, most of you may develop misconceptions that DHT – Dihydrotestosterone is some evil androgen hormone that serves no purpose in the body but to make our prostates bigger and cause baldness. But infact the actual situation is much more complex. For some people, reducing or eliminating DHT may be the only concern but for some other people keeping DHT levels under control may be the best option.

To understand whether body building causes premature baldness, You need to know the differences in the functions of DHT – dihydrotestosterone and its precursor Testosterone.

To quickly sum up DHT is biologically important for:

  1. Sexual differentiation into a male foetus during embryogenesis,
  2. Maturation of the penis and scrotum at puberty,
  3. Growth of facial and body hair after puberty.
  4. Development and maintenance of the prostate gland and seminal vesicles.
  5. Lastly the negative one: That’s Receding Hairline and Male Pattern Baldness by gradually miniaturizing the hair follicles.

DHT – Dihydrotestosterone is produced from the prohormone testosterone by the action of enzyme 5α-reductase in selected tissues, like in the genitals, prostate gland, seminal vesicles, skin, and hair follicles.

Now, Let’s quickly sum up the Functions of the hormone Testosterone. It’s important for:

  1. Sperm production and Male Fertility
  2. Muscle and Bone development – Remember this.
  3. Voice Deepening from puberty onwards
  4. Acne and sebum production
  5. Libido and Erections.

You can clearly see Testosterone is important for Muscle and bone development function. It is also important to understand that even though testosterone is the active androgen in muscle, and DHT exhibits relatively little direct anabolic effects on muscle in men, DHT is still very important for the full performance enhancement effects from testosterone. What I specifically mean here are the effects of DHT on the central nervous system that lead to increased neurological efficiency (strength or power of muscles), and it’s also important for increased resistance to psychological and physical stress and finally for optimal sexual function and libido. Hence you notice adverse effects of DHT blockers like finasteride on long term use in a small percentage of hairloss patients.

Now let’s Answer the question – Why do most body builders get bald early?

There are bodybuilders who do not use steroids or exogenous testosterone and build muscle naturally, And then there are professional bodybuilders who use a muscle building drugs that are high in testosterone.

Natural ways of body building like lifting heavy weights and weight training programs increase the circulating testosterone levels and help in muscle development. But anything in excess is converted to DHT and may cause some hair loss. But according to studies High levels of testosterone specially the exogenous formulations or steriods can cause increase in levels of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) which can induce premature male pattern baldness in body builders.  But remember, baldness is multifactorial, the most important factor being your genes.  Remember those with DHT sensitive hair follicles and not everyone will go bald and this is genetically programmed.

Now, the next question: Do Creatine supplements for muscle building cause hair loss?

Creatine is one of the most widely used bodybuilding supplements. It’s naturally found in animal products like red meat, but can be easily purchased as a supplement from any drug store. Many studies have shown creatine to increase muscle strength and athletic performance.
A 2009 study published in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine says that creatine may increase the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and may accelerate male pattern baldness in genetically predisposed individuals. Remember, Creatine in addition to hair loss can cause kidney failure in many body builders.

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19741313

https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/38/3/170/3861397s

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10 GOOD AND 4 BAD Functions of DHT Hormone (Di-Hydro-Testosterone)

In today’s post we will look into the positive and negative effects or functions of DHT – Dihydrotestosterone in our body.

We have done so many posts and videos on DHT and hair loss and most of you may develop misconceptions that DHT is some evil androgen hormone that serves no purpose in the body but to make our prostates bigger and cause male pattern baldness

Let’s First look into the 10 Positive effects of DHT and lastly the Negative effects. All research article links related to this topic are provided in the description link below.

  1. During Embryogenesis or Foetus development, DHT is needed for sexual differentiation into a male foetus.
  2. During Puberty, DHT is critical to the development of the penis and prostate in men.
  3. After Puberty, DHT is essential for development of male features like body hair,facial hair, pubic hair, muscle growth, and a deep voice.
  4. In Adults, DHT is essential for the development and maintenance of the prostate gland and seminal vesicles and contributes to the volume of semen.
  5. Libido and Erections: Here there are lot of controversies that the primary hormone needed for the drive and erections is testosterone and not DHT. But the fact of the matter is DHT is also important due to its effects on the central nervous system that provides increased neurological efficiency (strength), and increased resistance to psychological and physical stress. Hence we notice depression and loss of libido in a small percentage of patients treated with DHT blockers like finasteride for hair loss.
  6. Blood Sugar Control and Obesity: According to a study, it may lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes in males with improved insulin-sensitivity and reduces the body fat and controls obesity.
  7. Improves Memory: A study showed Men between the ages of 34 and 70 showed improvements in memory when treated with DHT skin patches.
  8. Muscles and Bones: Studies have shown that DHT levels correlate with the Muscle Power as well as muscle mass, though the main hormone responsible for muscle and bone development is testosterone. And increased DHT levels are associated with higher bone density in men.
  9. Heart and DHT: Increased levels of DHT were associated with lower amounts of fat deposits in the hearts and coronary arteries of men and hence lesser chance of a coronary artery disease.
  10. Depression and Anxiety: The anti-anxiety effect of DHT and testosterone are due to the actions of DHT on the central nervous system. This is the reason why DHT blockers like finasteride may induce depression in as small percentage of hair loss patients on long term use.

Now let’s List out the Negative or Harmful effects of DHT on our body.

  1. Male Pattern Baldness or Androgenetic Alopecia. Yes as discussed in our previous episodes, its proven that Higher levels of DHT act on the DHT receptors located on hair follicles in scalp and cause miniaturization of the hair follicles and ultimately kills the hair follicle. Of course this depends on the sensitivity of hair follicles on DHT and your genes.
  2. Acne and excessive sebum production is due to increased levels of DHT.
  3. Prostate Enlargement and Cancer: Many studies have proven this. Though DHT is required for the normal development and maintenance of the prostate gland and the seminal vesicles, it’s also responsible for benign enlargement of prostate (BPH) and also prostate cancer.

REFERENCES:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28472278

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2096617/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27133133

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3433349/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2701485/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4364836/

https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/endocrj/62/9/62_EJ15-0196/_pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20043171

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3158152/

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Is it Possible to Regrow Lost Hair?

There are tons of misconceptions in the world of hair care! Every guy is at risk of losing his hair, some more quickly than others. In Today’s episode we will reveal the true facts and answer the most frequently asked question: Is it Possible to regrow Lost Hair?

Well, To understand the situation, you need to know some basics like How your hair grows from your hair follicle or hair root and also Temporary hair loss and permanent hair loss.

So, let’s quickly understand the structure of hair follicle or hair root in most simplified way. You can imagine the hair follicle as a vase and the hair as the stem of a flower.  As you can see in this illustration, the hair follicle is underneath the skin and has its own blood supply which supplies nutrients and minerals for hair growth. The hair that grows above the skin surface is a dead structure made of a collagen tissue called keratin.

Having said that, now let’s classify hair loss. Hair loss can be either Temporary or Permanent. Temporary hair loss can be due to many factors like Stress, Nutritional deficiencies, certain medications like the anti-cancer drugs and stuff like that!  Whereas, the Permanent hair loss is the Male Pattern Baldness or Andro-genetic Alopecia.

Now, Let’s answer the question: Is it possible to regrow lost hair?

Well, in the first scenario, that’s Temporary baldness due to stress and nutritional factors, the Answer is a Big YES! Once the cause of hair loss is withdrawn or rectified, your hair grows back to normal most of the times!

Whereas, in the second scenario, that’s Permanent Baldness or Male pattern hair loss, the Answer is YES as well as a NO! Let me explain this further.

You must know the process of Miniaturization of Hair follicle. Miniaturization simply means shrinking of the hair follicle. This is due the action of a male hormone called DHT – Dihydrotestosterone which is formed from Testosterone by the enzyme 5-Alpha Reductase. This DHT hormone acts on the hair follicles and persistent action of this DHT on hair follicles causes a gradual shrinking or weakening of the hair follicle. Remember! It’s a gradual process which ultimately kills the hair follicle which no longer produces any hair.

Now Let’s again go back to our Question in this scenario of permanent hair loss.
Is it possible to regrow lost hair?

Well, If your hair loss is recent with a family history of baldness, then probably your hair follicle is still in miniaturized state and not completely dead. The sooner you start the treatment, chances are more likely that you can convert the miniaturized follicle back to a healthy follicle and again remember it’s a gradual process. You need to have full patience with regular treatment.  We will discuss the treatment part in the end.

Now, what if you have this bald patch or frontal hair line recession which is more than a year old? Well, in this case, it’s unlikely to grow back your lost hair. The only solution or treatment for this is Hair Transplantation. We have discussed in detail about hair transplantation.

Well, Now the treatment part for recent onset male pattern baldness. The only way to treat this baldness is to block or reduce the DHT levels in blood and increase blood circulation for proper nutrient supply to bring back the miniaturized or shrunken hair follicles back to normal.

We have discussed in detail about the stage-wise treatment of male pattern baldness.

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STAGEWISE MEDICAL TREATMENT OF MALE PATTERN BALDNESS

In Today’s post, we will help you locate your stage of baldness on the international Norwood’s scale and suggest medical hair loss treatments for every stage for reversing baldness stage-wise backwards!

Will will not go into the science and mechanism of male pattern baldness in this video. We have discussed all these in our previous episodes.

Let’s get started!

Baldness is staged commonly using the International Norwood’s scale, the hair loss stages are described with a number ranging from 1 to 7 depending on the severity of hair loss.

Let’s start with:

Norwood Stage 1: This type describes the least amount of hair loss with an adolescent type of hair line. You can consider this normal unless you have a family history of male pattern baldness.  If you have a family history closely monitor your hairline to determine if your hair loss develops into stage 2.  And No Treatment is necessary at for stage 1.

Norwood Stage 2: This stage means a small amount of hair loss with progression to the adult type of hair line.  Here there is slight recession of hair line around the sides or temples.
Regarding Treatment for this stage. If you have family history, first consult a doctor to verify that your hair loss is caused by male pattern baldness. There is a good chance that, with treatment, you can regain most of your lost hair and prevent progression into stage 3. You can start with simple treatment like 2 percent topical minoxidil application at this stage or start rolling a 0.5mm derma roller once a week with or without minoxidil solution. You can check out my detailed post on derma roller for hair loss.

Norwood Stage 3: This stage describes a mild to moderate amount of hair loss. This is the earliest stage of hair loss considered cosmetically significant enough to be called “baldness” according to Norwood scale. At this stage, most men show a deep bilaterally symmetrical recession of hairline at the temples that is sides, which are either completely void of hair or only sparsely covered with hair.  This resembles letter M, U, or V shape. The vertex figure here shows the additional thinning of the hair at the crown of the head.
This is the most important stage of norwood, because you must start treatment as early as possible to prevent progression into stage 3. Remember, The higher the stage, the more difficult the treatment is.

Well, the treatment options at this stage, you may require a combination therapy like minoxidil 5 percent twice daily plus finasteride 1 mg tablet. This stage is stubborn for most people. If you are able to control or grow back hair at this stage, the baldness progression is generally slowed down in later part of your life.
Also the other treatment options you can consider at this stage are PRP and mesotherapy along with minoxidil. You can watch my detailed post on this PRP mesotherapy.

You can also consider Hair transplantation treatment at any stage from stage 3 onwards.

Norwood Stage 4: This stage describes a moderate amount of hair loss. At this stage there is further deepening and recession at the front of the head as well as the temple areas. Hair loss at the crown is also prominent now and a thick bridge of hair will separate hair loss at the front of the scalp from that at the vertex or the crown of the head.  To differentiate this from stage 3, you can draw an imaginary vertical line tangential to the front margin of the ear. If hair loss crosses behind this line, then is stage 4.
Regarding the treatment options at this stage, there is no guarantee that using all the treatments including finasteride, minoxidil or a combination therapy will bring back all your lost hair. But the good news is if you start early treatment, the miniaturized hair will come back to normal and you can switch back to stage 3. You might have to use minoxidil in a higher concentration like 10 percent plus finasteride 1mg daily indefinitely.  Please check my article on DHT to understand this miniaturization and the mechanism of hair loss.

You can also treat this stage with PRP and mesotherapy plus Stem cell therapy and consider hair transplant option at this stage too.

 

Norwood Stage 5: this stage marks the beginning of severe degree hair loss. In this stage, there remains only a thin separation between the loss of hair at the hairline and the loss of hair at the crown, the band of hair between the two is much thinner and narrower. Hair loss at both the crown and the temporal regions are larger and more distinct.   The treatment options at this stage are same as that in stage 4.

 

 

Norwood Stage 6: In this stage there is a large amount of hair loss. The bridge of hair that once separated the front of the head from the crown is now almost fully lost, only a few sparse strands may remain. The remaining hair now forms a horseshoe shape around the baldness concentrated in the center of the scalp. Hair loss on the sides of the head will also extend further at this stage.
At this level, a hair transplant may be the only option.

 

Norwood Stage 7:  The most advanced stage of hair loss, Here, only a wreath of thin hair remains on the sides and back of the scalp. This stage has the least chance of regaining your hair with any treatment.

 

 

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Reduce DHT in Scalp and Reverse Hair loss Naturally

Androgenetic Alopecia or Male Pattern Baldness is the commonest cause of Hair loss and balding in both men and women. The hormone DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) produced in the body is responsible for this type of hair fall and ultimately leads to baldness.

DHT accumulates in the scalp and miniaturises hair follicles and ultimately kills the hair follicles which are sensitive to it. Lucky people are those who do not have DHT sensitive hair follicles.  This sensitivity depends on hereditary or genetic factors.

Now, we will discuss on the natural remedies for hair loss that reduce the DHT levels in the scalp or prevents its accumulation and damage by splitting the topic into three methods:

  1. Increase blood circulation to prevent accumulation in the scalp.
  2. Provide essential nutrients to damaged hair follicles.
  3. Reduce DHT levels in the scalp.

Good blood circulation is very important to carry the nutrients to hair follicles and it also prevents DHT accumulation in the scalp. To increase blood circulation at the scalp, you can perform the following tasks:

  1. Head Massage: Gently massaging your scalp in circular motion and pressures, can improve the blood flow to the scalp hair follicles. Perform head massage at least twice daily.
  2. Yoga specially the Head down position called “SheershaSan” is very beneficial to increase blood flow suddenly to scalp and wash out any accumulated DHT and prevent damage to hair follicles. Be in this position for atleast one minute and perform 3 sets of this yoga once daily.
  3. Regular Exercise of atleast 30 minutes daily like jogging, treadmill, pushups or any kind of activity is proven to be beneficial to improve blood circulation.

 

Then the next step is to provide some essential nutrients to rejuvenate the damaged and weak hair follicles. Nutrients are carried to hair follicles through the blood stream and hence apart from eating a well balanced diet, you need to include few foods in your diet rich in protein, minerals and anti-oxidants like Eggs, nuts, green vegetables, whole grains, lentils, etc.  We will list out the top 10 foods that can lower DHT levels and fight hair loss in a shortwhile from now.

Then, Avoid alcohol consumption and smoking. And, If you are dieting in order to lose weight then do not overdo it as it can cause hair thinning due to nutritional deficiencies.

 

Lastly, we will discuss on some natural ways to reduce DHT levels in the blood.

 

  1. Stress and Sleep deprivation can accelerate hair loss. So keep your stress levels low and have a sound sleep of atleast 8 hours daily.
  2. Regular Exercise has been shown to lower DHT levels. Perform any form of exercise for atleast 30 minutes daily.
  3. SAW PALMETTO: Studies have shown that this naturally occurring substance blocks the enzyme 5-Alpha Reductase and hence reduces DHT. Sawplametto is approved in many countries and you get capsules of this substance along with multi vitamin and zinc magnesium supplements.
  4. FOODS THAT LOWER DHT LEVELS:

10: Beans and Soybeans: beans are a excellent and an inexpensive source of zinc, which helps in hair growth and hair repair. Studies have shown that compounds in soybeans may promote hair growth. One of these compounds is spermidine, which is abundantly found in soybeans.

9: Meat: Specially Red meat is rich in iron and this increases your red blood cell count, which in turn helps the red blood cells deliver oxygen to all cells in the body, including hair follicles.

8: Oysters: Oysters are one of the best sources of zinc in the diet. Zinc helps in hair growth and repair.

7: Seeds: Specially flaxseeds and chia seeds in addition to vitamin E, zinc and selenium, also provide omega-3 fatty acids and all of these promote hair growth.

6: Nuts: specially almonds and walnuts provide vitamin E, B complex vitamins, zinc and essential fatty acids, all of which promote hair growth and they are also proven to protect your heart.

5: Avocados: They are not only super delicious but also an excellent source of vitamin E and also rich in Vitamin C, K and Omega-3 fatty acids.

4: Fatty Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improved hair growth and even density.

3: Spinach: Spinach is loaded with folates, iron, and vitamins A and C, which may promote hair growth. A deficiency in these nutrients may result in hair loss. Spinach is a best plant-based source of iron, specially great for vegetarians.

2: Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and biotin, which are so important for healthy hair and hair growth. Eggs are also a great source of zinc, selenium and other nutrients. This makes them one of the best foods for optimal hair health.

Another Important Nutrient in Egg – Biotin is essential for the production of a hair protein called keratin.  Research has shown that consuming more biotin can help improve hair growth in people with  biotin deficiency.

1: Berries: berries are loaded with beneficial compounds and vitamins that promote hair growth. This includes vitamin C, which has strong antioxidant properties.
For example, strawberries are rich in vitamin C, which help in collagen production and iron absorption which are two factors that can promote hair growth.

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HOW TO GROW BEARD FASTER | 10 BEARD GROWTH MYTHS

In today’s post, we will not only debunk the top 10 myths on beard growth, but also tell you a magic treatment that is scientifically proven to grow a beard faster or fill in a patchy beard.  Will also discuss on the true facts on beard oil and beard growth supplements.

Let’s start listing out the top 10 myths & facts on beard growth and simultaneously touch on some important scientific aspects.  The first few myths are on some basic facts on beard growth and then next few are on the treatment for beard growth.

On #10. Shaving or trimming makes the beard grow thicker!

This I am sure, most of us have heard about and even believe it! This is completely false. This is actually an illusion! because when the beard hair or any hair for that matter is shaved off or trimmed, the thicker portion of the hair is exposed just above the skin, giving the illusion of a “thicker” hair. So, shaving has no physiological or biological effects to your beard density or beard growth rate, and this applies even to your scalp hair.

On #9. Beards are itchy, scratchy, and create flakes or dandruff!

This is actually not true for everyone. This may be true if you are growing a beard for the first time and in initial 1 or 2 months. As you continue to grow your beard and start caring for it, you will never face this problem.

On #8. Age and Beard Growth:
Like for instance,  I am more than 20 years old and I have very few beard hair or a patchy low density beard and as I already have crossed 18 years, My beard will never fill in!
This is a myth!  Beards improve and develop more as you get older. Typically, men report peaks in the beard growth around 30s and sometimes even in their mid 40s. So, if you fall in this category, have hopes! and stay positive!

On #7. Full bearded look is the only attractive beard style!

This is not true! This depends on which beard style best suits your face and personality. There are many beard styles to choose like the solo mustache, mustache & goatee, stubble, 5 o’clock shadow, short beard, long beard, lumberjack and so on.

On #6. I have a Patchy Beard or no hair at all on my face and I can never grow a full beard!

The truth is:  Everyone of us have the required facial hair follicles to grow a full face of beard. These were already formed when you were a 5-month old fetus. These tiny hair are called vellus hair, which are difficult to see with your naked eye. At the end of this episode,  we will show you the remedy to convert these vellus hair into full thick beard. Please stay hooked!
Well, Beard growth normally starts at puberty due the effect of androgens mainly testosterone and the di-hydroxy-testosterone (DHT). This beard growth depends on two main factors – the levels of androgen in your blood and the sensitivity of androgen receptors located on the hair follicle, to DHT and testosterone. We have discussed this mechanism of DHT and hair loss article.
Well, Some of You may have normal androgen levels in blood, but still do not have a proper beard. This means the sensitivity of androgen receptors is the reason for this and this in turn depends on your genes and the race. So people who do not have proper beard growth may be completely normal in all aspects.

On #5.  I cannot grow a beard or beard growth is too slow, My father or uncle had no beard or patchy beard!

This is not always true. As I already discussed, Beard growth rate, the density of beard and the thickness of beard hair depends on numerous factors like the androgen levels, sensitivity and even genetics. But most of the times, this bad result is due to lack of commitment! and lack of patience!
So the amount of time it takes to grow a full beard varies from person to person and can take anywhere from 3 months to 1 year. In initial stages, it may appear patchy and this is the crucial period where most men try to trim it off or shave it off because it is looking ugly and patchy. Never do this! Continue growing it without trimming it or shaping it for atleast 3 months before you decide to remove it.

On #4. Beards make you feel hot in the summer!

This is a myth. Beards actually act as a protection from the sun and block the harmful Ultraviolet rays from falling directly on your skin. It actually provides a “cooling” effect under the skin when you sweat and then get some breeze into your beard.

On #3. Beard Growth Oil can boost or promote beard growth

This is a myth. Whether its beard oil or beard cream or gel, it never promotes hair follicle growth. Many beard oil formulations contains oils like tea tree oil. But apart from moisturizing your skin which might help to prevent an itchy beard, they do not have any effect on growth of beard hair.

On #2. Beard Growth Supplements like the Biotin and Collagen help boost beard growth

This may be true if the cause of slow hair growth is due to nutritional deficiencies, which also equally applies to your scalp hair. Most men are found to be deficient in these elements and even vitamins. If your diet is deficient in these elements like biotin, collagen, zinc, magnesium and even vitamin A and D, taking these supplements will certainly help nourish your hair follicles and even helpful for your overall body health.

On #1. Minoxidil Solution (brand names like Rogaine, tugain or mintop) can promote facial hair growth and help grow a full beard.
This is a fact!.  Many research studies have proven that minoxidil can increase beard growth and help men achieve a full beard or fill up that patchy beard by converting the vellus hair follicles into mature hair follciles.  Minoxidil is an FDA approved treatment for hair growth which increases the vascularity or blood flow around the hair follicle and promotes hair growth. More blood supply, means more availability of nutrients and better the hair health. So the best solution for beard growth is apply minoxidil like 5% on only the area where you need facial hair and take biotin, collagen and other supplements as discussed already.  Make sure to protect your eyes from minoxidil during application. You might experience some minor side effects of minoxidil, like skin irritation and dry skin and serious allergic reaction is extremely rare.

Stay Healthy!

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PROPECIA – FINASTERIDE SIDE EFFECTS | Hair loss Treatment in Men

Hello Friends and Patients!

In one of our most important article on the stage-wise treatment of hair loss in men, we discussed about the two FDA approved medications: The tablet Finasteride commonly known as Propecia and minoxidil topical application on the scalp.

We also discussed almost everything on hair loss in our previous episodes, starting from what causes hair loss both in men and women, the stages of hair loss in men and women, the medical treatments of hair loss, important facts and misconceptions on hair loss, some bad habits that can cause hair loss, foods that can reverse hair loss and many more. You can checkout that article category from HERE.

Now, Lets first quickly recap some important points on Finasteride and then we will discuss the side effects and real facts on the long term use of finasteride – like, does it really have those side effects?

Finasteride is a 5-Alpha-Reductase inhibitor which blocks the formation or conversion of testosterone to Di-Hydroxy-Testosterone (in short DHT). DHT is the hormone responsible for male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. It acts on the hair follicles and gradually miniaturises the follicles and completely kills them as discussed in our previous articles.

Please checkout my detailed articles and videos on these topics like DHT and hair loss and stage-wise treatment of male pattern baldness.

Now lets jump to our topic and start listing out some important myths, facts and figures on the medication Finasteride for hair loss.

# 1. Finasteride  is used to treat male pattern baldness. And, its action is only at the crown and in the middle of the scalp. It is not helpful in treating receding hair line, except when started very early when the hair follicles are still in the miniaturized state.

#2. Finasteride must be used by adult men only over the age of 18. I suggest over the age of 20 years. Because this is the hormone responsible for the development of secondary male characters like beard growth, chest hair and so on.  But once these male characteristics are developed, blocking DHT does not alter beard growth or body hair.

#3. Women and children must never use this drug. It is not FDA approved for women because it can cause some serious birth defects if taken by pregnant women.

#4. How to use Finasteride?
1 milligram tablet has to be taken by mouth, And, with or without food does not matter! Preferably early morning is the best time, when testosterone levels are higher and avoid at night to reduce most of its side effects like loss of libido and other similar effects which we will discuss shortly.  You ingest 1 mg daily or 1mg on alternate days depending on your hair loss intensity and balancing the benefits versus the side effects.

#5. How Long to use Finasteride to see the results?  Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. Remember to use it at the same time each day like early morning as already discussed.  It may take from 3 to 6 months to notice some beneficial effect.

#6. Can I discontinue the medication once I achieve the desired results?

No, Never! You must continue to take this medication to maintain your hair growth. When you stop taking finasteride, any benefit you achieved in hair growth is generally lost within 12 months.

#7. What are the Side effects of Finasteride?
Well! this topic is controversial. Many studies have been conducted on this.
The incidence of side effects like erectile dysfunction, ejaculation impairment, and decreased libido has been confirmed. But the incidence is very low, like 1 in 1000 patients and even less in most studies. Some studies reveal that most of these side effects men experience are psychological. While some other studies indicate long term use of this drug can cause irreversible side effects like erectile dysfunction, ejaculation impairment, and decreased libido. But this is true for 5 milligram daily dose!, which is used for the treatment of prostate enlargement.
However if you experience these effects, try your best to avoid it psychologically, diverting your mind into daily exercise for atleast 30 minutes in evenings and taking finasteride 1 mg in early mornings. If you still experience these side effects, discuss with your doctor and stop this medication.  You can make a decision whether the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.

#8. Other side effects: Other rare side effects like allergic reaction to the drug is extremely unlikely.  You might experience allergic rash or something like that but extremely rare.
Another rare side effect is occurrence of man boobs, medically called gynaecomastia. But its very rare. You might even feel tenderness in the part and sometimes even some pain or tenderness in your testicles.

#9. Risk of Prostate Cancer: Finasteride is not approved for prevention of prostate cancer. There is a lot of controversy on this topic. Some research studies show it prevents the occurence of prostate cancer, while some other studies say it may slightly increase the risk of developing a very serious form of prostate cancer. Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks.

#10 Do I need to use finasteride tablet  in combination with topical Minoxidil ? Yes! this combination if one of the most effective treatments for hair loss and hair thinning since many many years. Minoxidil acts by increasing the local scalp vascularity and finasteride acts by blocking DHT in male pattern baldness. This deadly combination can even reverse hair loss by bringing miniaturised or thinned out hair follicles back to life!

So, there you have it folks! If you found the video helpful, please hit the like button and share this with your friends. Also comment below with your feedback and queries.
Stay Healthy!!

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Male Pattern Baldness – Early Signs, Stages and Treatments

In Today’s article on hair loss, we will look into some important early warning signs to pick up male pattern baldness and start early treatment to prevent further hair loss or even reverse hair loss as early as possible. We will also help you locate your stage of hair loss on the commonly used international Norwoods scale and discuss on what hair loss treatment to use for that particular stage.

Lets begin!

Picking some early signs can certainly help you combat male pattern baldness either to stop further progression of hair loss or even reversing hair loss. And remember – Prevention is always better than Cure!  First of all, try to assess yourself whether you are prone to male pattern baldness or not by considering these important factors:

  1. Age: Male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia can start at any age after puberty around the age of 15. Roughly, your risk to baldness is 20% in your twenties, 30% in your thirties, 40% in your forties ties and so on, that’s rising 10% for every decade of your life. Not only your age, but you have to watch out other factors too to deal with baldness prevention.
  2. Genetics: If you have a strong family history, you have to be double or triple cautious to apply preventive steps. And Hair loss, as discussed in my previous episodes – its polygenetic – meaning multiple genes are involved, from maternal side or paternal side or a combination. You might have to even look at your uncles from both sides to assess your risk.
  3. Other Factors like Stress, Smoking and Nutritional deficiencies are also important in adding that risk for baldness. So, if you want to save your hair, better be cautious of these habits and do not forget to read my previous important article on the bad habits that cause hair lossbad habits that cause hair loss.

 

Now! Lets look into the early warning signs of balding. We all know that balding can be a traumatic process for everyone. The one who is pretending to be cool with his baldness is a big liar. Well, the good news is by spotting the early warning signs of balding, you can start applying some preventative measures to secure your hair. Yes nothing is impossible!

So, how do I know whether I am going bald or will become bald? We use the International scale for staging of baldness in men – that’s called the Hamilton-Norwood Scale for androgenetic alopecia or the male pattern baldness. This scale is regularly used by doctors to assess the severity of baldness and depending on the stage of baldness, you have different treatment options and also it helps to assess whether this particular treatment option will be effective or not.

In this Norwood scale, the hair loss stages are described with a number ranging from 1 to 7 depending on the severity of hair loss.

Norwood Hair loss Stage 1: This type describes the least amount of hair loss with an adolescent type of hair line. You can consider this normal unless you have a family history of male pattern baldness.  If you have a family history closely monitor your hairline to determine if your hair loss develops into stage 2.  And No Treatment is necessary at this stage.

Norwood Hair loss Stage 2: This stage means a small amount of hair loss with progression to the adult type of hair line.  Here there is slight recession of hair line around the sides or temples.

Treatment for this stage: If you have family history, first consult a doctor to verify that your hair loss is caused by male pattern baldness. There is a good chance that, with treatment, you can regain most of your lost hair and prevent progression into stage 3. You can start with simple treatment like 2 percent minoxidil topical application at this stage or start rolling a 0.5mm derma roller once a week with or without minoxidil solution. You can check out my detailed derma roller article here.

Norwood Hair loss Stage 3: This stage describes a mild to moderate amount of hair loss. This is the earliest stage of hair loss considered cosmetically significant enough to be called “baldness” according to norwood scale. At this stage, most men show a deep bilaterally symmetrical recession of hairline at the temples that is sides, which are either completely void of hair or only sparsely covered with hair.  This resembles letter M, U, or V shape. The vertex figure here shows the additional thinning of the hair at the crown of the head.
This is the most important stage of norwood, because you must start treatment as early as possible to prevent progression into stage 3. Remember, The higher the stage, the more difficult the treatment is.

Treatment options at this stage: you may require a combination therapy like minoxidil 5 percent twice daily plus finasteride 1 mg tablet. This stage is stubborn for most people. If you are able to control or grow back hair at this stage, the baldness progression is generally slowed down in later part of your life.
Also the other treatment options you can consider at this stage are PRP and mesotherapy along with minoxidil. You can check out my detailed article and video on this PRP mesotherapy.

You can also consider Hair transplantation treatment at any stage from stage 3 onwards.

Norwood Hair loss Stage 4: This stage describes a moderate amount of hair loss. At this stage there is further deepening and recession at the front of the head as well as the temple areas. Hair loss at the crown is also prominent now and a thick bridge of hair will separate hair loss at the front of the scalp from that at the vertex or the crown of the head.  To differentiate this from stage 3, you can draw an imaginary vertical line tangential to the front margin of the ear. If hairloss crosses behind this line, then is stage 4.
Regarding the treatment options at this stage, there is no guarantee that using all the treatments including finasteride, minoxidil or a combination therapy will bring back all your lost hair. But the good news is if you start early treatment, the miniaturized hair will come back to normal and you can switch back to stage 3. You might have to use minoxidil in a higher concentration like 10 percent plus finasteride 1mg daily.  Please read my article on DHT and hair lossDHT and hair loss to understand this miniaturization and the mechanism of hair loss.

Treatment: You can also treat this stage with PRP and mesotherapy plus Stem cell therapy and consider hair transplant option at this stage too.

 

Norwood Hair loss Stage 5: this stage marks the beginning of severe degree hair loss. In this stage, there remains only a thin separation between the loss of hair at the hairline and the loss of hair at the crown, the band of hair between the two is much thinner and narrower. Hair loss at both the crown and the temporal regions are larger and more distinct.   The treatment options at this stage are same as that in stage 4.

 

Norwood Hair loss Stage 6: In this stage there is a large amount of hair loss. The bridge of hair that once separated the front of the head from the crown is now almost fully lost, only a few sparse strands may remain. The remaining hair now forms a horseshoe shape around the baldness concentrated in the center of the scalp. Hair loss on the sides of the head will also extend further at this stage.
At this level, a hair transplant may be the only option.

Norwood Hair loss Stage 7:  The most advanced stage of hair loss, Here, only a wreath of thin hair remains on the sides and back of the scalp. This stage has the least chance of regaining your hair with any treatment.

Switching back to an earlier stage with Treatment:

Yes this is possible with the treatments at every stage as discussed. Though these treatments will not restore a full head of hair, but these can certainly help one to climb back into a lesser stage of the Norwood scale. For example, with stage 6 hair loss, a reasonable outcome with treatment is a return back to stage 5 or even 4 if proper treatment is started.

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10 SHOCKING HAIR LOSS AND BALDNESS MYTHS REVEALED

Today we will look into 10 Shocking Myths, Facts and Frequently Asked Questions on Hairloss and Baldness – like Can Rubbing your nails regrow hair, Shampooing or washing hair daily causes hair loss, Balding men have high testosterone, Does excessive Masterbation cause hair-loss,  Is Finasteride a steroid, Wearing Helmets can make your bald, Can Salty water or sea water cause hair loss and many other myths and facts revealed in this article.

And remember these will certainly  help you gain some insight into what’s causing hair loss, and help you get effective hair loss treatment as early as possible.

So Lets Begin:

#10: If your Parents had hair, you too will and If they were bald you too will !
 This is a commonly asked and commonly misinterpreted myth. This is actually not true. You not necessarily inherit baldness if you father or mother were bald and infact this is a complex thing and not as simple as you think. In fact, hair loss is polygenetic: meaning a random mix of genes of your entire family tree.

#9: Wearing hats or Helmets can cause baldness!
This is another big myth. People often say your hair cannot breath when you wear hats or helmets. This is not true, because the hair that you see above your skin is not a living structure but your hair follicle thats embedded into the skin gets its nutrients and oxygen from the blood supply and not from air and we have discussed this in my previous episode. And One point to remember is if you are wearing a really tight hat, maybe that can cause traction alopecia due to too tight pressure on areas where it contacts your head.

#8: Washing or Shampooing Your Hair Daily Causes Hairloss!
This is another big myth on hair loss. Washing your hair simply removes the hair that is already loose – that’s in Telogen and exogen phase and not anagen phase. 80 percent of your hair are in anagen or growing phase which do not easily fall off. You can check my detailed animated video on Hair growth cycle to understand how hair grow and prevent hair loss by things that prolong this growing phase or anagen phase.

#7: Rubbing You Finger Nails can Regrow Hair and prevent Baldness!
This is the biggest myth of the century. They claim rubbing your finger nails against one another for 5 to 10 minutes once or twice daily can prevent hair fall and even regrow hair. They say some nerve endings in nails or under the nails are stimulated which are directly connected to scalp. Remember Nails are a dead tissue made of of just keratin, they do not have any blood supply or nerve supply.

#6: Hair Loss Stops as Men Age like above 50.
No, Once male pattern baldness or hair loss starts it continues over a person’s lifetime. But it’s hard to estimate the rate of hair loss. In general, the younger you were when you started losing hair, the more likely you are to become completely bald. Again it also depends on many other factors including your unlucky genes. And this answers your question on how long should I continue to use hair loss medications – perhaps as long as you need hair.

#5: Salty water or Sea Water causes hair loss!
Contrary to the popular belief that salty or sea water causes hair loss and makes you bald, the fact is that sea water is actually beneficial to your scalp and therapeutic for certain skin issues like eczema and psoriasis. It s also very useful for people with oily skin and oily hair plus It acts as an exfoliant to your scalp and prevents dandruff and fungal infections of the scalp. And infact Heavily chlorinated water what we get in cities and swimming pools is bad for your hair.

#4: Balding Men have High levels of Testosterone!
Some people think that bald guys have lot of testosterone and lot of libido and they have a promiscuous behaviour.  This is not True! Testosterone is not the cause for male pattern baldness, and infact testosterone is a youth hormone and keep your hair thick and dense.
The real hormone responsible for male pattern baldness is DHT – that s Di Hydroxytestosterone which is a byproduct of testosterone formed by the enzyme 5-Alpha reductase.

Now please listen to this carefully.

People think that too much testosterone may result in too much formation of DHT and can cause hairloss. The actual facts are:

  1. Hair loss has been observed in both high and low testosterone males.
  2. And studies have shown that men who go bald and those who do not have the same levels of testosterone. Its actually about how sensitive your hair follicles are to the action of DHT which causes miniaturization of hair follicles. And what determines this sensitivity? Most likely your genetics.
    We have discussed this in detail in one of my videos on hair loss. If you have not watched that yet, I will link that at the end screen and also in description of this video.

#3: The Drug Finasteride is a steroid?
Many people in my previous episode on hair loss treatments have commented that finasteride is a steroid and they have even misspelled it as Finasteroid. This is not true. Its just an 5 alpha reductase inhibitor medication that prevents formation of DHT and helps in male pattern baldness. Of course like every other drug even finasteride has some side effects in a certain percentage of people.

#2: Stress can Cause Hairloss!
Yes this is true. Prolonged Stress can lead to hair loss, whether due to illness or whether its emotional stress. But this type of hair loss is usually temporary and completely reversible when you are out of stress.

#1: Does Excessive Masterbation cause Hairloss:
I have already discussed this in one of my other article.  But I would like to add some more info here. I have never said that this causes male pattern baldness. The main point to remember is the sensitivity of your hair follicles to the action of DHT is more important than discussing on whether these habits can cause baldness. Its not the levels of testosterone and nor its conversion to DHT causes baldness. It’s the genetic susceptibility of hair follicle to the action of DHT. So people who have those unlucky genes, should be careful and try to maintain healthy habits like good foods that help keep your hair healthy and also try to get as much authentic knowledge on hairloss topics as possible. You can check my entire playlist on Hair loss containing useful videos like foods for hairloss, bad habits that can cause hair loss, PRP stem cell therapy and new ongoing research of Way-316606 drug for hair loss and many other useful topics.

 

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REVERSE HAIR LOSS by Understanding Hair Growth Cycle

Understanding How Your hair grows is really important in learning why your hair thins and falls out and also this knowledge can help you for regrowing your hair or maintain your existing hair by minimizing hair loss.  Animated Video explanation at the end.

In this Article, I will explain in simple terms using an animation showing different phases of hair growth.  This can certainly help you combat hair loss or hair thinning and can even help you reverse hair loss. We will also look into Some Anagen Hair stimulators and Factors.

We will first begin with the parts or the structure of a single hair. Do not worry, we will not go into full details. Just look at the labels of this diagram and try to understand the structure.

It Made of Two Main Parts:

  1. The Hair Root or the Hair Follicle
    2. Hair Shaft – what we see outside the skin.

This is very important for you to understand that nutrients reach your hair follicle by no other means except blood supply. Understanding this also busts all myths about applying special oils and stuff like that that promise to grow hair. But some topical applications like minoxidil increases the blood supply and hence increases the supply of nutrients or supplements we take orally as a part of hair treatment.
Also remember this tiny projection called dermal papilla which anchors the hair bulb to the hair follicle and to the blood supply.

But before we start, please take a moment to click on the Subscribe button as well as the bell icon next to it so that you receive notification whenever we add another useful episode.

Now lets understand the different phases or stages of Hair growth Cycle. Remember all your hair are not in the same stage of hair growth cycle at a time otherwise you would intermittently look bald during these hair growth stages.
Well, Starting from new growth of hair from the follicle to bulb and shaft and then falling off or shedding off, there are Four stages: Anagen, Catagen, Telogen and Exogen Phases. Lets start with

  1. Anagen or Growing Phase: This growing phase lasts from about 2 years to 6 years. This decides the length of your hair. The longer this phase, the lengthier your hair, specially in females who have grown very long hair, this phase is longer. This length also varies in different races and your genes also plays a very important role.  During this phase, a hair grows about one centimeter, or roughly about half of an inch, every month.


Now, Why this Anagen Phase is so Important?

Well, Remember – At any Point of time, over 80 percent of hair on your head are in the anagen phase. And during this phase – the cells in the hair follicle multiply rapidly and keep adding to the hair shaft and your hair grows. And the nutrition to carry out this function comes from the blood supply as already discussed in the structure of hair follicle and this is very important to understand that you must have some great hair growing foods to provide nutrients to these cells through blood supply. Check out this list of some great foods for hair loss.

  1. Catagen Phase (Transition Phase): The catagen phase is a short transition phase of about 2 weeks when the anagen phase or growing phase comes to an end. It signals the end of the active growth of a hair. In this phase, the hair bulb detaches itself from the dermal papilla and hence from its blood supply and starts to shrink and goes into the next phase.
  2. Telogen (Resting Phase): This is simply the resting phase and lasts about three months before it goes into the exogen or shedding phase. When hair is in this resting phase a new hair bulb forms to begin the new growth or the anagen phase.
  3. Exogen (Shedding Phase): Its important to understand this phase for people who panic loosing 50 to 100 hair daily. You see around 10-15 percent of your hair are in this resting phase and out of these they can go into exogen or shedding phase any time. So loosing about 50 to 100 hair daily is completely normal. Never panic when you get hair in your hand while shampooing or combing your hair on if your find some 10 to 20 hair on your pillow. That’s completely physiological.

Now Finally important info on things that can shorten your Anagen or the growing phase. Avoid these and implement some good steps to make your hair healthy and stronger.

  1. Stress: Any form of stress whether due to illness or even emotional stress, can shorten the anagen phase and more follicles will go into the telogen phase and then shed out.
  2. Nutritional Deficiencies – Anagen phase needs good supply of nutrients through the blood supply for cells to multiple and contribute to hair growth. This is really important for people who do extensive dieting without proper supplements.
  3. There are some rare cases of unlucky people with unlucky genes who have short anagen syndrome, where they can never grow longer hair for reasons that are unknown. These people say they never needed a haircut.
  4. Anagen Stimulators: Some pharma company products claim to be anagen stimulators that help hair stay in the anagen phase for longer duration of time. Before using any of these over-the-counter products, please consult with your dermatologist. But remember the most important part of this episode  – that is your hair get nutrition from the blood supply at the base of the hair follicle and this scientific knowledge of hair growth cycle busts a lot of myths on some non sense hacks to regrow your hair circulating all over the internet. I hope you got my point. And am not here to promote any pharma products.  Will discuss more on these hair growth stimulators or anagen stimulators in another detailed episode.
    So the bottomline is:  A healthy scalp with adequate blood flow will absolutely impact the health and length of your hair. Make sure you read Hair Growth Foods article.

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