One of the most common concerns that men encounter as they age is hair loss.
Call it male-pattern baldness, a chrome dome, or perhaps just “terrible;” losing those luscious locks of our youth is certainly something most of us would rather avoid if possible. However, the truth of the matter is plenty of us—an estimated 50 million, in fact—will experience hair loss as we grow older; particularly as we reach our 40s, 50s, and beyond.
Because this is such a widespread issue, plenty of misleading or downright false information regarding the cause of hair loss—and subsequent treatment—have arisen over the years.
For one thing, no one can seem to agree whether balding men have less, or even more, testosterone than those who still have their manes fully intact. While it’s true that testosterone does have a relationship with our hair growth—or lack thereof—it’s a bit more complicated than one might assume.
Let’s take a quick look at what the science says regarding testosterone and hair loss.
The Relationship Between Testosterone and Hair Loss
First, let’s define what testosterone is responsible for in our bodies. Simply put, it’s an androgen that plays a vital role in the development of men’s sexual organs. Part of understanding testosterone’s role however, and how it relates to our hair, is acknowledging the different kinds of T floating through our adrenal system:
- Free Testosterone
- Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)
Most testosterone in our blood is bound to sex hormone-binding globulin proteins. The rest is considered “free” and is the form most available to act within our bodies. DHT is actually an enzyme produced from testosterone and 5-alpha reductase, and is up to five-times as potent as regular old T.
DHT is what’s found in the prostate, skin, and interestingly enough, hair follicles. What your body does with its available DHT and the genetic predisposition of your hair follicles are what determine whether or not you’ll go bald—and when.
So, Does Low Testosterone Cause Hair Loss?
As mentioned above, male-pattern baldness isn’t a simple arithmetic equation of having too much or too little testosterone. That’s because, when you take into account the two different kinds mentioned above, the answer can actually be both.
High levels of DHT can reduce the size of your hair follicles, resulting in thinning hair, and possibly delaying the growth of new strands. On the other hand, men can demonstrate low T levels in their blood, yet still have the same amount of DHT present as those with normal counts. As long as there’s an abundance of DHT, there’s a higher chance you’ll start to see a receding hairline.
That’s not all, though. You can’t take the follicles themselves out of the equation. Your genetics determine how sensitive those follicles are to their interaction with DHT. If the follicle receptors are engineered to be more sensitive, then hair loss will occur more easily.
Finally, age, stress, and even influences like your diet can have an effect on your hormonal balances—and your hair can pay the price.
What Can I Do to Treat Hair Loss?
Because the connection between testosterone and hair loss isn’t a straight line, treatments can vary widely—and sometimes lead to even more confusion.
The most effective ones will interfere with DHT and its actions. For example, Finasteride and dutasteride (currently available as a treatment for enlarged prostates) inhibit the 5-alpha reductase enzyme responsible for producing DHT.
However, there are other treatments that can be prescribed or pursued naturally depending on your preference. Several popular options of the former include:
- Laser Treatments
- Surgical Follicle Transplants
For those who prefer to implement more natural treatments in their battle against baldness, there have been several potential remedies that have demonstrated varying levels of success, including:
- Saw Palmetto
- Ginkgo Biloba
- Pumpkin Seed Oil
- B Vitamins
- Peppermint Oil
As with any treatment that attempts to adjust or correct your internal chemistry, there are several potential side effects associated with DHT blockers or inhibitors—some of which may be less preferential than simply shaving your head. Side effects could include:
- Erectile Dysfunction
- Premature Ejaculation
- Delayed Ejaculation
- Enlarged Breasts
- Sickness and Vomiting
Will Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) Prevent Hair Loss?
The good news is that hair loss can likely be prevented or even reversed. Baldness stemming from testosterone doesn’t last long, but before attempting to correct it, the first step must be ruling out any underlying medical conditions. The next step is implementing a routine of healthy habits.
It’s also important to clear up the popular misconception that Testosterone Replacement Therapy alone can cure hair loss. TRT is recommended for men who have abnormally low T levels and who are suffering from morethan male-pattern baldness. Besides, as we now know, increasing T levels in your blood won’t necessarily prevent hair loss.
Always consult with your doctor about your hair loss concerns if you are undergoing a TRT regimen—they may be able to prescribe additional treatments that will work to simultaneously increase T while minimizing DHT and its impacts.
Trust The Experts in Men’s Sexual Health for Testosterone Therapy Diagnosis and Treatment
If you have concerns over hair loss, testosterone, or other ways you can continue to age in a healthy manner, contact the medical experts at Precise Men’s Medical Center in Cleveland.
Our qualified medical professionals will help you realize that you can have great sex again, and will work with you to prescribe customized treatment solutions for ED, PE, Low-T, and more for your specific needs. Schedule your appointment today.