By Nahla Samaha
With men’s hair gaining more of a role in an increasingly metrosexual world, men’s styles, products and boutique barbers are in high demand. Which makes men’s hair loss more of a big deal than it was in the past. Luckily, modern medicine has come up with new and advanced ways to address this issue head-on!
Two consultants, Dr. Mohamed Mongy and Dr. Mahmoud Abdallah get into the details of this hairy situation and share their expertise in treating men’s hair loss.
WHY DOES HAIR LOSS HAPPEN?
Dr. Mahmoud Abdallah: The reasons for hair loss are plenty, however they can be classified into two main categories: Increased hair shedding and hair thinning. Increased shedding may occur due to low iron stores, malnutrition (very common now with obesity-related surgery) severe stress, some medications, and thyroid dysfunction, among others. Increased thinning is a purely genetic process and occurs due to the male hormone, testosterone.
THE INDICATIONS TO LOOK OUT FOR
Dr. Mohamed Mongy: The best way to look out for early signs of hair-fall is monitoring and observation. Checking the scalp health, hair line recession monitoring, comparing pictures, and then going for a consultation and having a report written up by a specialized dermatologist will save you lots of time and effort in the future.
TESTOSTERONE AND THINNING
Dr. MA: A vast majority of men who experience hair thinning have normal testosterone levels, however, they have increased activation of the hormone in the scalp and this is determined by genetics. This occurs in certain areas of their scalp not all. The process can start from puberty when testosterone starts to increase, but becomes stable by the end of the twenties. The process is more intense and more rapid in men who take anabolic steroids for muscle building purposes
CAN ALL HAIR LOSS BE TREATED?
Dr. MM: All cases can be MANAGED, and not all can be TREATED. What that means is, that there is a solution to every problem. Some solutions eliminate the problem entirely, other remedies keep conditions under control and delay the problem, and in some other cases, some solutions are just a camouflage that help people live their lives easier and with more confidence.
Dr. MA: Stress can play an important role, however acute stressful conditions cause hair loss more frequently than the daily usual stress. For example, we notice hair loss after exams, after a big surgical operation, after breakage of a relationship or after the death of a close relative or friend. Surprisingly this doesn’t occur immediately after the stressful event but takes three months to appear.
ARE THERE PREVENTATIVE MEASURES?
Dr. MM: There is not much in terms of preventative measures that could be done before the hair-fall or baldness starts. And that is due to two points:
- No man cares about his hair until it starts to go!
- Compliance and frequent clinic visits can seem non-rewarding because improvement cannot be measured.
Dr. MM: Hair loss in men is treated according to the causative factor. Simply, we fix the problem that caused the hair fall in the first place. Fix the anemia if there is iron deficiency, add proteins to diets of low protein consuming men, increase scalp blood flow and nutrition through topical medications and treatments, treat dandruff, scalp psoriasis, and recurrent infections, improve grooming habits if necessary, use topical foams, oral supplements are prescribed in certain cases. Some may even require scalp injections, platelet rich plasma shots (PRP) and of course there is always the final step of hair transplant if the follicles are proven dead and can never regenerate a hair bulb.
Dr. MA: 1. Topical Minoxydil spray or foam remains the gold standard treatment for hair loss; results start to appear after at least 4 to 5 months.
- Finasteride tablets are the most effective tool to treat hair thinning in men. Almost 70 to 80% get very nice recovery of their hair.
- Laser Comb is another option and should be used three times a week for life.
- Of course hair transplantation is a permanent solution.
Dr. MM: A healthy lifestyle is always recommended in our medical field. Not just for hair problems, but for everything. If one must drink, smoke, stay up at night, and eat junk food, then he has to compensate by detoxifying, exercising, sleeping better and so on. There is definitely a price to pay when adopting a more careless lifestyle and the hair will suffer as much as other organs like skin, liver, muscles, and God forbid, even brain.
FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM
Dr. Mahmoud Abdallah
Many people go to the pharmacy and buy hair vitamins. Vitamins if not needed, are not harmless. Some vitamins can even lead to hair loss if taken in an excess amount.
Dr. Mohamed Mongy
Avoid hair products and hair treatments e.g. collagen, protein, keratin, hair Botox, serums, etc., and ask your dermatologist for a hair protocol to follow.
Dr. Mohamed Mongy is a Dermatology and Laser Consultant and the Head of Skin Department of the Regenerative Medicine Network of Egypt. He is also a Member of the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery.
Professor Mahmoud Abdallah, MD is a Professor of Dermatology in Ain Shams University and the Attending Physician at Cutis – The Skin Clinic.
Dr. Mohamed Mongy
Tel: 0127 030 8034
Arkan Mall – Sheikh Zayed
Building 5, 4th floor
Dr. Mahmoud Abdallah
Tel: 0100 907 0000
Al Watany Bank Building
Mustafa Mahmoud Sq. – Mohandeseen
2, Fayoum St. – Korba