Why do some men go bald and others don't?

Alopecia is a partial or complete loss of hair on the head or trunk. According to statistics, up to 40% of men face this problem. At the same time, some people notice the first signs of baldness only by the age of 50, and others meet with pathology at the age of 17! Why do men go bald and how do the other 60% happily avoid this fate?

According to Western data, up to 20% of men attribute their failures in love, career and business to premature hair loss. The vast majority of the stronger sex, subject to alopecia, lose self-confidence and no longer consider themselves attractive.

Belgian psychologist Jean Lurie notes that among all men's fears, such as losing a job or social status, the fear of baldness occupies an honorable first place. Baldness, as well as any other disease associated with an external defect, reduces the degree of comfort both within oneself and within one's environment. There are signs of depression, shyness, reduced emotional activity and, indeed, there are problems at home and at work. Someone struggles with pathology only with the help of wigs and clothes, someone seeks to resort to medications, and someone even decides on surgical intervention. Be that as it may, baldness is a real problem.

The fact is that 95% of cases of baldness are associated with androgenetic alopecia – a genetic pathology. Only the Caucasian race is subject to this pathology! Representatives of the Negroid race face baldness much less often, and representatives of the Mongoloid race almost never.

Less than 4% of alopecia is associated with focal alopecia, all other types of alopecia (diffuse, scar, etc.) account for only 1%. We will talk about androgenetic alopecia, since it is she who "chooses" her host.

The insidious androgen

In fact, androgenetic alopecia (also called male pattern baldness) can overtake even women. This happens much less often, but it also happens.

The hormone androgen, better known as testosterone, is responsible for the pathology. It's going to be a little difficult right now.

In every human cell, there are two interesting enzymes: 5a-reductase and aromatase. The first enzyme produces androgen, which is responsible for hair loss, the second – estrogen, which, on the contrary, stimulates hair growth. Both enzymes compete with each other and, under normal conditions, their ratio is in equilibrium.

In people with alopecia, at a certain point, the content of the enzyme 5α-reductase increases and estrogens lose. The huge amount of androgens produced by this enzyme binds to certain receptors and influences paracrine factors (factors that play a role in tissue remodeling). Violation of these factors makes hair growth impossible. This happens gradually. First, the old hair is replaced by fluffy hair – short and colorless. After 10-12 years, they also fall out.

Baldness occurs only in the parietal and frontal parts of the head. This is because the aforementioned receptors are found in the hair follicles only in these areas. In other areas of the head, the hair follicles do not have receptors.

It should also be noted that hair loss is not the only prank of androgens. In addition, the skin on the head is thinned, the blood flow and the total oxygen content in the scalp are reduced.

Why do 40% of men have an increased content of the enzyme 5α-reductase?

In the V century BC, the ancient Greek healer Hippocrates noticed that eunuchs never suffer from baldness.

An increase in the amount of 5α-reductase in the cell and bursts of hormones (testosterone) occur in absolutely all men. In 16-17, 20-25 and closer to 50 years. But only in 40 cases out of 100, these spikes end in baldness.

You can't do anything about it – it's a lottery. Androgenetic alopecia is a hereditary pathology. In 75 cases out of 100, this inheritance is transmitted through the maternal line. In 20 cases - on the paternal side, and in only 5 cases-men go bald in the family first. Currently, scientists can already detect the predisposition of people to alopecia by DNA, but it is impossible to somehow influence this.

Modern medicine offers only two treatment options for androgenetic alopecia-drugs and hair transplants from other parts of the body. The first option is quite expensive, and the second option does not guarantee that the end result will meet the patient's expectations.

Scientists predict that one day the hair will be cloned or affect the enzymes at the genetic level, but in the meantime, we can only hope that the receding hairline of men will still brighten up.