Is there a connection between your sex drive and hair loss? Or to be more precise: is there a relationship between testosterone levels and hair loss?
The most prominent reason why men lose hair is called male pattern baldness (MPB) which is medically known as androgenic alopecia. Unlike other hair loss causes, the chances of you experiencing MPB increase as you age.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) indicates that over half of all men beyond 50 get affected by MPB during their lifetime. Men cope differently with hair loss, but most of them consider full hair as a sign of masculinity, youth and vitality.
What Causes MPB?
Our body starts producing sex hormones in the early stages of puberty. These hormones cause the emergence of adulthood traits such as differences in pitch, sperm production, and body hair. The same hormones could contribute to premature hair loss.
After genetic factors, this is the second biggest cause of hair loss. The hormone we are talking about is the androgen Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT affects the development of male characteristics, and it’s closely related to the growth cycle of hair follicles.
However, DHT is not produced independently on its own. Its levels depend on testosterone production. Nearly 10% of the testosterone produced is converted into DHT.
The First Signs of Hair Loss
The first signs are usually noticed while showering or combing your hair. You’ll also see indications when you look in the mirror. The pattern your hair forms determines how your hair loss will develop. Some men show only a certain patch loss. Others develop an M-shaped pattern and recede further on that path. Other signs might include:
- The hair on your head starts thinning
- Comb filled with strands of hair after use
- A noticeable hairline developing
- Finding hair on the pillow
How Testosterone Levels Cause Hair Loss
Previous studies have shown a relationship between hair loss and testosterone levels. It’s worth noting that this is way more complex an issue than was assumed. Around 98% of the entire amount of testosterone found in the male body stays inactive in the form of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG).
It is the remaining 2% that is converted into DHT and which then circulates in the body, affecting the growth cycle of hair follicles and causing hair loss. DHT stimulates the growth of shorter hair strands until the growth cycle is weakened and is terminated.
Other Causes of Hair Loss in Men
Besides androgenic alopecia, there are a few other medical conditions that cause the hair to lose its health and regenerative abilities and lead to hair loss. Skin complaints that occur on the scalp, such as psoriasis and eczema, are known contributors to hair loss.
Furthermore, nutritional deficiency and thyroid function disorder damage the health of hair follicles, causing their fall. Malnutrition and poor hygiene can lead to the development of rashes and scalp infections which cause the hair to fall in patches.
Major Treatments for Hair Loss
What proven treatments are currently available in the market to combat hair loss? Certain medications are used in the hair restoration industry to regulate DHT levels in two major ways:
- As inhibitors. Directly lowering the production of DHT.
- As blockers. These types of medications impede the binding process of DHT with 5-AR receptors, preventing it from causing follicles to shrink.
The most prominent medications are finasteride and minoxidil. Minoxidil is applied to the scalp as a topical treatment to encourage the hair follicles’ growth, with results showing after one to six months of regular application at least twice a day.
Finasteride functions as a blocker and stops the testosterone from being converted to DHT, its active form. While the drug encourages hair growth, it carries a 2% risk of influencing erectile dysfunction and lowering sex drive.
An increased sex drive points to high testosterone production, but this doesn’t necessarily result in hair loss. Unless you’ve noticed a few of the signs of MPB mentioned above or there is a history of baldness in the family, hair loss should not be an issue for now.
There are many products that claim to alleviate hair loss, but not all of them are effective. Knowing your hair type and the stage of hair loss you are at are the first elements you need to identify before starting treatment. Experts at Vinci Hair Clinic will provide a free consultation to help you with this. Get in touch and book an appointment today!