For most men, the process of hair growth keeps humming along into their thirties and beyond. However, in about 40% of all men, at some point something begins to go wrong, and the appearance of the hair on their heads begins to change. The hairline begins to recede, and the hair suddenly begins to grow noticeably thinner in the front and on the crown of the scalp. This is androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, and its relentless progress often leaves sufferers scrambling to find some kind of cure or remedy.

The reason why the changes associated with male pattern baldness occur is because of the effect of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which is created naturally in the body. This hormone performs a critical role in the body, helping to preserve the health of the prostate, testicles and central nervous system. In some men, however, the body goes overboard and creates too much DHT. When this happens, one of the unfortunate results is male pattern baldness.

The Making of DHT

Regular testosterone is a hormone that all men need in abundance for healthy biological functioning. But thanks to the intervention of an enzyme known as 5-alpha reductase, a certain amount of this testosterone is converted into DHT. Why exactly 5-alpha reductase creates more of this important substance than the body actually needs in 40% of men is unknown, but when excess DHT is present, one of the places where it tends to concentrate is in the scalp.

As DHT collects in the hair follicles, it begins to clog them and interfere with the natural growth of hair. When DHT starts to cling to hair follicles, the result is that hair begins to grow shorter and thinner. To use the technical terms, DHT acts to shorten the Anagen – or growing phase – of the hair cycle in individual hairs, while increasing the duration of the Telogen – or resting phase. This process is known as miniaturization, referring to the way hairs decrease in length and thickness in response to the presence of DHT.

Changing the Equation

Without some kind of intervention, the process of miniaturization will continue until the hair no longer simply grows thinner and shorter, but actually stops growing entirely. A transition is made from balding to baldness, and at this point there is little that can be done to reverse what has happened. There are drugs and natural supplements available, however, that can have an effect if treatments are begun before too much hair has been lost or has stopped growing.

The main thing these drugs and supplements do is block the activity of 5-alpha reductase so it stops producing so much DHT. By putting DHT production back in balance again, it is possible to halt the process of hair loss associated with male pattern baldness. Supplements usually contain ingredients that help restart the process of hair growth, so it may be possible for those who have been stricken with male pattern baldness to undo the damage that has been done.

Asking an Unwelcome Visitor to Leave

It is ironic that a hormone that plays a constructive role in protecting the health of the body can cause a problem like androgenetic alopecia. Fortunately, our understanding of what is actually going on when male pattern baldness manifests has helped scientists develop treatments that can stop and even reverse the ravages of this unwelcome condition.

Author's Bio: 

Speedwinds Nutrition, Inc. is the leader in nutritional supplements. One of their most successful products is Procerin, a hair loss system designed to block DHT. While most hair loss products focus on external factors, Procerin differentiates itself by taking a multi-prong approach. The Procerin hair loss system consist of three components; an oral supplement, topical foam and cleansing shampoo. The Procerin system works to safely and naturally combat the causes of male pattern baldness and restart the hair growth process. To learn more about hair loss and Procerin, visit them at: