Gilroy Today 2011 06 Summer - Page 30

AGING with an Attitude

Baldness : For Men Only !

Watch for the Fall Issue of Gilroy Today for Baldness : For Women Only !
By Dorie U . Sugay
Dorie Sugay is the Executive Director of Visiting Angels , a company that provides livingassistance services to seniors and adults-in-need who wish to stay in their own home or receive oneon-one care within a facility .
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Sean Connery , Andre Agassi , Kevin Spacey , Jason Stateham , Michael Jordan , Patrick Stewart , Taye Diggs and Bruce Willis are considered some of Hollywood ’ s hottest bald men . But some people don ’ t want to share their “ follicular challenge ” with the world . First - let ’ s dispel a few myths : wearing hats , playing with your hair , and viral infections do not cause male baldness !

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o what causes male pattern baldness ? Certain scalp tissues produce an enzyme which converts the male hormone testosterone in the bloodstream into what is called DHT . DHT , while helpful during fetal development , causes hair follicles to become damaged and shrunken . Follicles that are damaged and fall are not replaced by new follicles . Eric Schweiger , M . D ., a boardcertified dermatologist and a hair transplant surgeon , says that it has become apparent that hair loss is “ a complex genetic condition most likely involving different genes .” Age , stress , hormone levels and disease all play a role in whether a man will face baldness or not .
Will you be bald because your maternal grandfather was ? Not necessarily . No baldness gene has been identified with certainty . We still don ’ t have a full understanding of genetic predisposition and baldness has skipped generations . Furthermore , according to experts “ the pattern and extent of male pattern hair loss may differ in men of Caucasian , Asian , African or Native American descent .” In other words , new data now challenges the theory that because a male gets his X-chromosome from his mother , he will be bald if his maternal Grandpa was bald .
In 2009 , HairDX announced a genetic screening test to predict predisposition to male baldness . They utilize a DNA sample ( taken with a simple mouth swab ) to test for a genetic variant that apparently 95 % of bald men share . It is too new to be conclusive but it is a good tool . Like most things , early diagnosis allows for proactive and preventive measures . ( Most hair restoration medical offices can conduct this test ).
Hollywood has proven that “ bald men can be hot .” But if you don ’ t care for this look , read on . Ideally , you should have a discussion with your primary physician first . Your physician can help rule out other factors that can lead to hair loss ( hypothyroidism , severe iron deficiency , severe stress , etc .). If your issue is linked to DHT , there are many options : 1 ) topical solutions that include shampoos and FDA-approved creams . A few people I talked to raved about Nizoral shampoo . Ask your doctor about it . 2 ) Propecia is an oral tablet that you can get with a prescription . While doing research , I was informed that the legendary Dwight Clark of the 49ers is the spokesperson for a local doctor who performed his hair transplant . I called Dr . Rosanelli , who has an office in San Jose . Rosanelli who has dedicated the last 20 years of his practice to hair restoration , was extremely helpful and happy to share information . He performs hair transplants and has had favorable results working with the only topical brand that is FDA-approved , Rogaine ( minoxidil ) and Propecia . Propecia , by the way , has helped slow hair loss in 80-90 % of men Rosanelli has treated and two-thirds of his patients grew hair back . Furthermore , he highly encourages clients to take raw palmetto which is believed to help with hair restoration and prostate health . According to Rosanelli , hair transplants look more natural now because the procedure involves transferring one to three hairs at a time rather than a clump of hair at a time . This process prevents the “ mop ” look and the transplanted hair is not likely to fall off in the future . Downtime depends on the complexity of work but some people can return to work within