Your Local Pharmacist is

Jay Koovarjee

 92 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9221 0091
fax: (02) 8880-8326

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:: In Brief


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:: Hair Loss

Healthy Men & Hair Loss & Baldness
  Healthy Men
  Hair Loss & Baldness

Male pattern balding (androgenic alopecia) is the most common form of hair loss seen in men, and readily identified by its familiar pattern of progression.

Until recently it was believed male balding was not a sex-linked characteristic (i.e. not transmitted on the X or Y chromosomes) and we could inherit the problem from either parent. However a 2005 German study found the X-linked androgen receptor (AR) genes – which we inherit from our mothers - to be the major determinant in early male patterned balding.

The percentages for male balding are around 20% of men in their 20's; 30% in their 30's and so on. At this time the condition cannot be "cured" (because there's nothing wrong with you) but can usually be stabilised (>80%) and a good percentage of hair recovered.

When a male has the genetic inheritance to exhibit androgenic alopecia, it’s a part of the same hormonal changes that gives him his facial & body hair, muscle bulk, & deepening voice. Statistics suggest it’s more common for mature-age males to exhibit some degree of androgenic alopecia than not.

Causes of hair loss:

Some hair losses are temporary (known as telogen effluvium), while others may have long-term effects. Only those that damage the follicles or the root (the living part of the hair) cause permanent loss. Breaking or damaging the hair shaft has no affect at all on the health of the hair root. 

Some causes of hair loss include:

  • Heredity – the effects of testosterone, the male sex hormone
  • Hormonal changes – such as thyroid disease
  • Alopecia areata – an autoimmune disorder
  • Medications – such as cancer chemotherapy or corticosteroids
  • Nervous habits – such as continual hair pulling or scalp rubbing
  • Rough handling – brushing too vigorously, tight rolling of hair curlers, overbleaching or the use of harsh dyes and chemicals
  • Burns or injuries
  • Tinea capitis (ringworm of the scalp)
  • Long-term illness, major surgery and high fever – may cause temporary hair loss


The management of male genetic hair loss is generally straightforward and uncomplicated. Commercial hair loss ‘studios, clinics or clubs’ staffed by salesmen on commission, & selling dubious, overpriced treatment programs should be avoided.

Medical treatment - Minoxidil 15 OTC product.

Treatment aims to slow or reduce hair loss, stimulate partial regrowth or replace damaged hair. Non-surgical treatments include lotions and tablets. In general, these must be used continuously to maintain regrowth. If treatment is stopped, regrowth ceases and hair loss will start again. Cosmetic options include wigs and hairpieces.

A number of other treatments have been suggested for hair loss including massage, vitamin supplements, herbal remedies (such as saw palmetto), zinc, amino acids, hair lotions and tonics. None of these has been shown to promote hair growth or prevent hair loss. There is also no scientific evidence that the use of lasers is effective.

More Information:

Ask Your Pharmacist about:

  • hair loss treatments 

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