Welcome to Hair Growth Awareness Month. Throughout August, Nutrafol will answer your most burning questions about hair growth, as well as share the latest science and information to help you grow.
Baldness is a sensitive topic: Most men fear getting a bald spot, and many don’t know why bald spots appear or how to deal with them.
What Exactly Is Baldness?
A bald spot is defined as the partial or complete absence of hair from areas of the body where it normally grows. Up until recent years, baldness in men was mainly attributed to either a genetic predisposition and/or increased levels of androgen hormones, specifically dihydrotestosterone (DHT). We know now, however, that while androgens may play a role, there are other factors that also contribute. Factors that are modifiable such as diet, nutrition, circulation, environmental toxicity, and stress.
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The Role of DHT
DHT blood levels alone may not be solely to blame for hair loss, but rather, it could be a sensitivity to DHT at the level of the receptor that affects follicles.Whether genetic or non-genetic, this sensitivity can be modified by improving diet, becoming less insulin resistant, and by using botanicals such as saw palmetto, which aids in balancing DHT levels.
Nutrition & Hair
Poor nutrition — whether due to digestion and absorption and/or dietary habits — can result in decreased availability of the nutrients that hair follicles need. If blood sugar is not being regulated adequately, or if there are increased levels of insulin, this increases the levels of circulating androgens. High cortisol levels or stress hormones over time lead to higher levels of inflammation and depletion of nutrients, both of which get in the way of hair growth.
Is Baldness Permanent?
So you see, there are multiple factors that can contribute to a male bald spot. Many of which can be modified and can result in regrowth of hair. With that said, there are certain types of baldness that do not respond to any interventions. An example of this is scarring hair loss — which is when there is inflammation that results in destruction of the follicle and does not allow for hair regrowth or regeneration.
How to Handle a Bald Spot
If you see a bald spot starting to form, it is best to bring it up to your doctor sooner than later. They will likely run some standard blood tests to assess for any hormone imbalances or nutrient imbalances such as low iron or B12. You can have your dermatologist perform a hair biopsy to identify if the thinning is androgenetic or scarring.