Hair loss: Bald spot fears

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Indy Lifestyle Online

In recent months I have noticed a slightly bald spot on my head. Like most men, I am not keen to lose my hair. I know there isn't much that can be done once your hair is gone, but in the last few years I've heard that there are very effective products one can take to prevent the loss of hair in the first place. Also, can anyone assess whether I will lose more hair or not? Can a GP or a professional hairdresser tell you? It would be good to know if my concerns are justified, and therefore whether there are measures for prevention, or if I am just paranoid.

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

Typical male baldness, which is caused by genes and hormones, makes the hairline recede at the front of the head and thin and disappear from the crown. Eventually the two areas meet up, leaving a horseshoe-shaped area of hair around the sides and back. As this happens, the hair generally gets thinner. If your bald spot seems to fit into this pattern, then you will probably gradually lose your hair and become bald, to a greater or lesser extent. But if your "slightly bald spot" does not fit into this pattern, it could be caused by something different. A GP or a professional hairdresser will probably be able to give you an idea of whether or not your bald spot is the first sign of baldness. If it is something else, you will need an expert diagnosis from your GP or a dermatologist. There are two drugs that can help with baldness, but they only work if you use them continuously. As soon as you stop, the hair disappears again. Minoxidil is a lotion that you rub into the scalp. Finasteride is a tablet that affects male hormones. You might get a clue about the cause of your hair loss if you look at other male members of your family. It is a myth that baldness is inherited from the maternal side of the family.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.

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