Nobody anticipates it coming and definitely, nobody likes it. It can induce a certain feeling of anxiety, panic, frustration, and even depression. We’re talking about hair loss, specifically for men.
‘Am I going bald?’ is a question a 30-something man or older asks himself one too many times in front of the mirror. If you’re wondering why your hairline seems to start receding, you’re not alone (Thank God!). A study conducted by the American Family Physician shows that roughly two-thirds of American men will come across a certain degree of hair loss when he reaches 35, with about 80% addressing male pattern baldness by the time they reach 50.
35 is a tad early to be worrying about hair loss. We should be living our lives to the fullest, not worrying how many hair strands we just lose in the shower this morning. Right?
Why Do Men Lose Hair?
Unfortunately, wrong. Hair loss can start as soon as the end of puberty depending on your inherited genetic susceptibility to DHT, a naturally occurring hormone created by testosterone.
If you think that looking at old family photos and spotting if there’s a pattern of male hair loss within the family has got you covered, you’re not quite wrong but there’s a whole other range of reasons too. Yes, genetics play a role in this but it can also be attributed to conditions such as lifestyle, stress, and hormonal factors, to name a few.
But, we’ve got great news. You can put a stop to this sequence. Curious? Keep on reading. But first, let’s tackle the causes of male hair loss.
Genetics and male pattern baldness
Androgenetic Alopecia (male pattern baldness or AGA) is the most common cause of hair loss for both men and women, however, it’s more prevalent among men. Although genes from your mom can play a huge role in this, she’s only half the story. It usually manifests in a receding hairline or a thinning crown and is both an inherited and hormonal event.
How to spot it: If you notice that your hair is thinning around your temples, or when you style your hair and it doesn’t seem to look like the way it used to, it’s usually hair recession caused by AGA. For most individuals, this pattern will continue to develop over time, leading to an M-shaped hairline. We don’t want that now, do we?
Testosterone and DHT
Balding can be attributed to hormonal imbalances, which can be blamed on two different hormones – testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (or DHT). Although DHT is responsible for your sexy male features such as a deep voice and increased muscle mass, and hair in other parts of your body such as armpits, legs, and arms, it is also a reason why you’ll probably lose your gorgeous hair. DHT sticks to the hair follicles and shrinks them down, putting a halt on hair growth permanently.
How to spot it: With DHT attacking your hair follicles, you’ll notice that your hair doesn’t appear to grow as much as it used to be, resulting in thinning hair over time. Our hair grows about half an inch every month, and male hair grows slightly faster than female hair. So if you were unfaithful to your trusted barber, tried someone else, and ended up with a bad haircut, your hair should grow back pronto – unless those pesky DHT hormones have already set camp on your head.
Lifestyle and poor diet
Were you the life of the party pre-quarantine? Are you guilty of putting up an all-nighter and not having enough quality sleep? Are you putting off exercising? Do you follow an unbalanced diet? Or perhaps you’re a vegan and don’t get to consume the recommended daily amount of iron. If you’re nodding your head and have answered yes to any of these, it’s probably your lifestyle and diet that’s hurting your hair follicles.
Lack of sleep contributes to stress, which may exacerbate the consequences of hair loss such as shedding, thinning, and dandruff. It also results in lower production of hormones vital for hair growth. Reducing the intake of caffeine and cigarettes, and sleeping early can help reverse hair loss.
Similarly, a diet with no ample amount of essential vitamins and minerals needed for hair growth can damage your chances of prolonging hair loss. A diet rich in potassium, protein, and iron is proven to help counteract hair loss.
How to spot it: Pay attention to your crown when you’re not getting enough sleep, when you’re stressed out at any aspect of your life, or when you dial Uber Eats too many times in a week and don’t feed your body with healthy food. Do you notice your pillow to have more falling hair than usual? Or maybe your hairbrush pulls more hair strands than, say, last month? This might be your lifestyle that’s harming your hair.
Now that we’ve identified the three most common hair loss culprits, it’s time to take charge of your hair. Male pattern baldness and hairline recession are easy and affordable to treat so the sooner you notice that you’re losing hair, the better.
Treatments are available on the market in the form of medical treatments like minoxidil and finasteride. But you might want to find other alternatives as well since minoxidil has side effects. Let’s see what are they!