6 Things You Should Know About Male Hair Loss
We often take our hair for granted until we notice a bigger-than-usual clump in our hair brush. Finding hair in the comb is normal — we shed about 100 strands a day, but more than that is cause for concern.
More than 80 percent of men experience significant hair loss during their lifetime. For most of them, hair thinning starts before middle age. By the time they reach the age of 60, about 65 percent of men will suffer from visible hair loss.
In Singapore, a study has shown that approximately 63 percent of men have androgenetic alopecia or Male-pattern hair loss. Further, the prevalence increased with age, from 32 percent among young adults to a whopping 100 percent among those in their 80s.
Male hair loss can stem from a multitude of reasons. This blog will shed light on facts about hair loss in men and what to do about it.
1. The most common type of male hair loss is called male pattern baldness
Male pattern baldness refers to the loss of hair in men, which occurs as hormone levels fluctuate over a man’s lifetime.
Did you know that male pattern baldness accounts for 95 percent of hair loss in men? Though other factors can cause hair loss, genetics and hormonal changes are the most common reasons they lose their hair.
Male pattern baldness is usually detected based on the pattern and appearance of hair loss. For instance, your hair doctor may observe a pattern of hair thinning on the crown and a ßreceding hairline.
2. Genetics and hormones are accountable for male hair loss
Hair loss in men usually results from genetics and hormonal changes. Male pattern baldness is hereditary, which means having relatives with the condition increases the risk of hair loss. The “balding genes” can be inherited from your mother or father, but in some cases, they may skip generations and affect siblings differently.
Hormonal changes can also influence your risk of getting bald in the future. For example, have you heard about dihydrotestosterone (DHT)? It’s a type of androgen, a sex hormone that contributes to male sex characteristics. However, DHT has also been linked to the shrinking of hair follicles, causing hair loss.
A study revealed that as men age, their testosterone and DHT levels decline gradually from ages 35 onwards. The decline is more significant after 80 years of age. As a result, hair loss starts to happen in middle age.
3. An unhealthy lifestyle and habits can cause hair loss
Besides genetics and hormones, your lifestyle and bad habits can also cause hair loss. For example, stress, smoking cigarettes, and diet can affect your hair’s health.
A type of hair loss known as telogen effluvium pushes your hair follicles into the resting phase, which causes diffuse hair loss for about 2 to 3 months. Though it’s temporary, chronic stress can cause widespread hair thinning.
Smoking tobacco has been known as a hair loss trigger in men. It can potentially damage your hair follicles. In a 2020 study, researchers found that the prevalence of androgenic alopecia was higher in smokers than in nonsmokers. Another survey about smoking and hair loss showed that cigarette smoke causes damage to the DNA of hair follicles.
Additionally, your diet may be harming your hair. Did you know that nutrient deficiency can also lead to hair loss? For instance, iron deficiency anaemia, a condition wherein the body does not get enough iron, from food intake, is tied to hair loss. Moreover, a deficiency in vitamin D, zinc, vitamin B, copper, and protein can lead to hair loss.
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4. Hair loss in men can strike early
Though most men start experiencing hair thinning by 35 years old, some may have it in their teens and early 20s. Some may find it hard to imagine, but hair loss at a young age is more common than you might think.
About two-thirds of men will experience some degree of hair loss in the United States by 25. Hair loss can even start as early as puberty, but since it’s progressive, it’s not until they reach adulthood that they seek medical help.
5. Your doctor is the best person to ask about hair loss
Hair loss in men is common, but it’s advisable to seek medical help to determine what’s causing yours. Spotting the underlying cause of male hair loss can help treat it appropriately.
Diagnosis begins with detailed patient history, a list of relatives with hair loss, and potential triggering events. Next comes the scalp examination, a biopsy, a hair-pull test, and blood tests to catch the culprit.
6. Hair loss treatments are available, so don’t despair
Though there’s no cure for male pattern baldness, treatments are available to slow its progression and to achieve a head full of hair. First off, you may want to revamp your lifestyle. Changing your diet, stopping smoking, and relieving stress can go a long way.
Additionally, medicines are available to treat male pattern baldness. These include minoxidil, finasteride, and dutasteride. You need to visit your doctor for a thorough assessment of the severity of your condition and if you need to take these medicines.
You may also opt for other treatment options, such as hair transplant, low-level laser therapy, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP). FUE transplant surgery is a promising option, where your surgeon will extract viable hair grafts from donor areas and implant them on thinning or balding spots on the head.
What to do next?
Male hair loss can be frustrating, but knowing when to find professional help is crucial. A hair surgeon can help determine the cause of your hair loss and, at the same time, initiate treatment. Treating hair loss early can help reduce the severity of hair loss in men.
Boost your confidence and bring back your young-looking self with hair loss treatments tailored to your needs. For more information about male hair loss and how to combat it, please book a consultation with Dr Tyng Tan by calling us at +65 6235 0010 .
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