Hair Loss in Men
Overcome Male Pattern Baldness
Read Time: 17 min
Everything You Need to Know About Hair Loss in Men
If you are experiencing balding or hair thinning, you are not alone. More than 85% of men will experience significant hair loss by the time they reach 50 years of age. Many potential factors cause hair loss in men, including stress, hormones, genetics, aging, and immune system issues. While hair loss can feel defeating, there are ways to grow back your hair and avoid the progressive impact of male pattern baldness. If you are not sure where to start on your journey to restoring your hair, this guide is a great resource and the perfect place for you to begin.
Understanding Male Hair Loss
Male pattern baldness,also known as androgenic alopecia,can begin as early as your teenage years and starts with a receding hairline, progressing later into the crown and then to the front of your scalp. Typically with androgenic alopecia, hair follicles begin to shrink, and your growth cycle is thrown out of whack, causing hair loss. If you didn't know, your hair moves through three main stages:
The anagen stage is your hair growth stage. This is where your hair roots begin to divide and form new hairs. With androgenic alopecia, the anagen phase gets shorter and shorter, causing less hair growth and thinning hair.
Next, your hair moves into the catagen stage. This transitional phase lasts a little over a week and moves into the telogen phase, where hairs are not growing.
Last your hair moves into the resting phase. This is where hair shedding can occur with a normal rate of 50-100 hairs.
While the science behind hair loss in men can feel overwhelming, the good news is you are not stuck with the fate of a receding hairline – you can restore and revitalize your hair and your confidence. You just need the right tools and information to do so.
What Causes Hair Loss in Men?
Hair loss in men is caused by several factors including genetics, hormones, exposure to stress, it can even be caused by medical conditions like depression and heart disease.
So is all hair loss bad? Well, no. In fact, some hair loss is entirely normal. The typical person sheds 50-100 hairs per day and won’t notice because the old hairs will be replaced with new ones. However, when those 50-100 hairs are not replaced with new growth, you will start to notice hair loss, this is where male pattern baldness is experienced.
Hair Loss in Young Men
Hair loss in men is not just experienced as you age. In fact, you can start experiencing hair loss in your teen years. Some of the most common hair loss causes in young men are:
Causes of hair loss in young men
- Autoimmune disorders
- Thyroid issues.
Experiencing hair loss at a young age can be scary, but the good news is there are many treatments available to help you grow back your hair, but it is important to know what has triggered your hair loss. For example, if you eat a diet low in protein, iron, and zinc, you would want to increase those vitamins in your hair growth routine to see the best results. Now let’s take a look at further causes of hair loss in men.
Sudden Hair Loss in Men
While androgenic alopecia can be a progressive form of hair loss, moving through stages, sudden hair loss in men is, as it sounds, unexpected and happens without warning. If you experience this type of hair loss, it could be caused by:
- Poor diet
- Lifestyle choices
You might be wondering how your diet can cause hair loss, and the answer lies in nutrition. Your body requires certain vitamins and minerals to function at its best, and that includes fueling a healthy head of hair. If you are cutting out major food groups, reducing your calories too much, or eating an unhealthy diet, you might experience hair loss. Ideally, your body needs vitamin A, D, C, and b vitamins to keep your hair healthy as well as a steady intake of protein, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. If you are skipping out on these nutrients or eating an unbalanced diet, sudden hair loss can occur. Other lifestyle choices that can cause sudden hair loss are lack of exercise, smoking, and improper hair care.
Medications and illnesses can trigger hair loss through your body's reaction to the ingredients or the illness. Some of the most common medications that cause hair loss are: antidepressants, birth control, antibiotics, immune-suppressing drugs, and even acne medication. It is important to let your doctor know of any side effects you are experiencing from your medications, including hair loss. Moreover, men suffering from depression, heart problems, high blood pressure, high fever, and even arthritis can experience sudden hair loss. It is also not uncommon to experience sudden hair loss after having major surgery.
Stress is another common cause of sudden hair loss and will typically be seen a few months after a traumatic event or after exposure to extreme levels of stress. In the anagen phase, your hair stops growing as a response to the stressor and enters a transitional stage of growth, causing rapid shedding months later.
What is Male Pattern Baldness?
Male pattern baldness is characterized by hair thinning and balding starting at your hairline, progressing to your crown and then moving to the front of your scalp. This condition is caused by hair follicle shrinkage and disruptions in your hair growth cycle.
Types of Hair Loss in Men
So what are the different types of hair loss in men?
Caused by your immune system attacking your hair follicles, alopecia areata is typically characterized by random patches of missing hair. This type of hair loss can last for years but should eventually go away.
A traumatic event or extreme stress triggers this type of hair loss, and hair will begin to fall out around 2-3 months after the traumatic event.
Scalp psoriasis: Scalp psoriasis doesn't cause hair loss, however itching the scalp can cause an infection that can cause damage to the hair follicles.
Staph bacteria or fungi can lead to general inflammation of the follicles on your scalp or elsewhere on your body, known as folliculitis. This condition is characterized by small, itchy bumps and can permanently damage your hair follicles.
Also known as itchy scalp, this condition can cause significant discomfort. Aggressive scratching can quicken hair loss spurred on by weakened hair follicles damaged by the condition.
This is a hair-pulling disorder classified under OCD. Those suffering from this condition will impulsively pull out the hair on their scalp, eyelids, and other parts of the body.
While not all hair products are directly linked to hair loss, the use of products containing chemicals like sodium chloride, parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and fragrance can cause hair to fall out.
Medication Side Effects
Hair loss is listed as a side effect for an enormous list of medications, but luckily the hair fall tends to end once use of the drug stops. Some of the most common medications that cause hair loss are acne medications, antibiotics, antifungals, and immunosuppressants.
Chemo or Radiation Therapy
Chemotherapy targets dividing cells, which works great to target cancer. However, chemotherapy cannot decipher between cancer cells and healthy cells, so it attacks your hair cells too. Hair often grows back a few weeks post-treatment, although it may have a temporary or permanent change in appearance, texture, and color.
The only way that styling your hair can lead to hair loss is to regularly pull your hair into tight hairstyles that pull your hair by the roots. If you start to notice hair thinning along the area that hair is pulled back, this might be the culprit of your hair loss.
How to Prevent Hair Loss in Men
While some hair loss cannot be avoided, there are some preventative ways to stop hair loss in men, before it starts. For one, focus on your lifestyle choices. Smoking, poor diet, and a sedentary lifestyle can all contribute to hair loss. If you want to prevent hair loss, start eating hair-healthy foods like avocados, eggs, spinach, fatty fish, and berries. If you haven't worked out in a while, start a new workout program (even walking) and get your body moving every day. It would help if you also tried to get a handle on your stress since it wreaks havoc on your hairline. Try meditation and getting outdoors, as it can relieve stress-induced hair loss. If stress is causing hair loss, you need to address the stress before trying to grow back your hair.
While these methods work great to prevent hair loss in men, you might need more advanced remedies for hair restoration if you are already experiencing progressive balding or hair thinning.
Can A Man’s Hair Grow Back?
Yes, there are lifestyle changes and other efforts you can apply to grow back your hair successfully. It all comes down to diet, exercise, stress management, and effective hair growth treatments.
Male Hair Loss Treatment Options
If you are already experiencing hair loss, then you might be looking for more than diet and lifestyle changes to grow back your hair. While these methods work complimentary to a hair growth routine, they need support from other hair restoration therapies. Luckily, there are many male hair loss treatments out there designed to help stop hair loss in its tracks.
How to Stop Hair Loss in Men
So now for the fun stuff! If you have been looking for a male hair loss treatment option, then you are in the right place. There are several ways you can restore your hair loss and enjoy new hair growth in just a few months, depending on what method you choose.
Low-Level Laser Therapy or LLLT
LLLT is a non-invasive hair growth therapy that stimulates your hair follicles at a cellular level. LLLT uses light therapy as an at-home and discreet option for hair loss. LLLT for hair loss has been clinically proven to be safe and effective and works great with other hair loss methods and even on its own. When using LLLT, you will typically see hair growth in 4-6 months. You can go to a clinic for LLLT, but there are also FDA cleared devices that are safe to use in the comfort of your own home.
Minoxidil is a well-known hair growth ingredient found in topical creams that have been designed to slow down hair loss and promote new growth. Minoxidil works to increase the time your hair spends in the anagen phase, widens your hair follicles and improves your hair's density. Generally, Minoxidil is safe, but you must use it continuously for results, and it does have some side effects like rash, weight gain, and heart palpitations.
DHT Blocker Medication
When testosterone increases, it is converted to dihydrotestosterone or DHT. DHT and hair loss go hand in hand. DHT is a hair loss causing hormone that affects male sex traits and impacts your body's hair growth. There are some DHT blockers out there designed to combat the effects of DHT and support hair growth. Finasteride is one popular DHT blocker that helps block DHT and helps support hair growth. Like Minoxidil, Finasteride requires life-time use to keep the hair growth benefits. Finasteride does come with some side effects like depression, decreased sex drive, and gynecomastia.
Hair Growth Shampoos and Conditioners
Hair growth shampoos and conditioners work to strengthen your existing hair, energize your scalp, and send vital ingredients to your scalp. Some are designed to also protect against DHT. Most hair growth shampoos and conditioners do not have side-effects beyond a potential allergic reaction.
Hair transplants are a more invasive hair restoration method, typically used when creams and other hair restoration methods do not work. A hair transplant is a procedure that removes hair from one area of the scalp and grafts it to the area that is experiencing loss. Hair transplants can cost anywhere from 4,000 to 15,000 and have a wide range of success. Typically you will see 10-80% hair growth in a few months.
As mentioned earlier, eating healthy foods and moving your body should be part of your hair growth efforts. Your scalp needs the circulation that exercise offers and the vital nutrients healthy foods give. It is also important to manage stress and quit smoking if you are a smoker. Having a healthy lifestyle will support new hair growth and help you keep it.
What is the Best Treatment for Male Hair Loss?
With so many male hair loss treatments out there, you might be wondering which one works the best. Ultimately that depends on your individual needs. If you want a more natural, non-invasive hair growth option, then LLLT is the way to go. However, it is essential to have a thorough hair growth routine that includes lifestyle changes, topical creams, and even hair growth vitamins. These hair growth therapies work together to produce the natural, long-lasting results you want.
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