Hormonal hair loss in men
Hair loss sufferers say that the thing that hurts the most is the stigma surrounding it. It’s incredibly socially and psychologically impactful to the extent that it causes varying levels of depression. But why? Hair loss in men is more common than people realise but the ridicule surrounding it is so rife.
- Why have more men become image-conscious?
- What is the average age that hair loss occurs in men?
- What are the 7 causes of hair loss in men?
- How to treat hair loss in men
- What foods help to regrow hair?
Why have more men become image-conscious?
When you look in the mirror you can be very self-critical about your appearance, nitpicking at each and every flaw. These “flaws” are more visible to yourself than anyone else, but that doesn’t stop you from being fussy about them.
By scrutinising your appearance in this way, you notice even the smallest changes instantly. Therefore as soon as you experience some form of hair loss, you will be aware. This leads to daily observations of your hairline, which becomes obsessive.
But why are men so critical about their appearance? There are rarely any bald actors who play the “prince charming” in movies, nor are there any bald contestants on TV shows like Love Island.
So hair loss in men has never been shown as a sign of good looks. In fact, it is often bantered about among friends – calling each other “baldy” or “squeaky” (usually to hide their own insecurities).
Our culture of being obsessed with the perfect body image, (often with unrealistic and unattainable standards) has caused men to have varying degrees of anxiety, shame and depression surrounding their hair loss.
What is the average age that hair loss occurs in men?
When hair loss occurs in men, it can cut to the core of your identity. Your receding hairline and bald spot can leave your self-image damaged and dramatically different. This sense of not being able to recognise yourself significantly impacts your self-confidence. Moreover, the younger you notice hair loss, the more ashamed men are to express how they feel.
The American Hair Loss Association states that 1-in-3 men will experience hair loss of some level before they reach 35. Men often feel isolated when it comes to their hair loss concerns because it’s not typically spoken about. It’s common for men to start experiencing hair thinning after puberty. Hair loss can happen slowly or rapidly depending on the cause and how sensitive your hair follicles are.
I’m a teenage male, why is my hair falling out?
After puberty, you may notice your hairline beginning to recede, or that gradually you’re losing your hair at the crown. Hair loss in men at this age can be caused by the over-use of styling products like hair gel and pomades.
Skin conditions, hormones and medical conditions can also be causes. You should keep an eye on how your hair loss progresses and seek medical advice if it persists.
What are the 7 causes of hair loss in men?
Hair loss caused by genetics, otherwise called androgenetic alopecia, is triggered by the genes passed down to you by your parents. It’s more commonly known as male pattern baldness which occurs in gradual patterns. It’s caused by a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
A receding hairline and a growing bald patch on the crown are the main signs of pattern hair loss.
- Stress or shock
A shock to the system can cause hair loss in men. If you experience a very stressful event, such as physical or emotional shock, then it’s not uncommon to notice gradual hair thinning. Although this hair loss in unwelcome, thankfully it’s only temporary.
Scalp infections, such as folliculitis, causes scalp inflammation which disrupts hair growth. Bacteria or fungi infect the skin causing itchy, inflamed bumps on the scalp. This causes hair loss because the hairs do not have a “fertile soil” to grow within.
- Immune system
Alopecia Areata is a condition that attacks the hair follicles because your immune system sees them as a foreign body. Therefore the hair follicles die and stop producing new hairs. If left untreated, the condition can spread across the body and cause hair loss in various areas.
Excessive hairstyling and hair dyeing that puts pressure on your scalp and hair follicles can cause hair loss. Tight hairstyles like cornrows or tight buns cause traction alopecia. Persistent hairstyles like this can cause scarring therefore hair loss will be permanent.
- Medical conditions
Hair loss is a side effect of many medications and supplements. Medication and treatments that are used for cancer, arthritis, depression, heart problems and high blood pressure can all cause hair loss in men.
- Impulsive control disorders
Pulling at your scalp hair when you are stressed, upset or angry can also cause hair loss. Similar to traction alopecia, pulling at your hair in this way puts unnecessary stress on your hair follicles. Because of this, your hair follicles are weakened and can cause excessive hair fall.
How to treat hair loss in men
The result of hair loss in men causes varying degrees of anxiety and depression. Whatever stage the hair thinning is at, men are usually too ashamed to express how they feel about it. This means that men are rarely talking to each other about treatment options and sharing their experiences.
Michael Segalov wrote an article for The Guardian speaking about his experience as a 27 man losing his hair. He said:
“Recently, I decided to start speaking about the underlying anxiety my hair continues to cause me…Rather than banging on about my barnet, I’d ask friends about theirs. The lucky, lusciously locked ones had no worries; a few others told me they’d tried products and potions. Some had cut their losses and shaved everything off.”
What are the permanent solutions for hair loss?
The articles goes on to talk about a man (Harry Engall) who wanted a permanent solution to his receding hairline as it was becoming impossible to hide it. He forked out a staggering £5K for a hair transplant in Manchester! While Michael Segalov himself got a quote from a London clinic for £3.7K – of course, different levels of hair loss will cause the price to change from person to person.
However, these prices are a huge jump from the cost of a hair transplant in Turkey! Many men seek hair transplant surgery because it’s the only permanent solution to hair loss. It’s a one-time procedure that’s performed in Turkey at ¼ of the price compared to the UK!
This doesn’t mean that the quality is lower at all, in fact, it’s more affordable because Turley has lower living costs and lower overheads.
What are the temporary solutions for hair loss?
Minoxidil and Finasteride are the other common options to treat hair loss in men – however, they both have risky side-effects.
- Minoxidil is an over the counter treatment in the form of a liquid or foam that invigorates hair follicles. But with this treatment you need to be applying it consistently – in fact, you need to be applying it twice a day, every day. However, this treatment can cause high blood pressure as you grow older.
- Finasteride pills are the other option that is only available on a prescription from your GP. They work by reducing your testosterone levels, but on the other hand, they reduce your libido and reduced your erectile function.
What foods help to regrow hair?
Obtaining a nutrient-rich diet is also recommended to ensure that your hair is in its best condition. When you start to experience hair loss, and even before this, you need to be consuming the best foods that promote hair growth. Check out the best foods that help hair growth.
If you decide to seek a hair loss treatment make sure you weigh up all your options. Although creams and pills may seem less “major” than a hair transplant operation, they have some hefty side effects. These side effects shouldn’t be taken lightly as they can cause lengthy consequences, even after you stop using them.
Furthermore, when choosing a clinic to have your hair transplant, try to speak to people who have been before. Watch Youtube videos about peoples experiences and read reviews.
Don’t just choose a hair transplant clinic based on cost alone, it’s your hair and a huge part of your appearance. Choose a clinic that genuinely wants to help you regain your confidence through effective treatment.