Hair loss is something that the majority of men can expect to experience at some stage in their lives. With this said, we hope that if it has to happen at all, that it is minor, gradual and occurs once we’re older. It is for the most part true that you’re at a greater risk of hair loss with old age, because as with many bodily functions, your body slows down and spends less energy focused on the non-essential aspects of your person.
Yet some men experience hair loss earlier than expected, and this can be quite a shock and perhaps a reason to feel self-conscious. Hair loss is common at a younger stage of adulthood too, with just under a third of men under the age of 30 having had some hair loss.
To complicate matters, research seems to indicate that early hair loss in young people is occurring at an increased rate. We’ll explore the reason for early hair loss in this article, and suggest methods to treat the condition.
Why am I losing my hair?
It is no secret that your genes play the largest role in determining hair loss. Male pattern balding makes up 19 out of 20 cases of hair loss, at all different years of life. A myth that you might have read online is that you should look at your grandfather on your mother’s side, and if they have signs of baldness then you’re likely to also.
Whilst this will of course increase your chances, the males on your father’s side equally feed into your likelihood of balding.
In males, testosterone in the body creates a DHT as a byproduct, and hair follicles that are overly sensitive to this hormone will shrink and not reproduce as strong and full a hair strand in the next growth phase.
After some time, the follicle no longer produces new hairs. It either occurs from the front of the hair line and recedes back, or spreads from the crown. If you notice this occurring at a young age, your follicles might be particularly sensitive to DHT, and might shrink quicker than expected.
Stressful events in one’s life can cause the body to halt the growth of new hairs as a sort of long term fight or flight response, as the hair on the head is after all a non-essential aspect of the body. If the period of intense stress passes, the hair should return to full and natural growth within 6 months to a year.
However, if you have chronic stress, or just ongoing daily stress, the hair follicles might not recover fully, and longer term hair loss might occur.
How to Prevent or Treat Hair Loss
Thankfully, no hair loss is permanent at a younger age, especially if you spot your hair receding or thinning at an early stage.
The first method you should try is to remove stressors from your daily life. Perhaps easier said than done, it is definitely worth taking the time to outline what the biggest stressors in your life are, and if there’s anything you can do to reduce the impact of these on your mental health. This promotes a healthy mind and body, and if your hair loss is indeed stress related, this might prevent further balding.
The most effective method of treatment is clinically proven hair loss medication. Finasteride or Minoxidil (used in the popular brand Regaine), are the 2 substances approved by regulatory authorities as being effective at preventing further hair loss and in many cases promoting hair regrowth. It widens the follicles in the scalp, encouraging thicker hair to grow.
A few courses of either the tablet medication or the topical ointment can produce noticeable results, but keep in mind that continuous usage of the medication is needed to not revert back to losing hair.