The American Hair Loss Association state that 50% of men will experience some form of hair loss by the time they reach the age of 50. Unfortunately, it is an unavoidable matter of fact that your hair will thin as you age and you will lose some. However, some experience out of the ordinary levels of hair loss and this can leave men feeling emasculated and self-conscious.
Hair is often seen as a signs of youth, health and virility and losing it can have a deep impact on how you, as a man, see yourself. There are many myths and speculations on the exact causes of hair loss in men, however these can be narrowed down to just three areas – genetics, lifestyle and skin conditions.
Male pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss in men. It is the common u-shaped hair loss and is entirely genetic. Genes have to be passed down from both side of the family, making your predisposition to suffer hair loss. It causes your scalp to become sensitive to a hormone change in the hair follicles, eventually rejecting them and causing the hair to fall out. There is only one treatment for male pattern baldness and it is a drug called , which has been shown to treat hair loss in 90% of men.
Of course, age plays a huge part in hair loss too. Unfortunately, there is no fighting mother nature on this one and both men and women will experience hair thinning and some hair loss as we grow older. From age 30 onwards, the rate of hair growth begins to slow and volume decreases as the body learns to concentrate on more vital systems.
A poor diet, high levels of stress and lack of exercise can all contribute to hair loss. Like the rest of your body, your hair needs vitamins and nutrients in order to grow and remain healthy. If you are not eating well then your hair simply won’t be getting these and this will cause it to thin and fall out. You should try to eat food rich in vitamins and antioxidants such as kidney beans, kale and spinach. Protein, iron, zinc and biotin are also vital for health hair growth and fatty foods and sugars should be avoided.
Intense physical or emotional stress can lead to a type of hair loss referred to as telogen effluvium, which causes a rapid widespread thinning of the hair. The body begins to shut down non-vital systems when dealing with stress and hair is one of the first to go. If you cannot get rid of the cause of the stress, such as a job or bereavement, cognitive behavioural therapy can help you to manage your stress. Regular exercise may also help and you should see hair returning to normal after around 6 months.
Tight hairstyles can also cause hair loss, as can harsh treatments and products. For example – avoid the man bun! Not only is it the worst hairstyle to grace men this decade, it can also lead to hair loss in the future! Avoid harsh products and treatments and be kind to your hair.
Hair loss can be caused by skin conditions such as psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis. These cause inflammation of the scalp that may make it itchy and irritated but can also cause the hair to fall out. Medicated shampoos and treatments to reduce the inflammation should treat these types of skin conditions.
Here at The Wimpole Clinic, we have extensive knowledge of how best to treat many types of hair loss, so whether you’ve spotted some early signs of hair loss or want to regain some of what’s been lost already, why not book a consultation to help reverse the process and give you the best advice on how to prevent more damage.