Hair Loss In Men: Why it happens and how to fix it!
Did you know that 25% of men experience hair loss, thinning, and receding by the age of 30? This percentage increases to 40% by the time men are 40, and 85% by the time men are 50.
As you can see, most men do eventually experience hair loss, so you’re not alone…
But, how do you know you’re experiencing male hair loss? What are the signs?
Almost all cases of male hair loss are down to genetics… So, thank your family! If hair is falling in a receding pattern, typically from the temples and crown of the head to start off with, this usually means you’ve got male pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia. It accounts for 95% of baldness cases!
However, if you’re losing patches of hair in a fairly random manner then you may be displaying symptoms of alopecia areata. This condition affects all genders, and it’s an auto-immune issue.
The immune system begins treating hair cells as threats to the body and starts purposefully destroying them. This can affect areas of hair all over the body. If you’re experiencing random hair loss that matches this description, get checked out by your doctor stat.
But how quickly might you lose your hair completely? Everyone is different. Unfortunately, a time can’t be put on it.
So, why have I got male pattern baldness?
If you’re experiencing male pattern baldness, your body is becoming more sensitive to androgens: these are the male sex hormones. The level of your sensitivity can be attributed to your family history.
Certain other factors can exasperate symptoms or trigger impermanent hair loss: excessive alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, lack of protein, some medications, hormonal imbalances, skin infections on the scalp, and/or stress.
Stress is more likely to cause temporary alopecia-like symptoms though. Severe stress can cause an issue called telogen effluvium, which interrupts the growth stage of the scalp’s hair follicles causing the hair to fall. Once your stress levels decrease, this usually rectifies itself.
A lack of sexual activity or abstinence, despite the myths, does not cause hair loss or thinning.
What can I do to slow down my male hair loss/male pattern baldness?
Remember, everyone loses their hair naturally and as we grow older it is normal for hair to thin, but there are ways you can support your hair and scalp appropriately which may help slow down the hair thinning and falling.
Scalp cleanse & massage: Dead skin cells, dirt, and oil are easily collected on your scalp which clogs the pores and makes it even harder for new hair to come through. When you shampoo, take a couple of minutes to really massage your cleanser into the scalp to ensure all the muck comes away with the rinse.
Our blood carries nutrients around the body to fuel and feed its functionings and processes. Incorporating a good scalp massage in your hair washing routine can encourage the blood to the scalp, and to the hair follicles.
Reduce stress: During stressful times, our body focuses most of its energy on feeding our vital organs with oxygen like our heart, lungs, and brain, so our poor scalp doesn't get to see much of those needed nutrients in our blood during these times and thus our hair goes without.
In addition, high stress can lead to restless nights, where the body is unable to enter the Deep Sleep stage of the sleep cycle. This is crucial for the health of our hair, as it's the stage in which our growth and repair take place. Without it, we're more likely to wake up with limp, lifeless strands and it will struggle to grow back where there's hair loss, too.
Exercise is a natural stress reliever. It gets the blood pumping around the body and releases endorphins which are the happy hormones! You should aim to do 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise (hiking, gardening), or 75 minutes of vigorous activity (aerobics, running).
You can also look at methods like meditation. Why not read our blog about the amazing ways meditation can support you in reducing stress levels here?
Loosen your hairstyles: Tight ponytails, cornrows, braids, and “man-buns” if pulled too tightly can cause traction alopecia. This happens when the hair has been pulled at intense tension over a substantial period of time. Try not to pull your hair too tightly back in certain styles if you wear it long.
Use targeted products: Using targeted hair growth and thickening products are a great way of supporting your hair and scalp if you’re displaying symptoms of male patterned baldness.
Look to products like Cel’s Microstem Biotin Shampoo & Conditioner. Both are designed specifically for thinning hair, to give you the appearance of thicker, fuller-looking hair.
Their formulas are made up of a powerful blend of scientifically optimised plant extracts, including Active Panax Ginseng and Biotin, which strengthens the hair and promotes new hair growth. Active Panax Ginseng works to increase the number of dermal papilla cells in the scalp, as well as stimulating the hair follicles to encourage more hair growth where it has started to thin.
Sort out your diet: Diet is incredibly important to the hair growth cycle, so be mindful of what you’re eating. This way your body can obtain all the vitamins and minerals it needs to nourish your scalp and fuel hair growth. For hair to grow, your body needs foods high in things like Biotin, Vitamins B, C, D, E, Iron, and Omega 3.
Read our blog on the do’s and don’ts of food for hair growth here to get clued up on how to maximise your diet for your hair.
Men are generally not encouraged to talk about their feelings, but thankfully in recent years, the stigma around male mental health has been positively transforming.
Talking about your hair issues with loved ones and close friends, especially other men experiencing male pattern baldness (which is a high percentage of you!) can be great for fostering a helpful support network. They may also be having a similar experience, and you can share tips that have worked for you and articles like this that you’ve read. This will help you to feel less alone and prevent feelings of sadness that can surround hair loss.
If you’re really concerned about your hair loss, thinning and/or receding, chat to your doctor as there may be a medication they can offer that might help.