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man suffering from hair loss combing his hair

The Most Common Causes of Hair Loss in Men and How to Combat Them

Suffering from hair loss strikes fear in the hearts of many men across the world. In honour of Men’s Health Week, we’re answering your questions about male hair loss.

Read on to discover what causes hair loss in men and how you can address this.

If you’re notice your hairline receding or thinning at the crown of your head, the first thing to remember is that you are not alone.

Around 25% of men under the age of 30 have experienced hair loss whilst 50% of men over the age of 50 suffer from the most common cause of hair loss.

Arming yourself with knowledge can ensure you know what to do when it occurs.

Image of different types of male hair loss

What is the most common cause of male hair loss?

The most common cause of progressive hair loss in men is androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern baldness. Male pattern baldness is a hereditary disorder where men inherit the genes for baldness.

Is baldness inherited from my mother’s male relatives?

It’s a myth that male pattern baldness is inherited from the mother’s side of the family. Baldness can come from either side of the family or both.

Why do men lose their hair more than women?

During puberty, our bodies release reproductive hormones known as androgens, such as testosterone, which are present at higher levels in men than in women. One hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT), triggers male pattern baldness.

This is because men with male pattern baldness have a genetic sensitivity to DHT, which causes hair follicles to shrink, weaken and eventually stop producing hairs altogether. Because men are constantly producing DHT throughout their lifetimes, this makes them more likely to lose their hair than women, who typically do not have the same genetic or hormonal disposition.

Will it be permanent?

Whilst a great deal of research is being done into male pattern baldness, there is not yet a cure to the disorder.  However, not all hair loss is caused by this condition. Depending on the cause, hair loss in men can be reversible.

What else causes hair loss in men?

Other causes of hair loss in men include diet, lifestyle, stress, underlying medical conditions and simply poor hair and scalp care.

Balding man with pen marks indicating previous hairline

How can I tell what’s causing my hair loss?

Depending on the cause, men’s hair loss can happen suddenly or over an extended period.

Different symptoms usually indicate different causes:

- Gradual thinning at the hairline and crown

These are the typical signs of male pattern baldness

- Patchy bald spots

This could be a sign of alopecia areata where hair falls out in patches, widely considered to be an autoimmune disease

- Sudden onset of dramatic loss

Suddenly losing your hair may be a sign of telogen effluvium, often brought on by a traumatic “shock to the system”

- Full body hair loss

Also known as alopecia universalis, full body hair loss is often unknown however can be caused by extreme environmental stressors, such as undergoing chemotherapy

- Irritated scalp

If your scalp is showing signs of irritation, such as swelling or scaling, this can often prompt hair loss.
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