Around half of all men worldwide will lose all or most of their hair by the time they turn 50. Hair loss and male pattern baldness are more common than you might think, but that doesn’t stop it from being upsetting when it happens to you.

Here’s everything that you need to know about hair loss, why it occurs, and how you can learn to live with it and make it work for you.

How Does Hair Loss Occur?

In general, hair loss will start by receding in the hairline, which will then lead to overall thinning around the crown and temple area, leaving hair in the shape of a horseshoe, which is left around the back and sides of the hair. Hair loss in itself tends to be very logical, progressing from follicle to follicle so that the loss occurs over a range of zones. There are three common ways that men tend to lose their hair, and each man can be affected to a different extent. They are:

1. Temple hair loss:

This type of hair loss is also known as a receding hairline, and this occurs when you start losing your hair towards your forehead, with the pattern progressively moving backwards. This kind of hair loss is the most common; occurring in almost all men. Less than five per cent of adult men are able to maintain the full, straight hairline that they had as a boy.

2. Crown hair loss:

Hair loss on the crown will typically occur in a circular pattern. Most of the time, it will begin at the back of the head, and the pattern of hair loss will expand from there.

3. Overall thinning:

Most of the time, men will see their overall hair volume be reduced by around 50 per cent, even if they do not have any actual bald spots. The first sign of hair thinning might be that your parting has widened, or a sunburned scalp. Asian men tend to be particularly affected by this type of hair loss.

Why Does Hair Loss in Men Happen?

All men (and women too) will lose some hair as they grow older, but for some, it’s much more noticeable compared to others. Male pattern baldness is genetic and is what causes a whopping 95 per cent of male hair loss. Typically, identical twins will lose their hair at the same time and in the same pattern. Scientists believe that male pattern baldness occurs due to too much of a male hormone that functions in a more intense way to testosterone and plays on sensitive hair follicles.

Treating Hair Loss

Male pattern baldness is a very natural and normal part of ageing as a man, so there’s no real need to treat it if you don’t want to. However, the good news is that if you would like to hang onto your hair for longer, there are various options available that you can try.

1. Medication

There are two commonly used types of medication for male pattern baldness; minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is applied to the head daily in the form of a lotion, or you can get a shampoo that is enriched with it. You can buy minoxidil and explore other hair loss treatment options at Manual who provide a range of solutions for men with male pattern baldness, along with plenty of excellent information on how to cope with this part of your life. Finasteride is a tablet that you take once a day to prevent testosterone from being converted into dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that is responsible for shrinking hair follicles. It usually takes around 3-6 months to see any effects.

2. Hair Transplants:

Hair transplants are another option that is becoming increasingly common among celebrities. During the process, a small part of your scalp that has plenty of hair will be removed and divided up into small groups of hair or single hairs. The procedure is done under local anaesthetic. The removed hairs will then be grafted onto the areas of your hair where the hair has been lost. The hair will settle and begin to regrow within six months, but it can be a lengthy process to get the full results as a break of 9-12 months is needed between each procedure. It’s also not suitable for men who have gone completely bald as some hair is required for grafting.

3. Styling it Out:

Finally, there are plenty of options to both slow down your hair loss or embrace it without treatment. First of all, getting plenty of sleep and living a healthy lifestyle can help to slow down hair loss. And, a good barber can help you find a hairstyle that works for you with what you have left — or you could simply rock the bald look. Growing a beard is also a popular option with many men.

Remember, hair loss is a completely normal and common part of ageing and there’s far more to you than just the amount of hair on your head!