It’s a fact that a lot of men will go through some form of hair loss in their lives. They’re also going to spend a lot of their life worrying about if and when it’s going to happen! This can have a major impact on your self-esteem and confidence. One of the main reasons why people worry so much about it is that there’s a lot of misinformation out there and a lot of fear about asking questions.

It’s only natural that you’re going to be wondering about the causes, treatments, and prevention options available if you’re experiencing hair loss, or if you’re worried that you will. However, knowing more may help you to feel in control, so let’s get started!

What Causes Male Hair Loss?

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? You might also know male hair loss as male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. It’s generally caused by a mix of genetic and hormonal factors. The main culprit is DHT (that’s dihydrotestosterone), a hormone that’s derived from testosterone. DHT causes hair follicles to shrink, leading to shorter and finer hair until they eventually stop producing new hair altogether. Family history, ageing, and certain medical conditions can also contribute to male hair loss.

How Common Is Male Hair Loss?

Male hair loss is incredibly common, affecting a large percentage of men worldwide. Around two-thirds of men will have some degree of hair loss by the time they’re 35. Approximately 85 per cent of men will have noticeable thinning hair by the age of 50. Now, the severity and pattern of hair loss can vary.

Can Lifestyle Choices Contribute To Hair Loss?

While genetics play a significant role in male hair loss, certain lifestyle choices and habits can contribute to its onset or exacerbate existing hair loss. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and high-stress levels can all impact your hair health and accelerate hair loss. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and stress management, may help mitigate hair loss to some extent.

Are There Treatments Available?

Fortunately, several male hair loss treatments are available. It is essential to understand that not all treatments work equally for everyone, and results can vary. Here are some common treatment options:

  1. Medications: Two FDA-approved medications are commonly used for treating male pattern baldness. Finasteride (Propecia) and minoxidil (Rogaine) are the most widely recognised medications. Finasteride helps block the conversion of testosterone to DHT, while minoxidil stimulates hair growth. These medications can slow down hair loss and, in some cases, promote regrowth. You should talk to a chemist if you’re not sure which hair loss treatment plan is right for you. Oxford Online Pharmacy works with registered NHS doctors, and they offer a completely secure service.
  2. Hair transplant surgery: Hair transplant surgery is a more radical option. Essentially, it involves removing hair follicles from one part of the body (typically the back of the head) and transplanting them where they’re needed. This surgical procedure is effective for those who have significant hair loss and can provide natural-looking results.
  3. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT): LLLT is a non-invasive treatment option that uses red light to stimulate hair growth. It’s believed that it improves blood flow to the hair follicles and promotes hair regrowth. LLLT devices can be used at home or in clinical settings.
  4. Scalp micro pigmentation (SMP): SMP is a cosmetic tattooing technique that replicates the appearance of hair follicles on the scalp. It can create the illusion of a shaved head or add density to thinning hair. SMP is a non-surgical option and can be a suitable choice for those who prefer a shorter hairstyle.

Can Hair Loss Be Prevented?

Preventing hair loss entirely may not be possible, particularly if it is primarily caused by genetics. However, some lifestyle changes and preventive measures may help slow down the progression or delay hair loss starting. These include:

  1. Maintaining a healthy diet: A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins can contribute to overall hair health. Including foods like fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains can provide the nutrients you need.
  2. Avoiding harsh hair treatments: Frequent use of harsh hair treatments like hot styling tools, chemical dyes, and relaxers can damage the hair and weaken the follicles. It is advisable to minimise the use of such treatments and opt for gentler alternatives.
  3. Regular scalp care: Keeping the scalp clean and healthy is essential for optimal hair growth. Regularly washing the scalp and using mild shampoos can help remove excess sebum and debris that may clog hair follicles.

Can Stress Cause Hair Loss?

You’ll already know that stress can impact you in so many ways. But you might not know that hair loss can be one of the consequences. Telogen effluvium is a type of hair loss that is often triggered by significant physical or emotional stress. It occurs when a large number of hair follicles prematurely enter the resting (telogen) phase of the hair growth cycle, leading to excessive shedding. This type of hair loss is usually temporary, and hair growth resumes once the underlying stressor is addressed.

In addition to telogen effluvium, chronic stress can also contribute to other forms of hair loss, such as exacerbating male pattern baldness. Stress-induced hormonal changes can disrupt the hair growth cycle. It can also accelerate hair loss if you’re genetically predisposed.

Managing stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, and seeking support from friends, family, or professionals can help you keep those stress levels low. Incorporating stress-reducing practices into your daily routine is also likely to make you feel better overall!

Can Using Hats Or Helmets Cause Hair Loss?

Wearing hats or helmets does not directly cause hair loss. However, certain factors associated with hat or helmet use may contribute to hair issues. Wearing excessively tight hats or helmets for prolonged periods can cause friction, leading to hair breakage or a condition called traction alopecia. Traction alopecia occurs when the hair is pulled tightly. It causes damage to the hair follicles and results in hair loss.

To minimise the risk of traction alopecia, it is recommended to choose hats or helmets that fit comfortably and do not exert excessive pressure on the scalp. Additionally, taking regular breaks from wearing hats or helmets and practising proper hair care, such as avoiding excessive pulling or tight hairstyles, can help maintain hair health.

Can Hair Loss Be A Sign Of An Underlying Health Condition?

Hair loss can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health condition. Thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, and hormonal imbalances might contribute to losing hair. You should talk to a healthcare professional or a dermatologist if you’re worried about any potential underlying causes. They can talk to you about the best treatment options if you are experiencing significant or sudden hair loss.

In conclusion, male hair loss is a common concern that can significantly impact an individual’s self-esteem and confidence. Understanding the causes, available treatments, and preventive measures can help individuals make informed decisions about managing their hair loss. It is important to consult with healthcare professionals for personalised advice based on your specific situation. Remember, everyone’s hair loss journey is unique, and finding the most suitable approach may require some experimentation and patience.