What’s common between Hollywood actors Bradley Cooper, Daniel Craig, John Travolta, and Matt Damon? They’re all among the hottest actors from a few years ago. Run an online search for their current photos and you’ll notice they’ve all balded.
Male pattern baldness is common. Male pattern baldness has different stages.
Most men above the age of 35 experience androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness. Humans lose 100 hair strands every day, which is normal, but a rapid rate of hair fall may lead to balding. There are numerous male pattern baldness causes: age, stress, lifestyle, pollution, sensitivity to DHT (a sex hormone), diet, genetic hair loss, and family history.
Research shows that about 90% of cases of baldness are caused due to androgenic alopecia – baldness due to family history. The male hormone DHT is another common cause. Moreover, a standard hair growth cycle is important. Let’s understand the science behind it. Each hair follicle grows for three years, after which, the hair sheds and a new one grows. In the case of male pattern baldness, the follicles gradually grow smaller and are unable to grow back. The hair growth cycle, too, becomes shorter.
Identifying balding is not as easy as it can be confused with normal hair fall. Here are 5 signs to be aware of:
The first sign – thinning of hair at the hairline. Men would feel it when brushing their hair because the hair won’t set the way it used to earlier. Here’s how to examine if it’s male pattern baldness. Examine your scalp. If the hair is normal on the sides and at the back and there’s thinning of hair at the temples, it’s a clear sign of balding. This pattern often continues to spread until it forms the M-shaped hairline when seen from the front of the face.
Excessive hair fall – a key sign of male pattern baldness
Shedding excessively? You might be balding. A lot of men ignore this sign thinking the shedding is seasonal or natural. If you’re noticing a lot of hair on your pillow, on your comb or hair strands on your clothes, it may be a sign of male pattern baldness. Our scalp has around one lakh hairs and on an average humans lose around 100 hair strands every day. Losing excessive hair in chunks is also sign of androgenic alopecia.
Overall hair thinning
A lot of men experience overall thinning of hair, not just hair thinning at the crown. Around 50% of men over the age of 50 experience overall thinning of hair. This is caused by the weakness of hair follicles due to age. This is another sign of male pattern baldness. Hair may begin to thin at the back of your head. Because we tend to not look at the back of the head on an everyday basis, men may miss out on this sign of male pattern baldness completely.
An itchy scalp
In rare cases, itching could be a sign of male pattern baldness. At times, scratching the scalp due to excessive itching causes the hair follicles to become weak and leads to hair fall. It is advisable for men to consult a dermatologist. In case, you’re unable to phyically consult a dermatologist then you can speak to one here.
A shorter hair growth cycle
A key sign of male pattern baldness is a shorter hair growth cycle. Here’s the scientific reason: when hair follicles shrink, the new hair from the follicle becomes thinner and the hair growth cycle becomes shorter. What does that mean? The hairs grow and shed in a lesser time frame than they used to earlier. If you notice that your hair is not growing at the speed that it used to grow, it may be a sign of male pattern baldness.
Wondering how to control male pattern baldness?
- Find a good DHT blocking shampoo with DHT blocking agents such as Saw Palmetto and Caffeine to prevent male pattern baldness
- Include essential vitamins such as Biotin, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin B in your diet
- Genetic hair loss treatments stress on proper diets
- Control stress and damage due to pollution
- Find out if any particular medicine or pill is causing hair loss
If your receding hairline and hair fall is affecting you emotionally, it is better to speak to a professional.