As we age, it becomes impossible to postpone the inevitable aging process. The female gender goes through menopause, our bones become weaker, and we are mostly unable to do most of the things we could do with ease when we were younger. One of the inevitable aging results, particularly for men, is hair loss. It affects about four out of five men that are above seventy.
Hair loss mostly begins at the age of fifty, but it manifests earlier in some men. Some men experience this condition, also known as alopecia, as early as thirty years or even earlier. So, it is safe to say aging is not the only cause of hair loss – there are many.
Of course, there are many viable solutions to pattern baldness, but you must first identify what the cause of your hair loss is. It is usually tricky identifying the real cause of the thinning or balding head at an early stage. However, when you study your dietary choices, lifestyle, health condition, and family history, you will have little to no difficulty identifying the cause. This is why most hair transplant clinics discourage transplants for young men.
It is quite advantageous to narrow down the potential causes of your hair loss, which is why we have written this piece. We will explore the common causes of hair loss in men, which will help you determine the most effective solution to yours.
Common Causes of Hair Loss in Men
Many factors are responsible for hair loss, and some may experience a combination of them. The common causes include:
This is the most common cause of hair loss in men, affecting about 80% of the male population. It can begin at any age but is more prominent in the older generation. It is a gradual journey to hair loss, which typically starts at the hairline.
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment. It entails using radioactive energy to fight cancer cells and destroy them. However, it affects the hair follicles and causes thinning and stunted growth, resulting in temporary to permanent loss of hair.
In the name of hair care, we sometimes forget that we are dealing with delicate follicles, which can flourish even without the oils, conditioners, and shampoos we apply to our hair. We resort to hot combs, straighteners, and other artificial activities that end up weakening our follicles.
In addition to that, we also put our hair in tight ponytails or man buns that uproot the hair at our hairlines gradually, leading to a condition called traction alopecia.
This impulse control disorder results in partial to severe hair loss. It entails having an irresistible urge to pull at your hair – from your scalp, eyebrows, or even lashes. It could be a result of stress or habit. You know that what you are doing can result in hair loss, but you cannot help it.
Trichotillomania results in bare patches, which could be large or small, and sometimes, the hair cannot grow back as fast as it gets pulled out. You should see a specialist for ways to control this condition.
It starts when the hairline gradually recedes or thins and continues over time. As we age, the rate at which our hair grows slows—however, genetics results in pattern baldness in some men. Some begin to experience hair thinning, stunted growth, and shrinking follicles even at a young age.
The scientific reason for this pattern has not been discovered yet, but it is evident that this condition is inherited.
If you have been undergoing a great deal of stress, you may find that your hair also thins or recedes alongside. You may also experience hair loss after surgery, sickness, or severe emotional or physical distress. This sort of hair loss is not always permanent.
Some medical conditions also cause temporary hair loss. For instance, if you have anemia, you may begin to lose the density of your hair. Some medical conditions also have symptoms that include hair loss, like diabetes or lupus.
In addition, medications for some medical conditions may have side effects that affect your hair mass. If you are treating a heart condition, high blood pressure, cancer, arthritis, and depression, to name a few, you may suffer from hair loss while taking your medications.
When you have a hair infection that you neglect, you may encourage hair loss. Conditions like ringworm, folliculitis, and Demodex folliculorum, among many others, may result in hair loss. However, the effect is not permanent, and your hair will begin to grow back after getting appropriate treatment.
The Immune System
Your immune system has been designed to fight external threats that find their way into your body. However, in severe cases, the immune system may mistake some of your cells or other parts of your body system as the external threats they have been designed to combat.
More often than not, your hair will grow back, but as long as the condition is still present, you may lose some hair repeatedly. This also extends to your hair follicles in some cases. This condition is called alopecia areata, and it occurs when the immune system attacks the hair follicles and results in the loss of patches of hair. It is not contagious, does not hurt, and will not cause sickness.
Did you know that your diet also contributes significantly to your hair growth? A balanced diet will give you healthy hair. But when you leave out some essential nutritive sources, like protein, you may experience hair loss. Most times, protein deficiency occurs during strict dieting.
The earlier you detect the cause of your hair loss, the better your chances of combating it. Sometimes, all you need is a change of lifestyle, like increasing your protein consumption, taking extra caution with hair care, and reducing your stress levels. Other times, you may have to seek medical help, especially for male pattern baldness, hair infections, and trichotillomania.