When we were young, we looked at bald men as men we would never want to be. Today, we have found ourselves filling these shoes in no time. My first reaction when I discovered my hairline was moving inwards was to blame the barber. In no time, I learnt to accept fate although I remained curious. Why now? Is there a way to reverse it?
Male pattern baldness is also known as androgenic alopecia. It is the most common type of hair loss in men worldwide. More than half of all men over age 50 will be affected by male pattern baldness to some extent. You’re not alone! Somehow, it’s surprising that men who grew up with bald fathers find it difficult to accept growing bald. Everyone does want to feel they can do better. The strongest indication for baldness in a man is a family history of baldness, especially on the maternal side of the family. Male pattern baldness is associated with male sex hormones called androgens. These androgens have many functions, including the regulation of hair growth. Normally, each hair on a one’s body has a hair growth cycle. In baldness, the growth cycle starts to diminish gradually with the production of shorter and finer strands of hair until it eventually ceases to grow. How is the hair loss seen? In some men, it begins at the hairline. It recedes gradually to form a M. In others, it continues until all hair is lost totally. Some men experience it as a single bald spot at the center of the head which gradually expands to involve most or all the hair. It may spare the hair on the sides in some men. Male hair loss starts at some point in the twenties, but it typically takes 15-25 years to go bald.
Should the rest of one’s hair (eyelashes, armpit, beards etc.) fall out in male pattern baldness? Not really. The scalp is the major site and mostly the only site. The beards and armpits may be slightly affected in some cases, However, total loss of hair all over the body is an indication something serious might be going on. It’s also not male pattern baldness if you are losing patches of hair in an apparently random manner or when a rash, redness, pain, peeling of the scalp, hair breakage accompanies hair loss. You need to visit your doctor in this case. So, does stress cause baldness? Some hair loss is associated with extreme levels of stress. Usually this hair should grow back in no time however you should never subject yourself to excess stress, baldness or not. There are no sure ways to prevent male pattern baldness as it’s a natural process. A visit to the doctor might help you consider your options for treatment, if you want one. Before you think of treatment, why not get your barber to do a nice cut that makes you look better even while growing bald?