For most people, but especially for men, hair loss can be a worrying part of getting older, and there are all kinds of rumors, stigmas, and horror stories that run through people’s minds when they think of this naturally occurring process.
But what exactly does balding look like, and how can you tell the process is starting?
Signs Of A Receding Hairline
In this section, let’s take a look at men’s hair, and discuss some of the follicular transitions men can go through, as well as the early warning signs of hair loss.
Juvenile & Mature Hairlines
When we are children and teenagers, our hairlines tend to be lower down our foreheads, something that is referred to as a ‘juvenile’ hairline.
As we age, it is also not uncommon for men’s hairlines to retreat back somewhat, as the baby hairs fall out, and our natural ‘mature’ hairline forms.
Hair loss can start as early as the teenage years for some men, and has a lot to do with the genes, hormone levels, race, and environmental factors.
In most men (both young and older), this hair loss tends to begin with a gradual recession in the temples, wherein the mature hairline forms what is known as a ‘widow’s peak’.
This can also be accompanied by some recession at the crown, and a general thinning or softening of the hair’s texture across the front and top of the head.
How Is Hair Loss Measured?
In men, hair loss is measured on the ‘Hamilton-Norwood’ scale, which maps the distinct stages of male pattern baldness from the initial hair loss to the end stage of the process.
It should be said that not everyone will fit this pattern, or proceed through all the steps, and depending on the genes and lifestyle of the individual, their hair loss journey could be totally unique to them.
Why Do Men Lose Their Hair?
When it comes to men’s hair loss, there are several factors that are at play.
Male Pattern Baldness
Also known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss in men, and can be a result of several factors, ranging from family genetics, to the amount of testosterone present in the body.
Stress & Shock
Of course, stress or shock can be another cause of hair loss.
This could be the result of a devastating trauma, an accident, or a dramatic change in lifestyle – such as extreme weight loss.
Certain invasive surgeries have also been known to cause certain degrees of hair loss, although this is very situation dependent, and only happens under certain, rare circumstances.
In some cases, hair loss can also be a symptom of a greater illness.
Conditions like cancer, arthritis, extreme depression, gout, high blood pressure, and heart problems have all been known to cause hair loss in some men, as have certain infections (like ringworm), fevers, and flus.
Of course, there are also various lifestyle elements that can affect the longevity of your hair.
On a cosmetic level, certain hair styles have also been known to encourage hair loss – such as male ponytails, braids, cornrows, dreadlocks, and even some more severe slicked back styles like the pompadour.
Any hairstyle that creates too much weight, or puts too much pressure on the roots or the scalp can all have detrimental effects in some cases.
Similarly, the widespread use of hair products has also been shown to have negative effects on the hair.
This could be hair coloring, peroxide, hair sprays, gels, and waxes, not to mention certain shampoos and conditioners – both of which can strip the hair of its natural oils, making it brittle.
Can Anything Be Done?
Many men who have experienced hair loss, especially those in the early stages, can find themselves desperate for a ‘cure’ to this naturally occurring, yet often troubling, process.
Finasteride & Minoxidil
Finasteride & Minoxidil are both medications (either topical or in pill form) which can limit the amount of testosterone in a man’s body, thus limiting its effects on hair loss.
These can be unpredictable, and can come with their own side effects, so should not be taken lightly (or without medical advice).
In the last ten years, hair transplantation surgery has come on in leaps and bounds, and can now often be done in a few hours.
However, the effectiveness of these treatments are not consistent, and depend on the individual.
Wigs and hairpieces are becoming increasingly popular, particularly amongst young men who are experiencing hair loss.
These are more sophisticated than traditional wigs, and are made from human hair, are glued to the scalp, and can be worn in bad weather, the shower, and even swimming pools.
These can be expensive though, and require regular changing and maintenance.
The best piece of advice is one of acceptance. Embrace this natural part of your maturation, and make the most of it.
Shave your head, take control, experiment with hats or beards, or other new looks.
A shaved head is also easy to maintain, looks clean and sharp, cannot be ruined by the weather, and means you are always ready to get up and start the day.
Most importantly, it can be a great tool to appreciate your other attributes, and in practicing a healthy outlook, you can come to realize that you are more than just a haircut.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about male hair loss, and what the early signs of a receding hairline could look like.
Many men can grow to love their balding locks, and acceptance is always the best option.
However, there are several preventative and restorative methods on the modern market to ensure that you can feel yourself, confident, and happy, whatever your hairline may look like.
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