Hair Loss In Men

hair-loss-in-nen

Young or old, whatever the age you are, you no doubt consider hair loss as a villain who lurks in the shadows and jumpscares you from time to time. Not blaming you!  Hair loss doesn’t just affect your physical appearance, but plays havoc on your emotional well-being too.

That said, an average male loses a few strands of hair everyday. The upside is that at any given time, about 90% of the hair on the scalp is at its growth phase. Hair loss in men is common as you age as the rate of hair growth slows down.

Hair loss affects each one of us differently. It is vital to understand the types of hair loss in men, to take informed decisions to manage better.

Types of Hair Loss in Men

Male Pattern Baldness

Also called as Androgenic Alopecia, Male Pattern Baldness is a hereditary condition characterised by a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp. It might begin gradually, but progresses rapidly as a person ages.

Involutional Alopecia

It is a natural age related hair loss condition that is characterised by thinning of hair. As one ages, more hair follicles go into resting phase. With no new hair growing to replace the ones that fall out on a daily basis, hair thinning becomes inevitable.

Alopecia Areata

Also called as Patch baldness, Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes coin sized bald spots over your scalp or body. The hair might grow back after some time, but not always.

Alopecia Universalis

In this rare condition all body hair will fall out. This includes even eyebrows and eyelashes.

Scarring Alopecias

This is a hair loss that occurs due to inflammatory skin conditions or other skin disorders. These conditions often leave behind permanent scars, and this affects the ability of the hair to regenerate.

Telogen Effluvium

This is a temporary hair thinning that occurs due to changes in the growth cycle of hair due to stress, illness, childbirth, or surgery. You might notice excessive shedding of hair suddenly, but this condition resolves as soon as your body bounces back to normal. In 95% of the cases, this condition resolves within 6 months.

Trichotillomania

Not exactly a hair loss condition going by the definition of hair loss, Trichotillomania is a psychological disorder which causes a person to pull out his own hair. This condition is most common in children.

Symptoms of Hair Loss in Men

As we are caught in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, hair loss might not always be that noticeable. If you want to retain your crowning glory, it pays to spend some time examining your scalp to catch the signs of hair loss, on time. Some of the noticeable signs of hair loss in men are,

  • Coin shaped bald spots that start at the back of your head or above the ears.
  • Hair thinning along the temples and receding hairline.
  • Intense itching or burning sensation in scalp.
  • Skin lesions/scarring in the scalp (indicate infection/inflammation of the hair follicles).
  • Multiple strands of hair on your hairbrush everytime you comb.

Causes of Hair Loss in Men

As you now know the most common hair loss conditions, it is time to answer the big question “What causes hair loss?”

Genetics

Some of us get a raw deal when it comes to the genes we have inherited! Though there is no definite scientific proof yet, men are more prone to hair loss/baldness, if baldness runs in their family. When you experience hereditary hair loss, the first sign is more often a receding hairline or bald spot in the crown.

Hormonal Imbalance

When you have abnormal levels of androgens, the male sex hormone, it will intrude in the natural hair growth process.

Stress/Illness/childbirth

Sudden spikes in stress play havoc on our whole body, including your scalp. Fungal infections can also affect the hair follicles. Usually, this condition is reversed within 6 months.

Drugs

Drugs are prone to affecting your metabolism, especially the strong drugs like chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners, beta-adrenergic blockers prescribed for B.P, and birth control pills. Their effect can lead to temporary hair loss.

Burns/injuries

Temporary hair loss can occur due to burns and scalp injuries. On the positive side, the hair growth resumes once the injury heals, unless it leaves behind a scar. Scars affect the scalp tissues and deter hair regrowth.

Autoimmune Diseases

You no doubt know that your immune system is a knight who stands guard 24/7 to ensure your overall wellness. Autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system rebels for some reason. In addition to other unfavorable effects, autoimmune diseases lead to Alopecia Areata. When the root of this disorder is diagnosed and treated, hair growth will happen naturally.

Diet

In this era of fitness, you might be tempted to try diets that trend! A low-protein or overt calorie-restricted diet can deprive you of essential nutrients and can temporarily affect your hair health too.

Diagnosis of Hair Loss Symptoms

If you suspect hair loss and seek ways to get it treated on time, a proper diagnosis becomes imperative. Though your regular physician can diagnose hair loss, he might also suggest getting a proper diagnosis from a dermatologist.

Through evaluation methodologies like pull test, pluck test, trichoscopy, or scalp biopsy, you will be given a proper diagnosis for hair loss management. Once you understand the type of hair loss condition, you can manage it with ease.

Hair Loss Treatment Options for Men

Hair loss treatments are really a boon for people who experience psychological stress and low self-esteem due to hair loss. Some treatments are invasive and some are non-invasive, some promise permanent results and some don’t, some are cost effective and some come with a big price tag…your choice should be based on your preference and convenience.

External Drugs

Traditionally the drugs Minoxidil and Finasteride are used to address hair loss. Available in liquid or foam form, these drugs are known to induce hair growth.

Upside: – No pain

Downside: – Slow progress. It takes atleast 6 months to see visible results and the results might reverse once usage is stopped.

Hair Transplantation

It is an invasive procedure that is carried out under local anesthetic. The surgeon will move healthy hair from other areas of your scalp to the bald spot /thinning area. Surgeons take tiny plugs of skin with hair from the back or side of the scalp and implant them into the balding section.

Upside: – long lasting results

Downside: –

  • Involves considerable pain
  • Treatment costs are high
  • Some risk of infection/scarring
  • A considerable recovery period

Scalp Reduction

As you age, the skin on the head becomes flexible and stretched. This makes the baldness more pronounced. Scalp reduction aims to decrease the area of bald skin on the head by removing the hairless scalp and covering the space with a hair-covered scalp.

Uptime: – A realistic hairline

Downtime: –

  • Involves considerable pain
  • Treatment costs are high
  • Might have to be combined with Hair Transplantation procedure
  • Some risk of infection/scarring
  • Longer recovery period

Scalp Micropigmentation

Scalp Micropigmentation is a purely cosmetic procedure that is both non-invasive and painless. Here, a Scalp Micropigmentation specialist will dot your scalp with hair follicles emulating pigments using a special needle.

Upside: –

  • Pain Free
  • Realistic hairline with a suave 5’o o’clock shadow look
  • Zero recovery time
  • No drugs involved
  • Permanent results

Downside: –

  • A proper conditioning routine should be followed to prepare your scalp to undergo the treatment. This takes dedicated effort.

There are other invasive and cosmetic procedures evolving on a regular basis. You will be spoilt for choice with respect to the best solutions for men’s hair loss.

If you are not too keen on any, you can always go for wigs and hair attachments. Or flaunt your bald scalp wholeheartedly (as per popular opinion, bald men are considered sexy and super suave).

Hair loss is not a big deal, if you know ways to manage and treat it right. The most important thing is to understand that your hair is just a tiny part of your overall persona. So, start feeling comfortable in your skin and the world will accept you as you are!

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