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Most people are going to experience some form of balding or thinning hair through our lifetimes.
Face it. Nobody wants to lose their hair ever.
For many men, confidence is our number 1 asset and the fear of losing our hair and have our scalp be visible doesn’t exactly help us to sleep well at night.
As we find more and more strands left for dead in the shower or on our pillow, it can feel pretty defeating. Now, before you throw your comb and gel out the window, there are a couple of important things you should know.
First off, although androgenetic alopecia or common male pattern baldness (MPB) accounts for more than 95% of hair loss in men. In many cases, hair loss is caused by other factors such as stress, side effects from medicine or a medical condition. Secondly, if you are predisposed to male pattern baldness, you are not doomed- there is hope!
Per the American Academy of Dermatology, there is 80 million hair loss sufferers in the United States, and men account for more than 60% of that number.
6 signs you might be at risk of Male Pattern Baldness
If your dad and uncle are bald or balding, the chances are high that you’ve also inherited those genes. If that’s you and you’ve started to notice early signs of hair loss, the time to start taking care of your hair is NOW!
So you might be asking, “what are the early signs of balding and how can I be proactive in slowing it down or preventing MPB”?
Below are 6 signs of male pattern baldness:
1.Receding Hairline– This is probably one the biggest indicators that you are in the early stages of MPB. A receding hairline begins on top of the frontal line and works its way back.
2.Genetics– If your family tree is branching several bald relatives, the apple probably won’t fall too far. The most common reason for hair loss is genetics. Patterns of baldness in your family may be an indicator of what your future holds for you.
3.Increased Pillow and Shower Hair– It is normal to lose between 50 to 115 hairs per day. Although we don’t recommend stressing yourself out by trying to count every hair you lose, an increase in hair left on your pillow or falling out when you shampoo is often an early indicator of MPB.
4.Itchy or Flaky Scalp– While this is not a cause of MPB, it often happens in conjunction with hair loss. Sebum, or skin oil, is produced under the surface of the skin, including on the scalp. While this is normal and helps in keeping the hair moisturized and healthy, an overproduction or build-up or sebum can lead to hair loss by clogging the hair follicles. A flaky or itchy scalp can be a result of this.
5.Thinning in The Crown Area– Eventually leading to a “bald spot” as it’s commonly called, this is a typical sign of MPB. This is a more obvious sign that it things in a rounded area while surrounded by normal hair growth.
6.Ruling Out Other Causes– Patch hair loss would be more indicative of a different underlying cause. In this case, you should seek medical advice to rule out any other conditions that could be causing you hair loss. If your health checks out great and you’re not on any meds that may cause hair loss, you could be at risk for MPB.
Ways To Fight Hair Loss
Now that you know what to look for, here are some tips on how you can fight balding or thinning hair:
1. Eat Healthy– Foods rich in antioxidants and nutrients are helpful in reducing toxins and free radicals that contribute to oxidative stress in our bodies. Blueberries, green leafy foods, organic foods without pesticides and green tea are some of the many choices that will combat oxidative stress. Also make sure your diet is rich in protein and iron, which promotes healthy hair growth.
2. Manage Your Stress– While you can’t always control the amount of stress you have or the reasons you have it, you can work to manage it. One common cause of baldness is the level of testosterone in the body, which can be affected by your stress levels. Try keeping balance in your life, set healthy boundaries with work, get regular exercise, and try meditation.
3. Take DHT Blockers– It’s been widely accepted that DHT is the main culprit that is responsible for genetic hair loss. DHT is a byproduct of testosterone and is believed to lead to miniaturization (or thinning) of hair follicles – leading to accelerated hair loss. One easy way to combat this is to take supplements that contain DHT blockers in order to slow down or reverse hair loss.
4. Be Kind To Your Hair– Thin hair can be fragile, so it’s important to treat it gently. Here are a few things you can do to be kinder to your hair:
- Set your hair dryer on cool and low settings, and minimize your use of flat irons.
- Don’t dye your hair more than one or two shades its normal color: The more sever the color change, the more chemicals you require, which can make hair break.
- If you use hair gel or hair spray, don’t wait for it to dry before you comb through it, because the hair will harden and be more likely to break.
- Avoid unnecessary brushing, combing, curling or straightening. Excessive use of these tools and techniques will weaken the hair at the root level.
No matter if you are just starting to notice symptoms or you have had advanced hair loss for a long period of time, just know that there are solutions that can help you overcome your problems.
One important thing to keep in mind is that you may respond to certain treatments differently from another person. That’s completely natural because we all have different genetics and biological response to a stimulus.
Our recommendation is to try any and all (safe) solutions out there to find one that works best for you. Whatever you decide, make sure to act NOW. After all, you’re racing against the clock when it comes to hair loss. You can also find a Trichologists specialist in your area for more help.