Did you know that if you’re a man, you’ve got an 85% chance of having significantly thinner hair by 50?
Why do men go bald? What can I do about it? These are common questions that men have, and for good reason. Just ask Giorgio Tsetis, who had to choose between his career with a full head of hair but lose his libido in his early 20s, or be bald but have a sex drive.
Giorgio now has both his libido and a great head of hair, but it was a long road for him.
You don’t have to live without a libido for six years to reduce or eliminate your hair loss. Part of the remedy is learning why it happens.
Are you ready to find the answers to your questions? We are, so let’s comb through the info now!
What Causes Baldness?
The short answer is “genetic and environmental factors”. That doesn’t cut it for us, so let’s dig a little deeper. There are a handful of different ways men lose hair. Their medical names are:
- Androgenetic alopecia
- Alopecia areata
- Telogen effluvium
- Nutritional deficiency
Androgenetic alopecia is the name for “male pattern baldness” which is what 95% of male hair loss is from. There are some other reasons for hair loss, which are serious and to be determined by a doctor. They are:
- Some cancers
- Thyroid disorders
- Anabolic steroids
What causes androgenetic alopecia? It’s all in the genes, and how the byproducts of hormones called androgens are handled by the body (thus androgenetic). One androgen hormone you have definitely heard about, as a man, is testosterone.
Yes, that’s right. What makes guys feel so manly is also what takes away their confidence when they go bald or start losing their hair.
How Hair Follicles Work
Hair grows from hair follicles, under the skin. Every hair grows for between two to six years before going into a “rest” phase for many months, before falling out. The whole process will repeat in a cycle when the follicle starts to grow another hair to replace the one that was lost.
When a hair follicle gets too much exposure to androgens, the cycle is shortened and reduced. The follicle produces thinner and shorter hair as well. What does lengthen is the time the follicle remains dormant before producing another hair, once it has fallen out.
What Can I Do About Going Bald?
There are a few things you can do about going bald or losing hair to male pattern baldness. There is hope at the end of the tunnel, although it may mean not taking just one approach but many. Some of these tactics will require going to a doctor and getting in-depth advice about a procedure or approach you want to try.
Counseling about your hair loss, what it means to you, and how you can move on with life is not a waste. Male confidence is wrapped up in our hair and is a sign of youth, even though you can start losing your hair at any age. Dealing with the loss of our hair is a major life event.
Don’t go through it alone.
If nothing else, different hairstyles can delay people’s awareness of your hair loss. The best rule of thumb is to keep it short. While you may think long hair hides hair loss, what ends up happening is cratering or obvious volume differences.
Start while you’re ahead and get a makeover with a shorter look to your luscious locks. Patrick Stewart lost his hair in 1959 and never seemed to age until the 2010s.
Do not under any circumstances go for a combover.
Wigs or Hairpieces
The word “toupee” may be a no-no in your house, but a wig or hairpiece can give you the youthful look you might be looking for. Done well, it can look incredibly natural.
Similar to a wig or hairpiece, weaves are sewn into your natural hair. With a weave you can swim, shower, or sleep without removing it. It will have to be maintained as your natural hair falls out, and it will damage your hair over time. In fact, it could even accelerate your hair loss because of the physical strain on your natural hair.
Medications are the most effective form of hair loss management. However, it comes with a heavy price, sometimes. If you remember Giorgio Tsetis from the outset of the article, he decided to go with Propecia, the brand name for Finasteride.
Finasteride is incredibly effective if used early on in hair loss, however, it has the unfortunate side effect of impotence and possibly painful orgasm or ejaculation. Rogaine (Minoxidil) doesn’t have quite the list of side effects as Propecia.
Whatever your decision about medication, it’s definitely something to discuss with your doctor first.
Scalp Micro Pigmentation
Scalp Micro Pigmentation therapies (SMP) are also called scalp tattoos. It’s a bit over-simplified to call SMP scalp tattoos but it isn’t too far off. Instead of using ink, it uses a smaller needle and actual pigment for a more colorfast solution.
The smaller needles also deliver the pigment in a way that isn’t as painful or invasive, and more “hair-like.”
Another popular option is a hair transplant.
In FUE transplants, a surgeon will take individual hair follicles from one area and move it to another. It is your own real hair. It thins all your hair evenly to make up for the area that is absent of hair.
FUT transplants are a little different. In an FUT transplant, the surgeon will remove a strip of healthy skin with healthy follicles from another area, usually the back of your head. From that strip, they will cut the skin into very small sections and graft them into bald areas.
Both of these treatments attempt to make the distribution of hair appear natural, and not like a “Ken-doll.” However, it’s always possible to end up with unnatural-looking results.
Why Do Men Go Bald? Now You Know
So, why do men go bald? We learned it is mostly genetic, for 85% of men, or due to environmental factors. However, we also learned it is preventable and possibly reversible!
The best course of action is to talk about it with your doctor and get counseling, no matter what you do. A multi-pronged approach will also achieve the best results.
Making sure you get good nutrition from a healthy lifestyle, with a focus on maintaining a good balance of hormones can go a long way to extending your life, not just your hairline.
Did you learn something encouraging about your hair loss? We think so. Can you learn more about male health and lifestyle from On Tap Blog?
Absolutely! Keep browsing our health articles, your body (and your hairline) will thank you!