Why Do Men Go Bald And How To Prevent It?

Medically reviewedby Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

Are you tired of watching your once-luscious locks slowly fade away, leaving you with a thinning crown?

You're not alone! Millions of men around the world share the same struggle with male pattern baldness, including a receding hairline and thinning hair. 

The American Hair Loss Association estimates that androgenetic alopecia is accountable for 95% of male pattern hair loss, making it the most common type of hair loss in men.

But why does this happen, and more importantly, how can we stop it? 

In today's article, we'll explore the interesting world of hair troubles and find out how to keep your hair looking great.

So, get ready with your comb, and let's jump into the adventure of understanding why men go bald and how to keep those pesky hair loss problems away!

What causes baldness in men? 

why do men go bald

Baldness in men is primarily caused by male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, which results from a combination of genetic and hormonal factors. The hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) plays a significant role in hair loss, causing hair follicles to shrink and produce thinner, weaker hairs over time.

DHT binds to hair follicles, causing them to shrink and weaken over time. This process, known as miniaturization, leads to the production of thinner and shorter hairs, eventually resulting in the hair follicle becoming inactive and no longer producing hair. 

This pattern of hair loss usually begins with a receding hairline and thinning at the crown, eventually progressing to complete baldness in some cases.

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At what age do men start losing hair?

Men typically start losing hair due to male pattern baldness in their late 20s to early 30s. However, the onset of hair loss can vary greatly among individuals, with some experiencing it earlier or later in life, as it depends on factors such as genetics, hormonal levels, and overall health. 

Some men may begin to notice hair loss in their late teens or early 20s, while others may not experience noticeable hair loss until their 40s or 50s.

Male pattern baldness progresses gradually, often starting with a receding hairline and thinning at the crown.

Other causes of hair loss in men

male pattern hair loss

Apart from male pattern baldness, other causes of hair loss in men include stress, nutritional deficiencies, medical conditions, and certain medications.

These factors can lead to temporary or permanent hair loss, depending on the individual and the underlying cause. Let’s look at these causes in detail: 

  • Both physical and emotional stress can lead to temporary hair loss, known as telogen effluvium. High-stress levels can cause a higher number of hair follicles to enter the resting phase, resulting in hair shedding.
  • A poor diet lacking essential nutrients can contribute to hair loss. Deficiencies in protein, iron, zinc, and vitamins, particularly B vitamins, can negatively impact hair growth and health.
  • Various medical conditions can also cause hair loss in men. Some examples include thyroid disorders, autoimmune diseases such as alopecia areata, and various scalp infections.
  • Exposure to certain environmental factors, such as pollution, can damage hair follicles and contribute to hair loss. Similarly, prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause hair to become dry and brittle, leading to breakage and hair loss.
  • Smoking is also associated with numerous health risks, including hair loss. The chemicals in tobacco smoke can damage hair follicles and reduce blood flow to the scalp, leading to hair loss.

It is essential to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect any of these factors may be causing your hair loss.

They can help determine the cause and recommend appropriate treatments or lifestyle changes to address the issue.

Medications that may cause hair loss

Certain medications can cause hair loss as a side effect. Examples include chemotherapy drugs, blood thinners, beta-blockers, antidepressants, and medications for gout, arthritis, or high blood pressure.

Let’s look at more details:

  • Chemotherapy drugs: These medications are used to treat cancer and can cause hair loss by damaging hair follicles. Hair loss due to chemotherapy is typically temporary, and hair usually grows back once treatment is complete.
  • Blood thinners (anticoagulants): These medications can interfere with the normal hair growth cycle, resulting in hair loss. The severity of hair loss may vary, depending on the individual.
  • Beta-blockers: These medications, used to manage blood pressure, can cause hair loss by disrupting the hair growth cycle. Hair loss due to beta-blockers is usually reversible if the medication is discontinued.
  • Antidepressants and mood stabilizers: Certain medications used to treat depression and mood disorders can cause hair loss as a side effect. 
  • Medications for gout, arthritis, or high blood pressure: Some medications used to manage these conditions can lead to hair loss. The exact mechanism behind this is not well understood, but it is thought to be related to the medication's effect on the hair growth cycle.
  • Hormonal medications: Certain hormonal medications, such as birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and testosterone supplements, can sometimes cause hair loss as a side effect. 
  • Acne medications: Isotretinoin, a medication used to treat severe acne, can lead to hair thinning or hair loss. This side effect is usually temporary and resolves once treatment is completed.
  • Anticonvulsant medications: Some anticonvulsant medications used to treat seizures, such as valproic acid and phenytoin, can cause hair loss as a side effect.

What are the most effective treatments?

Medications

One of the most popular and effective options for treating male pattern baldness is medication. Two medications have been approved for treating this condition: finasteride and minoxidil

Finasteride is available in pill form and requires a prescription from a healthcare provider. It works by reducing the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the body. DHT is a hormone that can contribute to male pattern baldness by shrinking hair follicles.  

Minoxidil, on the other hand, is a topical treatment that can be purchased over the counter. It works by increasing blood flow to hair follicles, which can stimulate hair growth and prolong the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle.

Both minoxidil and finasteride can be effective in treating hair loss in men, but they work in different ways and have different potential side effects.

It is important to discuss the use of these medications with a healthcare provider to determine which treatment is appropriate for you. 

Laser treatment

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive treatment option for hair loss that utilizes specialized combs or helmets to deliver light therapy to the scalp.

This therapy is designed to invigorate circulation in the scalp and stimulate hair follicles, which may help to promote hair growth.

LLLT is a less invasive option compared to hair transplant surgery and has been deemed safe and tolerable.

A 2013 study involving 41 men between the ages of 18 and 48 found a 39 percent increase in hair growth for participants who underwent laser hair surgery.

Platelet-rich plasma therapy

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is an easy and effective hair loss treatment that involves injecting a patient's own plasma into the scalp to stimulate hair growth.

The growth factors in the plasma help to rejuvenate damaged hair follicles and promote new hair growth.

PRP therapy typically involves a series of treatments, with each session lasting around 30 minutes.

The number of treatments required can vary depending on the severity of hair loss and the individual's response to treatment.

Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine

effective hair loss treatment

Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine is a 3-step system designed for hair care. It includes ingredients such as Curcuma longa stem cells, Niacinamide, Aloe Vera, Amino Acid Complex, Vanillyl Butyl Ether, and Zinc PCA.

Each product in the Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine contains ingredients like Curcuma longa stem cells developed through stem cell technology, among others. Please note that these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, and the product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine also includes Niacinamide, Aloe Vera, Amino Acid Complex, Vanillyl Butyl Ether, and Zinc PCA. Please consult a healthcare provider for personalized medical advice.

Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Hair Growth Routine | For Men
Formulated to combat shedding & signs of balding

Hair transplant surgery

Hair transplants are a popular option for those experiencing hair loss. The two most common procedures are FUT and FUE. 

FUT is typically used for those with more significant hair loss, as it allows for the transplantation of larger numbers of hair follicles. It involves removing a section of skin from the back of the scalp and dividing it into grafts to be inserted where hair isn't growing. 

FUE, on the other hand, is less invasive and is typically used for those with less significant hair loss or for smaller areas that require transplantation. It involves taking individual hair follicles and inserting them into small holes in areas without hair.

The transplanted hair will typically begin to grow within a few months of the procedure, and full results may be visible within 12-18 months.

Can I prevent baldness?

Male pattern baldness is an inherited condition that is difficult to reverse without surgery. However, medications like Finasteride and Rogaine can prevent further hair loss at the first sign of thinning. 

Some more ways to prevent baldness are: 

  • Try regular scalp massages to stimulate hair growth.
  • Quit smoking, as it may be associated with hair loss.
  • Manage stress through exercise, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in protein, iron, and vitamins.
  • Use hair products and treatments that are appropriate for your hair type and condition.
  • Get enough sleep to promote overall health, including healthy hair.
  • Use a wide-toothed comb or brush to detangle wet hair gently.

Why is hair loss more common in men than women?

Hair loss is more common in men than women because men are more prone to a genetically inherited condition known as androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. This condition causes hair loss at the temples and crown due to increased activity of androgen receptors in hair follicles that respond to androgens like dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

Hormones also play an important role, as some men may experience hair loss in their teens and early twenties due to higher levels of testosterone during puberty.

Additionally, hair loss in men is more noticeable and can occur over a shorter period compared to women, who tend to experience hair thinning all over the scalp at a slower rate. 

Hair loss in women is less common than in men, but some women do experience female pattern baldness, which is more common after menopause due to a drop in hormone levels.

Hair loss before menopause is usually caused by a condition known as alopecia, which can develop at any time and may or may not be permanent. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, hair loss is a widespread concern for men around the world, but understanding the causes and available treatments can help you regain control over your locks.

By exploring the fascinating world of hair growth, maintenance, and restoration, you can find the right solution to keep your hair looking its best. 

You can opt for medications, laser therapy, platelet-rich plasma treatments, hair transplants, or the highly functional Scandinavian Biolabs Hair Growth Routine.

Remember that a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet can also play a significant role in maintaining your hair's health.

So, keep your comb handy and embrace the adventure of tackling hair loss head-on!

References: 

  1. https://journals.plos.org/plosgenetics/article?id=10.1371/journal.pgen.1006594 
  2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/hair-loss-a-to-z 
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/why-do-men-g… 

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Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.