If you’re a Bruce Willis fan or you’ve got the facial features to pull off a bald head like Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, male pattern baldness might not worry you.
But most men aren’t thrilled at the prospect. Studies show that upwards of 59% of men aged 18-24 are worried about what going bald will do to their physical appearance. Unfortunately, male pattern baldness is a very common condition, affecting nearly one in every two men — and 25% of bald men notice the first signs before they leave their 20s.
So it begs the question: How do the other guys get away with locks that last?
The answer is a complicated but important one, and understanding the answer is key to getting the help you need. Men go bald for a combination of reasons, so it’s crucial to know your risk factors.
Here, our team of specialists at Sanford Dermatology breaks down the mystery of why some men go bald and others don’t.
Baldness and you
If you notice that your hair is thinning or your hairline is receding and your friends haven’t lost a single strand (or vice versa), it’s normal to wonder why.
Most men who go bald do so because of their genetics. There’s a hereditary condition called androgenic alopecia — the scientific name for male pattern baldness — and almost 95% of baldness stems from this inherited condition.
Male pattern baldness stems from a genetic sensitivity to byproducts of testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Hair follicles that can’t handle DHT shrink over time, and as they get smaller, so does the lifespan of your hair — the follicle produces weaker, thinner strands until it stops altogether.
Other causes of baldness
Male pattern baldness isn’t the only cause of hair loss in men. Immune system conditions like alopecia areata cause your body to mistakenly attack healthy hair follicles, which leads to hair loss.
You may also lose hair because of a:
- Traumatic life event
- Unmanaged stress
- Dramatic weight loss
If you don’t have enough iron, protein, and vitamin D in your diet, you could also be at risk for hair loss. Furthermore, certain medications, such as chemotherapy, acne medications, and immunosuppressants, can cause temporary hair loss.
What to look for
Male pattern baldness tends to follow a predictable pattern, starting with thinning hair on the top of your head and around your temples, which leaves a “horseshoe” patch of hair behind. Next, your hairline gradually recedes from the front of the hairline to the back of your head.
The Norwood classification system includes seven stages of hair loss based on the severity and pattern of your balding.
If your hair starts to fall out suddenly or in patches, talk to us right away, as it could be a sign of an underlying health condition rather than standard male pattern baldness.
What to do about it
There’s no way to deprogram your genetic code and completely prevent male pattern baldness, but that doesn't mean there's no hope.
You can take steps to keep your hair and scalp as healthy as possible by:
- Doing regular scalp massages
- Avoiding harsh styling products and practices
- Quitting smoking
- Managing your stress
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Talking to your primary doctor about changing your prescriptions
Some creams and pills promise to help you regrow your hair, but sadly, those methods aren’t very reliable. Instead, see us for hair loss treatments. We offer Eclipse ProGen PRP™ Platelet-Rich Plasma System by Crown Aesthetics, which takes a natural approach to hair loss.
It uses the power of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) to help your body reboot malfunctioning hair follicles — without a scalpel or empty promises.
If you’re looking for more information on risk factors for male pattern baldness, or you’d like to get started with our revolutionary hair loss treatments, call or click to schedule a consultation at any of our three conveniently located offices serving Greater Sanford, Pittsboro, and Lillington, North Carolina.