We all have men in our lives that suffer from hair loss – maybe that person is you! The good news is they are not alone as half the men in the world will experience hair loss by their 50th birthday. At least 85% of men say their hair is much “thinner” by age 50 than it was when they were younger.
For 25% of these balding men, the early signs of hair loss started even before the age of 21.
What causes baldness?
Many men become bald as a result of genes they inherit. As a result, men can get a good idea if they will be bald by paying attention to their father or uncle’s baldness patterns.
As you age your hair falls out and is replaced with lightly colored fuzz rather than your regular hair. This process repeats itself until all of your hair has been replaced by the fuzz. Eventually, the lightly colored fuzz will no longer re-grow either.
This process occurs because of the presence of a testosterone byproduct called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Because the hair follicles inside your head are sensitive to DHT, they shrink in response and thus shorten their life span.
Human genetics is designed in such a way that the hair located at the ears and lower will not fall out. This is why the hair in this region persists even as the hair on the top of your head falls out entirely.
What pattern does your hair fall out in?
Male pattern baldness causes hair to fall out in one of two common ways:
- Hair thins on the top of the head and expands outward, causing a horseshoe effect to be left on your head
- Hair recedes from the front of your forehead back leaving a strip of baldness that gradually moves backward
Can baldness be a good thing?
Male pattern balding may not seem “cool” but it has been connected to a perceived higher social status. Though this was also shown to be the case in those that shaved their head intentionally, there is evidence that humans connect baldness to power.
Early balding (before the age of 30) can be frustrating, but it could help decrease your prostate cancer risk by 45% later in life. Prostate cancer risk is elevated in those that receive an inadequate amount of vitamin D. Because the easiest way to get vitamin D is from the sun, balding on the top of your head can make it easier for your body to absorb vitamin D, thus helping decrease your prostate cancer risk.