Men and Hair Loss
This article was updated on: 09/15/2018
Learn about the causes of male hair loss, how to prevent it, and what your treatment options are.
Hair loss in men vs. women
Both men and women can experience hair loss, but it may look different. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the most common type of hair loss is a condition called male pattern baldness (or androgenetic alopecia), which often starts with a receding hairline that may form an M- or U-shaped pattern of hair loss. In contrast, women with this condition usually have overall thinning or hair loss that is worse at the part.
What causes hair loss?
According to the Mayo Clinic, male hair loss is most often caused by genetic factors. If your hair loss occurs slowly and over time, it’s likely due to genetic factors.
According to the NIH, certain hormones called androgens, which affect male sexual development, may also play a role in hair loss. Scientists aren’t sure why, but high levels of androgens may cause male hair loss and slower hair growth.
According to the Mayo Clinic, other causes of hair loss may include, but aren’t limited to:
- Age-related factors
- Poor diet
- Certain skin conditions, such as lupus
- Certain medications or ingesting too much vitamin A
- A stressful trigger event that causes temporary hair loss
Hair loss prevention
There are steps you can take to prevent certain types of hair loss. According to the Mayo Clinic, the following tips may help prevent hair loss:
- Eat a balanced diet, since poor nutrition can lead to hair loss.
- Avoid pulling or tugging your hair.
- Be gentle with your hair while brushing. A brush with soft bristles or a wide-toothed comb may help you avoid unnecessary tugging.
- Use a mild shampoo.
- Avoid harsh hair treatments.
Hair loss treatment options
If you’re experiencing hair loss, there are treatment options available. If your hair loss is hereditary, keep in mind there usually isn’t a medical reason to seek hair loss treatment, unless it might help you feel better about your appearance, or your hair loss is causing you anxiety.
According to the NIH, treatment usually starts with your doctor diagnosing potential conditions that may lead to hair loss, usually with a skin biopsy or blood work.
If your hair loss is due to male pattern baldness, your doctor may suggest the following treatment options, according to the NIH:
- Certain medications regulate hormones linked to hair loss; slow hair shedding; or stimulate your hair follicles to grow new hair (Rogaine is a common over-the-counter hair loss medication).
- Hair transplants move actively growing hair plugs to areas of your scalp that aren’t growing.
- Hair pieces or hair weaving are inexpensive options.
According to the Mayo Clinic, hormone treatments may also help limit hair loss.
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