While hair loss in men can be part of the natural ageing process, other types of thinning or hair reduction can occur due to many different factors - some you can prevent, and others will require restorative approaches to regain a head of hair. In this guide, we will look into the five possible causes of hair loss for men.
The overwhelming culprit of hair loss in men is due to their DNA. Known as male pattern baldness, genetic balding accounts for over 95% of hair loss among men. Its medical term is Androgenetic Alopecia, and it is characterised by thinning around the crown of the head and a receding hairline.
Teenage boys and men can experience the effects of Androgenetic Alopecia as young as 21 - this is the case for around 25% of cases. You would be at higher risk of genetic balding if your male relatives experienced the same, particularly on the maternal side of the family.
Diet plays a crucial role in male hair loss, although not to the extent of women; a nutritional deficiency can lead to hair thinning and hair loss in men. The key dietary components for healthy hair are; zinc, vitamin B, protein, and iron, all naturally found in many types of meat.
Vitamins, minerals, and supplements aren’t enough alone to restore a hairline, but they can be an effective way to maintain hair health.
Some medical conditions can cause hair loss in men and women. Often, this won’t be permanent, but restorative treatments will depend on the underlying medical condition. The most common conditions that are linked to hair loss are:
This results in patches of hair loss which can be widespread across the scalp or in more localised areas. In severe cases, Alopecia Areata can progress to complete hair loss from the scalp (known as Alopecia Totalis) or even hair loss from the entire body (known as Alopecia Universalis).
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis is the leading cause of Hypothyroidism and occurs when the body's immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This produces hormones regulating several of the body's activities. When this condition is left untreated, it can result in hair loss.
Graves Disease is another thyroid disorder that causes antibodies to bind to the surface of the thyroid cells, resulting in an overproduction of hormones. This can also affect the production of new hair follicles and lead to hair thinning and loss.
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that impacts many different systems within the body. It can often result in hair loss when the body creates antibodies as a defense, as they can attack the hair follicles, which will make hair fall out and limit or even prevent regrowth.
Many medications can cause hair loss or may enhance existing hair loss conditions. Some common medications linked to hair loss are; steroids, acne treatments, blood thinners, and cholesterol-lowering medications.
Whereas some medications can lead to a gradual reduction in hair growth over a period of weeks or months, others can be much quicker and more severe. This is often the case for people undergoing cancer treatments like chemotherapy where harsher medications are needed; these medications can lead to hair loss within days.
Intense physical or emotional stress is a common cause of hair loss, but the good news is this is rarely permanent. When the source of the stress is rectified, hair will often return to its growth rate pre to the loss. However, it is unknown whether stress can increase the rate of irreversible male pattern baldness,
Hair loss is a widespread condition, which affects around 6.5 million men in the UK - this accounts for 39.23% of British men. For men over 50, this figure rises to 50% in the UK and 85% in America. Globally, 4 out of 5 men will have moderate to severe hair loss by the age of 70.
There are products available to help with natural hair loss and treatments such as transplants and hair systems for when hair loss can’t be reversed.