Male pattern balding, also known as androgenic alopecia can strike even during teenage years with some men/boys beginning to notice hair loss as early as 16. The good news is that there are treatments that can slow the process down or even arrest it but before they can be used the problem has to be identified.
Shouldn’t hair loss be obvious?
You may think it should be obvious that you’re losing hair but actually the typical man won’t notice hair loss until approximately 50% of the hair has fallen out by which stage the pressure is really on to start a treatment. It’s a really a question of looking for a few tell-tale signs.
- Look for clumps of hair in the bath or shower. It’s quite normal to shed up to 100 hairs per day but if you’re regularly losing more than that you may have alopecia.
- Watch out for the pattern. Androgenic alopecia usually starts with an M shape at the front of the scalp indicating a receding hair line. In some cases all the hair on top of the scalp will eventually fall out although the back and sides will usually continue to grow.
- Look at your relatives. If there’s a high proportion of balding men then there’s a good chance you’ll have the gene too although this in itself isn’t guaranteed as the genetic make up is defined by both parents.
Losing hair? Don’t despair!
If you have got the condition then there’s no need to despair. It affects up to 70% of men at some point so you’re not alone. Seek some professional advice from your GP or a specialist hair loss clinic.
They can prescribe medications which often work very well, particularly if caught early. Alternatively you could shave the whole lot off and go for SMP (Scalp Micropigmentation) which produces a realistic and maintenance free buzz cut look that never goes out of fashion.