Research from Korea has just been published. It links hair loss to overwork in men as young as their twenties. We take a closer look at why work puts young men at hair loss risk.
Hair Loss In Young Men
Hair loss will affect the majority of us during our lifetime. The age at which the hair loss begins can vary wildly. The degree of hair loss along with the rate at which it advances can also vary from individual to individual. News that work might put young men at hair loss risk is deeply unwelcome.
When it comes to men losing their hair at an early age there are already some worrying statistics. The American Hair Loss Association estimates that up to 25% of all men will see the first signs before their 21st birthday. You can add to that though, around 3% of all pediatric doctor visits each year are connected to hair loss related issues. Typically these cases are linked to fungal infections or bad styling choices, like tight ponytails.
Major Hair Loss Study
The Korean team, led by Kyung-Hon Song, ran a huge study following 13391 men. They were grouped into those who worked a 40 hour week, rated as normal. Then there was a group rated as working long hours, up to 52 a week. And a final group who worked in excess of 52 hours, rated as much longer. A range of other factors was also taken into consideration. These included age, marital status, education, income, and smoking.
After fully four years of studying their groups, the team drew some uncomfortable conclusions. Their results showed a linear correlation between the hours worked and the advance of hair loss.
The ‘normal’ group experienced a 2% increase in incidences of alopecia. But the ‘long’ group saw 3% and the ‘much longer’ group 4%. The results were consistent regardless of income group, lifestyle or marital status. It is the sort of linear progression that delights research scientists. But it is not great news for young hard-working men.
HIS Hair Clinic
In the words of Kyung-Hun Song, “Preventative interventions to promote appropriate and reasonable working hours are required in our society”. He is almost certainly right. But in the real world, work job-related stress is a reality. As is the requirement to work long hours for many of us. Experiments with mice have shown that stress is closely related to the inhibition of hair growth. So the work of Song’s team appears to confirm what we already knew. Hair loss is just a symptom of deeper damage that stress is causing. Weight gain, fatigue, injuries, and disease are all increased. There was also research published in The Lancet earlier this year. It said that people who worked more than 10 hours a day for 50 days of the year had a 29% greater chance of a stroke.
The antidote for stress is not simply working fewer hours, it also finding time for play. Getting the balance right is the major challenge.
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