Most people know that men typically experience hair loss with age, but did you know that 42 percent of men between 18 to 49 have moderate to excessive balding?
Hair loss in men is common. However, it’s not a problem any man wants to have.
Men experiencing hair loss often wonder why it’s happening and what they can do about it. Can you relate?
Keep reading this guide to learn why hair loss in men happens, ways to reduce it, and how to treat it.
Causes of Hair Loss in Men
What causes hair loss in men? Hair loss in men can be attributed to a variety of factors, including:
If you find your hair starting to thin at a young age, the source of your hair loss could be genetic. Over the years, researchers have examined both sides of the family tree to determine the source of male pattern baldness. While many people have perpetuated the myth that the “bald gene” comes from the mother’s side of the family, the truth is that you could inherit this gene from either your mother or your father.
The “X” chromosome, which men inherit from their mother, does have very strong associations with male hair loss. More specifically, the AR gene that can be found on the “X” chromosome more than doubles the risk of developing male pattern baldness.
While the AR gene can often be responsible for hair loss in men, it is far from the only culprit. In fact, researchers in 2017 identified 63 genes that could contribute to male pattern baldness. This review also concluded that the “X” chromosome only contains six of those genes.
On the other side of the family tree, researchers found that over 80 percent of men experiencing male pattern baldness had a father who also experienced hair loss.
In other words, genetics can play a large role in male hair loss, but there is no proverbial smoking gun. Male hair loss can be inherited from either parent (or both). At the same time, hair loss in men isn’t only the result of genetic factors. While genes are the most common source of male pattern baldness, they are still only responsible for roughly 79 percent of cases, according to a 2005 study.
Unfortunately, hair loss can also just be a natural part of the aging process. This is due to a decline or change in the function of your hair follicles. You may start to notice a change in the thickness and color of your hair when you are in your 30s, but it could happen even earlier than that.
When your hair falls out, your hair follicles will typically replace those missing strands of hair. As you age, however, you might find that your follicles don’t replace these strands of hair as quickly as they used to. Eventually, your follicles might not replace the missing hair strands at all. That is when you would start to notice the signs of baldness.
Obviously, the aging process is a little different for everyone, but there is a very good chance that you will eventually start to experience male pattern baldness at some point in your life. Researchshows that about 80 percent of men experience male pattern baldness by the age of 80.
One primary cause of hair loss in men is hormonal imbalances. For example, men tend to produce less testosterone as they age. Low levels of testosterone may contribute to hair loss in men.
Levels of testosterone naturally decline as men age. Around midlife, many men reach andropause—when testosterone levels are at a peak level of decline and men experience multiple symptoms of hormone imbalance. You can compare andropause to menopausein women to understand more about it.
The stress hormone known as cortisol may also play a role in hair loss. While chronic stress had long been suspected as a potential source of hair loss in men, researchers could not pin down specifically how it caused hair to not grow. After extensive research, they found that cortisol can block the dermal papilla cell cluster under your skin from activating the hair follicle stem cells that cause hair to grow. The cortisol-stress relationship works in a negative impact cycle where they make each other worse. High stress leads to high levels of cortisol and vice versa. If you think that you may be losing hair due to constantly high levels of stress, it’s a good idea to find a way to get your stress levels under control.
Medical issues can also lead to hairloss in men. For example, thyroid issues can lead to hair loss. To make matters worse, hair loss can be a result of either low levels (hypothyroidism) or elevated levels (hyperthyroidism) of thyroid. Both conditions can negatively impact the T3 and T4 hormones, and they play a critical role in hair regrowth.
Alopecia areata is another medical condition that leads to hair loss. It is actually an autoimmune disorder that attacks the hair follicles. This type of hair loss could affect you in a few different ways. Patchy alopecia areata would leave you with small bald spots that are roughly the size of a coin. Other forms of alopecia areata, such as alopecia totalis and alopecia universalis, are more devastating and would leave you with little-to-no hair. Scalp infections like ringworm can also lead to hair loss and should be addressed immediately.
There are also certain medications that can lead to hair loss as well. These could be medications that are used for heart issues, high blood pressure, depression, and cancer, among others. Certain forms of trauma, such as injury or surgery, can also lead to temporary hair loss. This includes radiation therapy used to fight cancer.
Best Ways to Treat Male Hair Loss
The good news is that there are ways to prevent and even reverse the effects of hair loss. One way to achieve desired results is to make good lifestyle choices. Try to manage stress levels by getting exercise and sleeping better. Since stress levels and the quality of sleep feed off one another, you could see improvements in both areas with some lifestyle changes.
Enjoying a healthy, protein-rich diet can also promote healthy hair. Here are just some of the foods that can help:
- Lean Meat
- Salmon (and other fatty fish that contain Omega-3 fatty acids)
- Leafy Green Vegetables
While these kinds of lifestyle adjustments can have a positive impact on hair health, they may not always be enough. As you age, you may find positive results more difficult to come by due to the negative effects of hormonal imbalance. That is where hormone replacement therapy could provide you with an edge.
Testosterone and cortisol (the stress hormone) are locked into an inverse relationship, meaning that high levels of one contribute to low levels of the other (and vice versa). This is why it is no coincidence that hair loss can be the result of high levels of cortisol and low levels of testosterone.
If diet and exercise alone aren’t helping to balance your hormone levels, testosterone replacement therapy could help by increasing your testosterone levels and lowering your cortisol levels. Bringing all of these levels into balance could give you the best odds to stop hair loss in its tracks.
Meet With a Certified Practitioner to Learn More
When you decide to move forward with testosterone replacement therapy, you will have no shortage of choices as far as who will provide you with this therapy and how it will be administered to you. Most providers will give you a script for testosterone injections, which you would have to administer yourself (or ask someone else to do it for you) about once per week. After a while, repeated injections can leave you with discomfort or even pain.
That is why more and more men are turning to testosterone pellets to achieve hormonal balance. Just a single pellet insertion can provide you with testosterone for a 3-to-6-month treatment cycle. While they are typically seen as an improvement over liquid testosterone injections, not all pellets or insertion techniques are created equal. At EVEXIAS Health Solutions, those concerns may be put to rest with their EvexiPEL method. This method was developed by Dr. Terri DeNeui to provide patients with a comfortable insertion process and steady, consistent dosing throughout each treatment cycle.
Today, you can find hundreds of highly qualified EvexiPELcertified practitioners located around the country. Find a provider near you today to give yourself the boost you need to enjoy healthy hair and the multitude of other benefits of hormonal balance.