Why do men go bald?

What you need to know:

  • All humans shed at least 100 hairs daily but this is unnoticeable given that one’s head has around 100,000 hairs. If one sheds a lot of hair, then they are likely to become bald

I am 25 years old and already bald. What are the causes of hair loss in young men? Atwooki 

Dear Atwooki,
Although hair protects us from the sun’s dangerous ultra violet rays, it is largely of cosmetic value, the reason balding can cause stress. Balding is more common in older people (above 50) and at your age, it may be genetic (male-pattern baldness), which may happen in both men and women as early as 15 years of age. 
All humans shed at least 100 hairs daily but this is unnoticeable given that one’s head has around 100,000 hairs. If one sheds a lot of hair, then they are likely to become bald.

Nowadays, many people are balding early because apart from the usual causes of balding, certain other conditions involving today’s lifestyles and the usual disease conditions may on their own or as a combination cause early balding. Apart from genetics and aging, a male hormone (dihydro-testosterone), and a substance Prostaglandin D2 have been said to be associated with balding in affected people.
Today, people restrict their diets to be or remain ‘slim’ causing a lack of iron and proteins which make up the hair. Some diet restrictions may, however, be due to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa. 
Also, a number of young people love hair styles (such as dreadlocks) which puts a lot of traction on one’s hair, leading to hair loss. Other causes include stress, smoking (especially shisha), and using anabolic steroids.

Diseases of the thyroid gland, hair pulling mental disorders (trichotillomania), alopecia areata (where the body’s immune system attacks hair) and scalp fungal infection drugs including those given for cancer are also among the causes of hair loss.
The cause of early balding (like scaly fungal infection), if found, should be eliminated so that hair grows back. Sometimes, balding may correct itself spontaneously, or after addressing the cause. 

There are medicines which together with other lifestyle changes such as avoiding harsh hairstyles, quitting smoking and eating nutritious foods, may help slow or prevent the development of common baldness. However, these can only be prescribed by a doctor after diagnosis of the cause of hair loss. 
Since it may take as long as six months for drugs to show some effect, a person is likely to get stressed more and abandon drugs as useless, worsening the balding.

Some causes of balding may not be found or removed, requiring the victim to accept balding but if one cannot, other methods of treatment such as hair transplanting may be done in consultation with one’s doctor.

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