27 . January . 2020 BY Dr. Sharmishtha Deshpande

Losing hair?, Dude, are you going bald?

Unfortunately, these are becoming fairly common questions, especially amongst the Millenials and unexpectedly so! For those in their 20s & early 30s, it’s clearly not the age to be worrying about hair loss and receding hairlines. It is, however, a trend that seems to be growing day by day, thanks to misplaced ideas of style & image, a plethora of fancy hair products in the market, rising pollution levels, bad diet fads and stressful, hectic lifestyles.

A receding hairline has now become about every third young man’s biggest problem, perhaps close on the heels of how hair thinning is the current nightmare ruining the sleep of many young women these days. What makes it all the more worrisome is that these situations are assumed to manifest without any sign or warning, shocking the individual facing it, though it’s actually not the case (there is some logic & science to it all!).

Hair loss is normal. All of us see a few strands come off every day, don’t we? But persistent and excessive? That’s not normal. Do read our blog on hair loss to understand what’s normal and what isn’t!

If you feel that you are finding more than usual hair on your comb or towel after a hair wash or the volume of the hair has uncertainly been reducing faster than usual, it’s time to think beyond…And a receding hairline when you are yet to hit the 35-mark is definitely not expected.

If you spot the early signs, you might just be in time to save yourself some serious bald-old man complex! ‘Cos thanks to advancements in trichology, unlike old times, you now do not have to endure it lifelong.

So, today, we are going to help you understand what in fact classifies as premature balding, what the early signs to watch out are, the possible causes and what you can do about it with the help of able trichologists!

Do you believe you are facing Premature Balding? Not sure?
Let’s start with understanding the most common reasons why young men are losing their hair and balding so early.

From genetics to hormones, unhealthy lifestyles to poor haircare routines…the reasons are a wide range. While on the one side it is important to spot those early signs of the problem, on the other, it is a must to seek a trichologist, to understand the root cause and severity of the case. ‘Cos only a clear diagnosis can help you solve it effectively.

Common causes of hair loss in men
Male pattern baldness

  • A mostly gene-influenced condition, MPT or Androgenetic Alopecia is by far the largest factor that causes early hair loss and balding in men. It has to do with the genetic structure and hormonal activity in the body.
  • We have observed that many men who come to us and get diagnosed with MPT are in their early 20s and perhaps even some late teens.
  • Basically, Male pattern baldness begins with the loss of hair from the front or crown area and follows a typical pattern. The main cause of male pattern baldness is the action of androgens on your hair follicles.
  • On achieving puberty, the male hormone androgen starts flowing freely in the body in the post-pubescent stage. Ironically, it is the same hormone that destroys the hair follicles in those who are genetically predisposed to baldness. In such cases, hair does not attain optimum length & thickness. Further, the transition exogen phase gets elongated. Eventually, the follicle loses its capacity to generate new hair and dies.
  • Unfortunately, one can not alter with one’s genes or take anti-male hormones to destroy the male hormones; hence there is very little chance of hair regrowth in MPT. However, there are ways and means to manage the progression. Your trichologist is the best person to detect what kind of hair loss you are facing, whether it is reversible or irreversible, and help you understand in which stage of baldness you are at and advise the right course of action. Do read our blog on hair loss and male pattern baldness for more information on this.

Apart from this, there are some lifestyle factors that can contribute to hair loss and baldness in men.

  • Stress is a huge factor that triggers hair loss or makes it worse. Emotional stress has an immediate impact on the hair growth cycle. What it does is, it pushes the hair follicles into the resting phase, longer than the expected duration. This means that they won’t produce new hair strands as they should at the expected time. And over time, the hair becomes thinner and falls out more easily. Chronic stress basically leads to hair loss.
  • Unhealthy eating habits are a major reason for poor health, especially in youngsters. Junk or street food leads to low energy levels, lesser appetite control, nutritional deficiencies, health diseases, etc. And not just the quality of the food intake but also the timeliness of it. And need we remind you, bad diet = bad hair! Lack of adequate proteins, vitamins & minerals promotes hair loss. Consuming a protein-rich diet is not only important for hair growth but also plays a crucial role in regulating other bodily functions. A long protein deficiency in the body ends up making the hair dry & brittle thus, leading to breakage and loss.
  • Medical conditions strongly affect the hair growth cycle, triggering hair diffuse hair loss and can also aggravate the MPT in those who are genetically predisposed to it. Anemia, thyroid disorder, certain auto-immune diseases are some examples of such conditions. Certain medications such as blood thinners, high doses of vitamin A, steroids and radiation therapies are known to cause hair loss concerns in men. Acute illnesses also lead to hair loss and kickstart the thinning process in some who are not otherwise predisposed genetically to baldness.

This apart, erratic sleep schedules, smoking, low water intake, unchecked alcohol consumption too can trigger hair loss and contribute to male pattern baldness.

If its MPT, yes, you can perhaps look to your parents to point the finger at. But as regards the other causes, it’s you who needs to relook at your lifestyle.

We have, increasingly over the past decade, sen a rise in young men walking into our clinics with hair concerns. And almost all of them can attribute their problem to one or more of the above causes.

What used to be the condition in the 40s age-group in our father’s generation, is now the case of those in their 20s!

What are the early signs you should look out for?
Identifying if you are having excessive hair loss, then understanding what kind of hair loss it is, what the possible root cause is and what you need to do about it, is not as simple as changing your shampoo. Many ‘common’ signs, as you look up the net, may not quite help you identify your condition. You may mistake normal hair loss (which will grow back as it goes through the cycle) for MPT!
We will, here, try to give you three sure-shot MPT signs that are an indication that you need to visit your trichologist.

  • A change in your hair-line.
    This is the most noticeable change that you can track for yourself. If you have your doubts, compare your photos over the past year or two to check for a pattern.
    MPT always begins with the loss of hair from the front side. This causes the receding of the hairline. Then there is hair thinning which creates larger gaps between two hairs. This exposes the scalp. The hair at the temples and the crown portion become so thin and fine that they look baby-like. When this progresses even this Vellus hair disappears.
  • Noticeably less volume of hair
    Now not all men have MPT. Right? So what about the others? Others may suffer from what is called diffuse hair loss. This doesn’t make the person go bald from their hairline. This kind of hair loss is noticed across the scalp and around the crown. MPT can also show diffuse thinning in the centero parietal region without affecting the hairline. You may notice excessive hair fall and find that your volume has gone down drastically over time…your head may feel lighter than usual and you may be feeling the bristles of your comb more than ever on your scalp!
  • Noticeable shower/ brush hair
    Those of you who follow our blogs know that there is no set number on how much hair loss is normal for a person. How much is too much?

    We always say, listen to your body, listen to your instinct! You always know when it’s more than normal! If the hair fall is persistent, for more than 3 months, it’s time to take action.

Is it regular hair loss or early signs of premature balding? Many men don’t even realize they are balding or experiencing severe hair loss until and unless it becomes evidently visible. And the psychological effects that premature baldness can have are many…

  • Intense emotional suffering – depression, anxiety
  • Lack of personal support
  • Social & work-related problems
  • Loss of confidence & self-trust
  • Unlikely awkwardness amidst peers or family
  • Insecurity & rejection phobia
  • The earlier you detect and take action, the better.

How can a Trichologist help?
Your trichologist is your go-to person for your hair and scalp concerns. This one person will understand your hair in connection with your lifestyle, your diet, your medical history and more, like no other. Every hair has a story to say and your trichologist is the person who can decipher yours!

Once a clear diagnosis is drawn, you will be advised on a solution that is most suitable to you. Whether it’s genetic or otherwise, there is a solution for all.

Here are some suitable treatments depending on the age, root cause & stage of baldness that one experiences:

Hair fertility treatments
MPT is generally considered irreversible since it leads to the death of hair follicles. However thanks to the advancements in trichology, you now have hair fertility treatment that can not only help fight hair loss but also effectively fight hair thinning, and rejuvenate the hair follicles. This treatment uses unique plant extracts with remarkable qualities that can inhibit 5α reductase, stimulate hair follicles and help push new hair growth process. There is hair loss control as well as hair regeneration with this non-invasive treatment.

Camouflaging / Permanent Scalp Cover
Camouflaging is a very feasible & convenient way of managing a receding hairline or visible section of the scalp Though it cannot be called an actual corrective treatment, many men consider it to cover their scalp as a quick fix. As there are different camouflaging approaches, it is highly suggested to seek advice from certified trichologists.

Non-Surgical Hair Systems
If you’re in the latent stage of hair loss, where there is a very large balding area to be covered, then customized non-surgical hair replacement could be the best option for you. This will let you achieve a head full of hair that looks natural, stylish and does not restrict your lifestyle.
Gone are the days of wigs. You now very reputed clinics offering hair systems infused with the best quality human hair set on extremely comfortable, skin-friendly special derma bases. They are super light and are completely undetectable. TThe base is light and permeable thus, allowing the scalp to breathe while giving the hair an effect of growing right out of the scalp like natural hair with its flawless infusing technique. And it’s customized to you by trained hair stylists.

Surgical Hair Transplant
Hair transplant or permanent hair restoration is a surgery that moves hair and hair follicles from a part of your body called the donor site to the bald or balding part called the recipient site. Sounds too serious? Well, don’t fret. It is extremely safe, comfortable & effective if you get it done at the right place! Do speak to your trichologist about it to clear your doubts and apprehensions if any. You could read our blog on it too!

Lifestyle Management
If it’s not MPT and more of lifestyle-related issues, well, the most natural way to cure your hair problem is to correct your lifestyle! A good trichologist will advise you on the right diet, the right lifestyle, some homecare ideas and perhaps also help you tide over a bit with internal supplements to treat hair your immediate hair fall. You may also be prescribed therapeutic tricho treatments to fight the hair fall.

Clinical examination, thorough hair and scalp analysis help the trichologist in narrowing down on the best option for you.
With age on your side, with the right person guiding you, you can stride ahead with more confidence! All you need to do is to pay a little more TLC to your hair, watch out for early signs, and not hesitate to contact a professional at earliest.

Do not think or feel that you are too late to take any step. Anytime is a good time to change your life & take care of yourself better!

Remember, we are just a call away! Regardless, whether you are experiencing hair thinning, loss, baldness or any other hair & scalp issue, or not, visiting a trichologist at timely intervals, can play a key role in ensuring that you keep your hair woes away and have great hair every day! It’s not about just the perfect selfie or Instagram grid. It’s about a lifetime of great hair…

What is ultimately important is that you are aware of whether you have a problem, what the problem is, the underlying cause to the concern, and you seek help from the right professionals to solve it the right way. Make an informed choice – get in touch with the true Hair expert, a Trichologist!

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