Signs Of Balding Male: Symptoms and Causes
It is normal to lose some hair from your scalp every day. But if your hair is thinning or falling out faster than usual, you may be going bald.
However, you are not alone. Most people experience hair loss as they age. It is often related to genetics and the natural aging process. In other cases, baldness may be due to an underlying medical condition.
In this article, we will explore the possible causes and symptoms of baldness. We will also discuss treatment and prevention options for both men and women.
- On average, we lose anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs each day. This is normal.
- More than 50 percent of women experience balding.
- By 50 years of age, about 85 percent of men are balding, according to the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA).
- In 25 percent of men who have genetic-related hair loss, it starts before they’re 21 years old, reports the AHLA.
What exactly is Balding?
Balding is due to excessive hair loss from the head. The term “balding” is most commonly used to refer to androgenetic alopecia, or male or female pattern hair loss.
The hair growth cycle typically includes three phases:
- Anagen phase. The anagen phase of hair on the scalp, or growing phase, lasts about 2 to 4 years. Approximately 90 percent of the hair on your scalp is in this phase.
- Catagen phase. During the catagen phase, the hair follicles shrink over 2 to 3 weeks. It’s also called the transition phase.
- Telogen phase. In the telogen phase, or resting phase, the hair sheds after 3 to 4 months.
When hair falls out at the end of the telogen phase, new hairs grow in. But when there’s more hair loss than growth, balding occurs.
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Early Symptoms Of Balding
Hair loss can appear in many different ways, depending on the cause. It can appear suddenly or gradually and affect only your scalp or your entire body.
Signs and symptoms of hair loss may include:
- Gradual thinning on top of head. This is the most common type of hair loss, affecting people as they age. In men, hair often begins to recede at the hairline on the forehead. Women typically have a broadening of the part in their hair. An increasingly common hair loss pattern in older women is a receding hairline (frontal fibrosing alopecia).
- Circular or patchy bald spots. Some people lose hair in circular or patchy bald spots on the scalp, beard or eyebrows. Your skin may become itchy or painful before the hair falls out.
- Sudden loosening of hair. A physical or emotional shock can cause hair to loosen. Handfuls of hair may come out when combing or washing your hair or even after gentle tugging. This type of hair loss usually causes overall hair thinning but is temporary.
- Full-body hair loss. Some conditions and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy for cancer, can result in the loss of hair all over your body. The hair usually grows back.
- Patches of scaling that spread over the scalp. This is a sign of ringworm. It may be accompanied by broken hair, redness, swelling and, at times, oozing.
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Risk factors of Balding
A number of factors can increase your risk of hair loss, including:
- Family history of baldness from your mother or father
- Get older
- Significant weight loss
- Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and lupus.
- Poor nutrition
Most baldness is caused by genetics (male-pattern baldness and female-pattern baldness). This type of hair loss is not preventable.
These tips may help you avoid preventable types of hair loss:
- Be gentle with your hair. Use a detangler and avoid tugging when brushing and combing, especially when your hair is wet. A wide-toothed comb might help prevent pulling out hair. Avoid harsh treatments such as hot rollers, curling irons, hot-oil treatments and permanents. Limit the tension on hair from styles that use rubber bands, barrettes and braids.
- Ask your doctor about medications and supplements you take that might cause hair loss.
- Protect your hair from sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light.
- Stop smoking. Some studies show an association between smoking and baldness in men.
- If you’re being treated with chemotherapy, ask your doctor about a cooling cap. This cap can reduce your risk of losing hair during chemotherapy.
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Can you prevent hair loss?
Balding due to genetics isn’t preventable. However, you can reduce the risk of other types of hair loss with these tips:
- Loosen your hairstyle. Tight hairstyles, like ponytails or braids, can damage your hair follicles.
- Limit heat damage. Styling tools like straighteners and curling irons may contribute to root damage.
- Massage your scalp. Some recent research has shown that regular scalp massages may help promote hair growth. However, don’t overdo it. Constant rubbing and stress to your follicles may cause damage.
- Eat a healthy diet. A diet that lacks a variety of nutrients may lead to hair loss.
- Quit smoking. Some older researchTrusted Source suggests a link between smoking and hair loss.
- Cooling cap. If you’re getting chemotherapy, a cooling cap may help reduce hair loss after treatment.
- Switch medication. If your current medication causes balding, ask your doctor about alternatives.
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The vast majority of the time, androgenetic alopecia causes baldness. In men, it is more commonly known as male pattern baldness. In women, it is known as female pattern baldness. With this type of baldness, hair loss follows a fairly predictable pattern.
If you are concerned about baldness, talk to your doctor or dermatologist. Depending on the cause, they may be able to recommend medications or procedures to treat or delay hair loss.