Last Updated on May 20, 2021 by Mark McIntyre
Are you already noticing hair loss while only in your 20’s? You might be surprised to learn that you’re not alone.
People normally think that hair loss is something that only happens to men who are older. Young guys still have their lush, thicker hair until later on, right?
Not necessarily. This is actually a common misconception that many people have.
The sad truth is, a lot of guys will start losing their hair as soon as their early 20’s.
Many will be bald by the time they reach their 30’s. Some even notice thinning hair in their late teens.
In fact, 1 out of 4 of men notice thinning hair before they’re 30 years old, according to the American Hair Loss Association. So if this sounds like you, you’re not the only one.
Unfortunately, the tendency for most young guys is to simply deny the problem. “Nah, it’s only my imagination,” they say. “It’s because of a crappy haircut,” or “I just need to start taking some vitamins.”
Too many young men completely ignore their hair loss until they have obvious bald patches that can no longer be avoided. They pretend the problem doesn’t exist and hope it will just resolve itself on its own.
Although there are many types and causes of hair loss, including certain lifestyle factors (like stress or smoking), the most common reason for your hair loss will come down to your genetics.
A lot of people believe that wearing hats can cause hair loss. “Wearing hats all the time cuts of blood flow and air to the scalp, so that must be the problem.”
Uh, no – that’s an old wive’s tale. Hats do not lead to hair loss – but ironically, hair loss does lead to guys wearing hats more often.
For anyone, losing your hair can deal a serious blow to the ego, and even more so when you’re young. It can negatively impact your self-esteem, stress you out, and even lead to psychological disorders.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about your genes. About all you can do is to treat the symptoms of your genetics. Even though we can put a man on the moon, there’s currently no way to change your genetic code in order to regrow your hair.
This can be especially painful if neither of your parents has hair loss. How is it that you’re going bald when your dad has a great head of hair, even into middle- and old-age?
The fact is, genes aren’t passed down in a straight line, necessarily. There’s no guarantee that you’ll develop all of the same traits as your parents.
If you take a look at your relatives going back a few generations, you’ll probably notice more than a few who had some amount of hair loss – and those are the genes that found their way to you.
So the question remains…
Why Do Young Guys Go Bald?
First of all, let’s discuss the root cause of hair loss (no pun intended).
Every strand of hair on your scalp grows from a tiny organ called a follicle. Balding happens as a result of these follicles shrinking.
Eventually, the follicles grow hair that is thinner, finer, and shorter. When the follicle gets small enough, it will become dormant and finally die.
What causes shrinking follicles? The male sex hormone DHT (dihydrotestosterone), which is produced from testosterone.
In certain men, the follicles in the scalp become overly sensitive to DHT, causing them to shrink. This doesn’t happen to all of the follicles, only the ones at the crown, along the top, and at front of the head (the classic male pattern baldness areas).
This occurs at different rates for different men, with some guys losing their hair quicker than others.
So basically, the reason why you’re starting to lose your hair in your 20s is due to your follicles being super-sensitive to DHT. This doesn’t mean that you produce more or less DHT than other guys your age, it simply means that DHT is able to attach to your follicles better, which ultimately causes them to shrink.
The bad news is that guys who start losing hair early on tend to experience more baldness compared to those who don’t. So if you’ve got substantial hair loss at 25, the odds are good that you’ll eventually go fully bald if it’s left unchecked.
Treatments Work Best On Young Guys
But don’t go shave your head or buy a toupee just yet because of your hair loss. If you’re still in your twenties, the majority of your hair follicles are probably still at least semi-active, growing peach fuzz if nothing else.
Hair loss treatments work much better for younger men since there’s still plenty of dormant follicles waiting to be re-awakened. A man in his 60’s may have permanently lost many follicles, so there’s nothing to left to renew. Young guys have a greater success rate because they still have much more to work with.
That said, this is not to imply that treatments won’t work for older men, because they do. It all depends on the individual amount and type of hair loss.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you’re actually losing hair. Keep an eye out for the usual signs: Hair in the sink or shower drain, hair on your pillow, a receding hairline, and/or thinning at the top and crown of the head.
Then, determine whether or not you’re losing hair at a pace you can’t tolerate. If you’re losing hair slowly and gradually, it may not concern you.
Depending on your situation, a receding hairline can give you a more distinguished appearance. Some guys who have mainly older co-workers say that thinning hair gives them credibility and improves their careers.
And there are those who don’t even mind their hair loss because they like the way it looks. At the end of the day, you don’t have to do anything about it, and if you’re good with it then rock on!
Finally, you’ll need to decide if you’re determined to treat your hair loss.
I won’t sugar-coat this: Doing something about your hair loss is definitely a commitment. It could take a while before you begin to notice any results. But once you do, you’ll be encouraged to stick with it – and that’s a good thing because once you stop the treatment you’ll soon lose all your gains.
That said, be cautious when you start looking into treatment options. There are a huge amount of scam products on the market making unsubstantiated claims. In my experience, only a few hair regrowth products are truly effective at slowing and reversing hair loss.
Begin Treatment ASAP
Losing your hair in your 20’s blows. Hair loss at any age is a bitter pill to swallow, but even more so when you’re still young. Most of your friends may still have full heads of hair, and you might be concerned about being unattractive or having a difficult time finding a partner.
Thankfully, it’s not too late to do something about it. The sooner you get started with a treatment program, the quicker you’ll get your hair back – not to mention your confidence and self-esteem.
There’s no reason why you should spend your 20’s and 30’s dodging social get-togethers and covering up under a hat. The best time for you to do something is right now, while time is still on your side.
Mark McIntyre is the founder of MaleHealthReview.com and acts as it’s chief contributor. He is a fitness trainer and avid mountain biker who also enjoys camping, hiking and fishing. Besides managing Male Health Review, Mark is also a guest columnist for several blogs related to men’s health. More about this author…