When Do Men Start Balding?

Man looking at hair loss in brush.

At What Age Do Men Start Losing Their Hair?

If you notice that your hair is getting thinner, you might take at least some comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one. Male pattern baldness is a common condition that affects most men at some point in their lives.

Individually, men are affected by male pattern baldness differently. The process can start at any age and progresses at different rates.

Here are the facts when it comes to men’s age and hair loss:

  • Around 25% of men with hereditary male pattern hair loss begin to lose their hair before turning 21.
  • Approximately 2 out of 3 men will experience hair loss to some extent by the age 35.
  • Around 85% of men will have a substantial amount of thinning hair by the time they reach 50.
  • It takes 15-25 years for men to go completely bald, on average. 

Source: American Hair Loss Association

What Causes Men To Go Bald?

Most men who become bald are affected by androgenetic hair loss, also known as male pattern baldness. According to the American Hair Loss Association, androgenetic alopecia is responsible for 95% of men’s hair loss.

Male pattern baldness is an inherited trait caused by a genetic sensitivity to a byproduct of testosterone called DHT (dihydrotestosterone).Hair follicles having a sensitivity to DHT gradually begin to shrink.

As a result, the life expectancy of the hairs becomes shorter as the affected hair follicles become smaller. The affected follicles will stop producing hair altogether eventually.

Hair loss due to male pattern baldness generally follows one of two patterns:

  • Hair begins to become thinner along the top of the head and at the temples. This may gradually result in a horseshoe-shaped pattern of hair around the sides and back of the head.
  • The hairline gradually recedes from the front of the head, moving the hairline farther back along the scalp.

Other Reasons for Men’s Hair Loss

Male pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss, but this condition is not the only one that can lead to it.

Male pattern baldness is normally characterized thinning hair only. However, you may also notice other signs and symptoms if the cause of hair loss is due to other reasons.

Additionally, there isn’t always a consistent pattern of hair loss with other causes as with male pattern baldness. Rather, these types of hair loss most commonly occur evenly over the scalp, or in patches.

Although some hair loss due to these conditions can be permanent, others are reversible. Some examples include the following:

  • Alopecia Areata – A condition causing the immune system to attack healthy hair follicles and cause hair loss. Although hair loss occurs in small spots on the scalp, it can also affect other areas of your body, for example beard growth, the eyebrows, or eyelashes. The hair may grow back, but it might not.
  • Malnutrition – Maintaining sufficient levels of nutrients in the body is essential for optimal overall health, and healthy hair growth as well. Healthy hair requires a healthy diet containing protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and vitamins B, C and D. You more susceptible to losing hair if you are deficient in any one of these nutrients.
  • Medications – Hair loss can be caused by certain medicines but is often temporary. These include chemotherapy drugs, anticoagulants, blood pressure medicine, cholesterol-lowering medications and antidepressants, among others. Once you stop using the drugs your hair will likely grow back.
  • Stress – Sometimes a high amount of hair loss can occur after a shock to the system or some type of stressful incident, such as surgery, illness, severe weight loss, psychological stress, or other factors. This type of hair loss, known as telogen effluvium, might occur over a 2-3 month period following the event. In these cases, hair typically grows back within 2-6 months.+

Treatments For Hair Loss

Luckily, there are a number of available treatments for male pattern baldness. These include supplements, shampoos, and LED devices, among others.

Although there’s no actual cure for baldness, these treatments can be very effective and have helped a lot of men to defy the effects of MPD and regrow lost hair.

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