The saying, your hair is your crowning glory isn’t just something coined for women, it applies to men too. In ancient times the length and condition of a man's hair was a symbol of his masculinity, virility, and strength, this was apparent in most ancient empires around the world. In recent times, however, drastic lifestyle changes seem to affect a country's hairline.
Today, statistics show that Europeans are most susceptible to hair loss and blading, Africans the least. For Asians, we stand on the middle ground for this issue. In Malaysia, a combination of genetics and hormone imbalances accounts for 96% of all cases of hair loss and male pattern balding in men. Many factors can trigger hair loss and balding, so it is best to consult a doctor for clarity. Let’s look at the most common factors that contribute to these conditions.
9 reasons you’re losing your hair
Hair loss can be devastating. If you think your hair might be thinning, know that you are not alone. Hair loss is one of the most common issues dermatologists see and the first step is to determine the cause of hair loss. Here are the top causes of hair loss in men:
Androgenetic alopecia is also known as male pattern baldness is a genetically predetermined disorder. Men inherit the baldness gene from the X chromosome that they get from their mothers.
High levels of androgens or the male hormones are responsible for shrinking the hair follicles, making hair fall out faster. DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) is a hormone that delays the regrowth of new.
About 85 percent of men will experience hair loss or alopecia by age 70. For men, a receding hairline can start any time after the end of puberty and by their mid-30s, they would have a receding hairline.
Frequent use of hair care and styling products containing chemicals like Sodium Lauryl Sulphate and the action of constantly pulling back your hair when you tie it up, both can damage the hair and cause hair loss
Maintaining a balanced diet consisting of nutrient-dense foods is important for hair health. Zinc contributes to healthy, thicker, and volumized hair while the lack of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acid-rich food can lead to hair loss.
There are 3 types of hair loss that are triggered by stress, telogen effluvium, alopecia Areata, and trichotillomania. Fortunately, stress-related hair loss is often temporary and hair condition will improve once the cause of stress is managed.
Certain medications such as beta-blockers, blood thinners, antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, and hormone-related drugs like thyroid meds and steroids can cause hair loss.
Medical issues, like anemia, thyroid problems, cancer, diabetes, Covid-19, lupus, heart problems, depression, and gout are some of the conditions that can affect your hair, causing hair fall and thinning.
Fungal skin infections, as well as bacterial infections like Syphilis, can all be responsible for balding or thinning hair. Fungal infections and psoriasis of the scalp or hair roots can lead to hair loss and even balding.
When to see a doctor?
It's considered normal to lose between 20 to 100 strands of hair a day. Only a change in your regular pattern of loss is considered abnormal. Hair loss is a visibly noticeable condition, however, if you want to be sure what you are experiencing is hair loss or male pattern balding, look out for these symptoms:
Patchy bald spot
Hair thinning on top of the head
Sudden hair loss
Scalp looks noticeable
Complete loss of hair on your scalp and body
Hair loss: Diagnosis and treatment?
The best thing to do if you are distressed by persistent hair loss and want to seek treatment is to speak to a doctor. It is best to get professional advice at an early stage to determine the cause of your hair loss and find a treatment solution to avoid permanent hair loss or baldness. Your doctor will likely ask you questions to check your medical history or suggest the following test and examinations before suggesting a course of treatment:
Hair pull test
There are many treatment options available, depending on your budget and the severity of your condition. Here’s an overview to help you understand the kinds of treatments that are available.
Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medication
Over-the-counter (nonprescription) minoxidil (Rogaine) comes in liquid, foam, and shampoo forms and is used to treat male pattern baldness. It can take 4 - 6 months to show results.
Finasteride (1mg and 5mg)
This drug is only available with a prescription from your doctor. While traditionally used to treat prostate enlargement, Finasteride has been approved for its use in male pattern hair loss and works by reducing the levels of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a type of male hormone responsible for shrinking hair follicles that leads to baldness. This method takes up to 3 months of daily use to show results.
Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
Patients from around the world visit Malaysia for hair transplants, as we have a selection of best-in-class specialists and modern facilities. FUE is considered the gold standard of hair transplants. It is an advanced surgical hair restoration technique that is less invasive than traditional hair transplants. This surgical solution leaves no linear scar and requires no stitches and is effective in restoring thicker and more natural-looking hair.
Direct Hair Implantation (DHI)
Is a hair transplant method that uses a surgical technique that moves hair follicles from the back of the scalp (donor area) to a bald or balding part of the scalp. DHI is normally preferred to treat smaller, specific sections of hair loss. This procedure is most suitable for candidates with Androgenic Alopecia and is painless, fast, effective, and has minimal recovery time.
Low-Level Laser treatment (LLLT)
The theory of LLLT for hair loss is that low-dose laser treatments reduce inflammation, invigorate circulation and create stimulation that encourages hair follicles to grow hair. This procedure is non-invasive, painless, has no side effects, and increases hair strength.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, and at least 69 are known to cause cancer. When you breathe in these chemicals, they can travel from your lungs to your bloodstream. From your blood, they can spread to other parts of your body and negatively impact many aspects of your health, including your hair. Quitting may decrease hair loss.
Stress can be a contributing factor to hair loss in men, typically it affects your scalp and may appear as patchy hair loss. Thankfully, stress-related hair loss is often temporary and your hair will grow back once the cause of your stress is addressed and treated. Manage stress by speaking to a mental health expert and including activities that help you relax and unwind into your daily schedule. Also, don’t forget to get a good night's sleep.
Maintain a healthy diet
Alopecia Areata can be reversed through diet, possibly with antioxidants or an anti-inflammatory diet, probiotics, zinc, biotin, and healthy oils. It is best to avoid processed or oily, sugary, and overly spicy foods. Include more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and saturated fats in your diet.
Speak to a doctor
Aside from your genetic makeup, factors such as undiagnosed or existing medical conditions can result in hair loss. You will be able to treat your hair loss by treating the underlying condition. For hair loss due to medication, your doctor will be able to advise on lowering the dosage of the medication or prescribe an alternative that is less likely to cause hair loss.
The emotional impact of hair loss can vary greatly from person to person. Some people may wish to seek counseling services as part of their treatment. Others may choose a hairstyle that embraces hair loss, such as a shaved head. Hair loss can affect a man’s self-esteem and may lead to depression, and anxiety and reduce the quality of life. If you notice a decline in the quality of your life because of hair loss, you should seek support from a medical professional, as many types of hair loss can be reversed when diagnosed and treated early. Now you can get professional consultation and discuss potential treatment from the comfort of your home via virtual consultation on the Doctor Anywhere app.