There's no definitive age when men should expect hair loss, but the older you are, the more likely you'll experience thinning.
And while it’s true that most men experience some loss of hair thickness as they get older, male pattern baldness can really begin at any age.
When you may start losing your hair, and how much, depends largely on genetics.
Hair Loss and Age
Hair loss in men is extremely common and we do have some idea of the frequency of hair loss based on age.
- Almost 25% of men begin losing their hair before the age of 21
- By age 35, the number increases to almost 66%
- After reaching age 50, almost 85% of men will experience it
Genetics are the single most influential factor when it comes to hair loss. As a result, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly when, or even if, you should expect hair loss.
Traditionally, it's been said that baldness comes from the mother’s father, since male pattern baldness genes have been identified on the X chromosome, which is inherited from the mother.
However, hair loss is more complicated than a single gene and involves other factors, including genes inherited from the father. It’s possible to experience hair loss at a totally different rate (earlier or later) than what other male relatives of yours have experienced. But, most men who see hair loss on either side of their family are at some risk themselves.
How To Know If You’re Balding
It’s typical for guys to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day, so hair loss daily doesn’t necessarily mean that you're going bald. Here's a list of common signs of balding:
Your Hair is Thinner
Male pattern baldness can affect men in a variety of ways, but generally the first signs are a receding hairline or thinning at the crown.
One of the tell tale signs is hair thinning around the temples, creating a prominent “widow’s peak” that will begin to resemble the shape of the letter M. However, it may come from the other direction. Starting with a bald spot at the crown, thinning may begin to move forward on your scalp as it grows larger.
In some cases, hair loss doesn’t start at the hairline or the crown, but will develop steadily and diffusely across the head. This is one of the hardest patterns of hair loss to identify and is sometimes known as “invisible balding.”
By the time hair loss is noticeable, it’s often too late to treat. The best way to identify if your hair has changed is by comparing it to old photos of yourself or talking with your usual barber about changes they might have noticed.
More Hair is Falling Out Than Usual, and It’s Taking Longer To Replace
Your scalp contains over 100,000 hairs so losing the normal 100 hairs each day shouldn’t be a concern. This is a natural part of the life cycle of hair as your hair follicles grow, pause, and then shed.
Over time it’s possible that you might be shedding more hair than you’re growing. If you notice an increasing amount of hair on your pillow, brush, or in the shower drain, it could be an early sign of hair loss or thinning.
Additionally, if you’ve started to notice that you need fewer hair cuts every year, that’s another sign. The normal growth cycle for hair lasts anywhere betweentwo and six years, at the end of which it will shed the hair in order for a new hair to grow in its place.
One of the results of hair loss is that the growing phase of hair is reduced while the shedding and dormant phase is increased. If your hair seems like it’s taking a longer time to grow than it did before, you might be in the early stages of hair loss.
Your Scalp is Frequently Itchy
While an itchy scalp isn’t typically a sign of male pattern baldness, it can be a sign of other conditions that contribute to hair loss. Some of these may include a buildup of sebum (oil) on your scalp, or skin conditions such as folliculitis, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis.
In some cases, frequent scratching may cause damage to the hair follicles and encourage fallout.
If you’re frequently dealing with an itchy scalp, consider talking to a dermatologist. They may be able to diagnose why your scalp is so itchy and prescribe treatments to clear it up before any permanent damage is done.
How To Stop Thinning Hair
If you’re experiencing male pattern hair loss, there are ways to stem the loss and increase hair growth. The most popular and effective treatments include:
One of the main reasons for baldness in men is the hormone dihydrotestosterone%2C%20are%20minor.), or DHT. This hormone causes hair follicles to shrink, eventually resulting in the follicle not producing new hair anymore.
The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (naturally present in your body) converts testosterone, the hormone that influences overall sex drive, into DHT.
By blocking this conversion, finasteride can help to prevent further hair loss and may even be able to stimulate new growth.
Finasteride is a prescription for men only.
Available as both a liquid or a foam, minoxidil is rubbed onto the scalp twice daily and can help to reduce further hair loss. In fact, most men who try minoxidil report positive results using this formulation, though it seems to be most effective in men who still have hair to keep versus those that have already lost their hair.
It’s unclear exactly how minoxidil prevents hair loss, but experts believe it’s related to an increase of blood flow where the medication is applied. This increase in blood flow provides oxygen and nutrients to the nearby hair follicles, which helps to stimulate growth or prevent further hair loss.
Due to their different mechanisms for preventing hair loss, when minoxidil and finasteride are used together, the results can be even better than just using one alone.
Minoxidil is available for both men and women.
Low Level Laser Therapy
Low level laser therapy (LLLT) is an FDA cleared way to treat hair loss with a medical device. These devices come in the form of a brush or comb that you simply run through the scalp, or as a cap that you can wear. They emit a constant red LED light that can not only reduce inflammation, but also increase blood flow to the hair follicles and support hair growth or density.
Multiple research studies have proven the effectiveness of all three of these approaches. A 2017 analysis of studies found that minoxidil, finasteride, and LLLT were all superior to placebo in regrowing hair, and the researchers concluded they were all effective for promoting hair growth even in men experiencing male pattern baldness.
Shampoos and Conditioners
Shampoos and conditioners like those from Shapiro MD contain natural ingredients selected for their DHT-fighting abilities like saw palmetto berry extract and green tea. These formulations are patented and all-natural, to provide thicker-looking and healthier hair with minimal changes to your normal bathing routine.
While there is no exact age that men start experiencing hair loss, it often becomes apparent in your 30s. Most men will experience some level of hair loss by the time they're 85. Genetics and inherited traits will dictate the exact details and timeframe of your hair loss.
Proper treatment can help you keep the hair you have and even grow new hair. Get minoxidil, finasteride, and more delivered to your door (if prescribed) today.