Losing an unusual amount of hair can be a cause for concern. Here we discuss what causes hair loss and the available treatments for prevention and cure.
Hair Loss: Causes and Solutions for Men
How Much Hair Falling Out is Normal?
Hair falling out is normal for people of all ages. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, it is common to shed between 50 and 100 hairs a day. Excessive hair shedding beyond this range refers to a condition called telogen effluvium.
What Causes Hair Loss in Men?
Hair loss or thinning hair in men can be caused by several health factors that can determine possible regrowth treatments. These factors include genetics, medical issues, and lifestyle and habits.
Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness, is the most common type of hair loss caused by hereditary factors. It affects 50% of males over 40, although male pattern baldness can start as early as the teenage years.
This type of hair loss may lead to thinner and shorter hair strands. It usually starts with a receding hairline that progresses into a distinct M shape. Finally, the hair on the head’s top or back usually begins to fall out, leaving a bald spot.
Hair loss can be traced back to underlying medical conditions such as thyroid problems, physical and psychological stress, lupus, hormonal changes, and nutritional deficiencies of vitamins like D, B12, C, A, copper, selenium, and biotin.
In some circumstances, medication side effects, such as chemotherapy and antidepressants, may cause hair loss.
Lifestyle practices and habits may also contribute to hair falling out—for instance, excessive styling requires pulling your hair tight, such as cornrows. Overexposure to sunlight may also cause ultraviolet damage to the hair shaft.
Are Stress and Hair Loss Related?
Stress and hair loss can be related. These are associated with three types of hair loss caused by high levels of stress:
- Alopecia areata. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disease that may be triggered by stress. It causes the body’s immune system to attack the hair follicles — leading to hair loss.
- Telogen effluvium. Significant stress triggers the disturbance in the hair cycle, causing significant hair follicles in the telogen phase or the resting phase. As a result, the affected hairs might fall out suddenly even with ordinary activities such as combing or washing hair.
- Trichotillomania. Trichotillomania, also known as a hair-pulling disorder, is an irresistible urge to pull out hair from the scalp or other areas of the body.
Hair loss caused by extreme levels of stress may not be permanent. However, hair growth may return to normal after recovering from stress.
Does Low Testosterone Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss is one of the many signs of low testosterone in men. Testosterone is a major sex hormone associated with the appearance and development of male features. It is responsible for sex drive regulation, fat distribution, muscle mass, and production of sperm.
Low testosterone may also contribute to hair production. While hair loss is relatively common with aging, men with low testosterone levels may experience balding and hair loss in the body and face.
What Are the Treatments for Hair Loss?
The treatment of hair loss in men depends on its underlying causes. The following are some of the treatment options to prevent and manage hair loss:
- Take over-the-counter and prescription drugs for hair loss, such as minoxidil (Rogaine) and Finasteride (Propecia).
- Avoid hair loss caused by lifestyle practices using gentle hair products and hairstyles. You can also protect your hair from UV exposure to prevent further damages to the hair.
- If you are undergoing medications or are treated with chemotherapy, ask your doctor for possible options to reduce the side effects.
- Consider hormone replacement therapy for hair loss caused by low testosterone levels. You can get a tailormade and personalized performance plan from Opt Health all on your time and from the comfort & safety of your home.
See your doctor if you are concerned about the amount of hair falling out. While hair loss can be expected, the surfacing of patchy or bald spots on the scalp, a gradual thinning on the top of the head, and full-body hair loss are signs that there may be an underlying health condition.
Are you concerned about your hair falling out? Opt health is a telemedicine platform that aims to reconnect men with wellness, sexual vitality, and strength through the science of preventive medicine. Find out what causes hair loss. Get personalized support and insight from top-tier physicians available for you 24/7. Contact us today.