Why do some men go bald?

No matter who you are, all men will experience some hair loss as they get older. There is no way around it. However, some men may have very little hair loss, where it is barely noticeable. On the other end of the spectrum, there are men who lose so much hair they end up largely bald. This can be quite distressing, especially for younger men.

The hair loss has a very distinctive pattern, and there are three main areas of the scalp that experience hair loss. This common hair loss is known as male pattern baldness or androgenetic alopecia. It is caused by changing hormones as men get older.

The three main causes of male baldness

  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Androgens

These three factors interact with each other to contribute to male pattern baldness. If a man has more first- and second-degree relatives with male pattern baldness, he is more at risk of going bald also.

Interestingly, castrated men – who do not produce male hormones – do not become bald.

According to research, 30% of men over the age of 30 will experience male pattern baldness, and that will increase to up to 50% of mean by the age of 50. (Please note this research was done on Caucasian men. Statistics for African and Asian men will be different.)

For men starting to experience hair loss, it is worthwhile to go to a doctor to check for any other potentials causes of the hair loss. Such causes could be:

  • Endocrine causes. These are hormone disorders such as hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hypoparathyroidism.
  • Excess vitamin A
  • Iron deficiency
  • Malnutrition

Severe chronic illness

  • Telogen effluvium. This is a disturbance of the hair growth cycle. The disturbance leads to hair loss.

Many men see going bald simply as a part of life and accept it without too much stress. For some men, though, going bald can lead to negative psychological effects. These can include:

  • Depression
  • Dissatisfaction with appearance
  • Low self-esteem

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