Has this happened to you? You look down at your brush, or your hand in the shower, and notice a clump of hair. Feeling uneasy, you check your hairline in the mirror to see where it came from and if there are any noticeable patches where hair used to be. It’s no fun going through hair loss. While it’s true that men are more likely to experience baldness in their lifetime (up to 70% of men according to this study), an estimated 40% of women will encounter female pattern baldness. Spotting the early signs of baldness could be essential in managing hair loss.
How can I tell if I’m Going, Bald?
There are 5 key signifiers that you are going bald:
- Receding hairline. A receding hairline is the first sign of balding. Is it harder to style your hair the way you used to? Is your hair thinner around the temples? That’s a warning sign for balding.
- Excessive hair shedding. This can be easy to overlook, as we lose hundreds of strands of hair every day due to normal shedding. Take note if you start to notice more hair in your comb or brush, on your pillow, or at the bottom of your shower after washing.
- Visible Scalp. Baldness tends to start thinning the hair on the top of the head. If you can see more of your scalp in the mirror while you’re styling, it’s worth taking notice. Another signifier is if you find yourself getting sunburnt on the top of the head easier.
- Unhealthy hair. Does your hair seem to be more brittle and weaker in key areas? Balding can cause the hair in affected areas to be poorer quality and harder to keep healthy.
- Bald spots. Balding doesn’t happen the same way to all people. It might not begin with a receding hairline, but rather random hair loss clumps along your crown.
What is Male Pattern Baldness?
Male pattern baldness is the most common type of baldness in men. The US National Library of Medicine estimates more than half of men over the age of 50 will experience male pattern baldness in their lifetime. Male pattern baldness can begin with a single bald spot, typically on the back of the head, or in an “M” shape also known as the first stages of a receding hairline.
Types of Male Hair Loss
Below is a picture of the Norwood Scale which is used to verify different stages of hair loss in men. There are seven levels of hair loss for men, each slightly greater than the last.
Type I Hair Loss
Minimal to no hairline recession.
Type II Hair Loss
The frontal and temporal regions start to show a recession, and hair loss becomes visible.
Type III Hair Loss
Hair loss is significant at the temples and begins to thin at the crown.
Type IV Hair Loss
Hair loss in the front and temporal regions is more severe. Additional thinning at the crown. Often associated with a stripe of hair separating the two regions.
Type V Hair Loss
At this stage, there is still a separation between hair loss at the crown and hair loss in the front and temporal regions. Sometimes a horseshoe shape of hair begins to emerge.
Type VI Hair Loss
Hair loss is visible as the hair separating the crown and hairline is almost completely lost.
Type VII Hair Loss
The most severe form of hair loss. Typically a complete loss of hair in the front, temporal and crown regions.
Why do men lose their hair?
Baldness in men is largely due to genetics. In family lines where there is a history of baldness the chances of each male down the line also becoming bald are greater.
Each hair on the head goes through a cycle of growth. In male pattern baldness, this growth cycle is affected and over time the hair follicle shrinks, producing shorter and finer strands of hair. Eventually, the growth cycle for each hair ends and no new hair grows in its place.
Other causes for male pattern baldness include but are not limited to medical conditions such as cancer, thyroid conditions, or side effects from medication.
What is female pattern baldness?
The condition of baldness goes by the medical term Androgenic Alopecia and is generally an inherited condition. For women, female pattern baldness is far more common post-menopause. A study by Harvard estimated up to two-thirds of postmenopausal women “suffer hair thinning or bald spots.” For men, this pattern typically begins above the temples forming an “M” shape, where the hair begins to thin and eventually progresses to baldness.
Types of Female Hair Loss
The below graph is a reference from Harvard Health, referencing the varying degrees of baldness for women known as the Ludwig Classification. Type I is the most minimal form of thinning, Type II is “characterized by decreased volume and noticeable widening of the mid-line part,” and Type III refers to a more diffused thinning where patches of the scalp are visible from atop the head.
Female pattern baldness is more common than we are led to believe. Medical News Today reports that on average, women shed about “50 to 100 hairs a day”. The difference when someone suffers from Androgenic Alopecia is that the hairs do not grow back. Most women will develop some form of hair loss or baldness in their lifetimes and it can start anytime after puberty.
As with men, age is a factor in baldness. The more we age, the higher the risk, for both sexes. This is because our hormones change, particularly androgens which are responsible for our sex drive and the regulation of hair growth. Because Androgenic Alopecia is tied to our hormones, the issues can also stem from a problem with the endocrine system which may over or under-produce androgens.
Aventus Clinic – Your Hair Loss Specialists
We understand hair loss can be very distressing and have a significant impact on your life and emotional well-being. At our state of the art hair clinic, we provide a holistic service with a great range of treatment options. We are here to help you look and feel your best. Book a consultation today with one of our expert consultants. We have a leading hair loss clinic offering various treatments including hair transplants.
When you are ready, we are here to help you feel confident again. Book your consultation today.