Worried about losing your crowning glory? If so you’re not alone. It’s estimated that 40% of men in their 20s suffer from early hair loss or thinning hair and this percentage accelerates with age. For many men losing their hair is no big deal but for many others it’s a process that they find traumatic. British men are especially hung up about handling hair loss. A recent Gallup poll showed that Brits are more worried about baldness than anyone else in Europe, with three quarters of men admitting hair loss affected their self-esteem and over half saying it makes them feel old.
In reality it’s quite normal to lose a little hair everyday. In fact, it’s not uncommon to lose up to 100 strands a day – but if this hair loss suddenly speeds up you may notice overall thinning and eventually loss of hair in one or several areas. Don’t panic yet though as much of this can be slowed down or prevented altogether.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Men tend to lose hair in a concentrated pattern from the front through to the crown. A number of factors influence this including poor health, dietary deficiencies and stress but by far the greatest influence on hair loss is the male hormone DHT.
DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) is an androgen (or male hormone) which, when it comes into contact with hair follicles, causes the hair to shrink and decay and eventually fall out. The membrane of the scalp becomes thick and inflexible slowing circulation and nutrition to the hair follicle. This slows down the re-growth of new hair until it stops altogether. Over time the hair loss becomes more noticeable as hairs are lost and not replaced.
Another contributing factor to hair loss is the receptors in the hair follicle that attract DHT. The number of these receptors is determined by your genes. This is why early hair loss tends to be hereditary. And contrary to common belief, the genes for hereditary hair loss are carried on both sides of the family so if you want to know whether you’ll go thin on top look at the heads of your mother’s and your father’s side of the family for clues. And don’t assume you’re safe just because your dad’s got a full head of hair – the gene responsible for hereditary hair loss can skip generations.
What Action Can You Take?
Prevention is always better than cure and there are many preparations on the market that claim to slow down hair loss or give a boost to thinning hair. Some of these work better than others. The use of copper is now thought to be very beneficial to both the hair and scalp. Copper peptides can be used to effectively deliver copper to the roots of the hair follicle. Regular use can improve the health of the scalp, hair and hair follicle helping to limit the conditions that cause hair loss.
Take a good look at your diet and focus on healthy food choices. Choose lean protein and soy products as well as beans, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables that can all improve the strength of the hair.
The importance of scalp health should not be overlooked either if you want to limit hair loss. When the scalp is not fit hair growth is reduced. Over time styling products build up and excess sebum (oil) can have a negative effect on the hair follicle. Keep it clean with a good quality shampoo and conditioner as often as you need them, daily if possible.