Male pattern baldness is almost an inevitable thing for men as they age. Around 66% of men will already have significant hair loss by age 35, and that goes up to 85% for men aged 50 and above.
Even those who are younger than 21 years old might already have this condition. Around 25% of men in these ages already start losing hair.
These statistics aren’t looking great, especially for men who have balding relatives. Yes, that usually a good indicator of this condition. Check out what other common signs of male pattern baldness you should be looking out for below.
1. Relatives are Becoming Bald
Most of the time, you can blame your genes for being bald. Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition. But, it’s also associated with your sex hormones and the aging process.
It’s a myth that it comes from the mother, though. While it’s true that the primary baldness gene is on the X chromosome, which we get from the mother side, it’s not only the genes that play a factor in the development of this condition in men.
It might come as a surprise that men who have bald fathers are more susceptible. So if your father is bald, there’s a high chance for you to become bald when you get older, as well.
Of course, balding is a natural process that goes along with aging. It’s only a bother when it develops earlier than expected, which is the case when you have male pattern balding.
Male pattern baldness can develop at any age; you may even start losing hairs when you’re still a teenager. Check if you have many balding relatives, and take note of when they started losing hair. This might become your future.
2. Change in Texture
You might have heard of testosterone as the hormone of men. That’s true as it plays a vital role in the development of many of the men’s body tissues. It’s the primary male sex hormone, as well; it has a huge effect on sperm production.
However, testosterone is also present in women, and not all of its effects are desirable. For instance, this hormone converts into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), another androgen. DHT affects the skin; it’s often the cause of your acne and the hair on your chest.
Excessive DHT can also lead to the weakening of the hair follicles. The hormone makes them smaller and smaller as time passes. As they shrink, the hair that grows back will have a different texture.
They will have finer and thinner strands. The hair grows shorter, too.
At some point, you’ll notice these changes in your hair texture, but it might not alarm you yet. Your hair will continue to be finer, thinner, and shorter, though. It will be obvious soon, especially when the follicles can’t grow hair back anymore.
3. Hairs on Your Comb
As we’ve mentioned above, male pattern baldness makes the hair strands weak. When they’re weak, they’re easy to pull out without the use of much force.
That’s why a common sign of this condition is the presence of a lot of hair strands on your comb. If you’re noticing that your comb is pulling out a lot of your hair, that might already be a sign that you’re balding.
You don’t need a comb to check if you’re balding, though. You may pull out hair after a gentle tug or even while shampooing it.
Note that hair grows back weaker and weaker. So as this condition progresses, you will pull out more and more hair than the last time. This alone can be a cause of concern, even if you haven’t noticed any bald spots yet.
Around 95% of balding causes in men is male pattern baldness, so the hair loss isn’t likely to be from another source.
4. Hairs on Your Pillow
Hair shedding is normal; people shed around 50 to 100 hair strands in a day. If you have excessive hair shedding, that doesn’t automatically lead to balding.
You can have excessive hair shedding when your body undergoes a lot of stress. You might have undergone an operation, lost as much as 20 pounds in a short time, or given birth. High mental stress after you lose a job or go through a divorce also contributes to hair shedding.
You may experience shedding for a few months after the event or longer if you’re still in a lot of stress. The shedding should stop at some point, however.
If the shedding doesn’t stop or there’s no recent event that would put as much stress in your body, that’s when you should start worrying about male pattern baldness.
Are there hairs all over your pillow whenever you wake up from a nap? How about on your shoulders or your desk, are there a lot of hairs?
If you answer yes, this is a sign that you have male pattern baldness.
5. Receding Hairline
The most obvious of all the signs of male pattern baldness is the receding hairline. You look at yourself every day in the mirror. Any changes to the usual, your brain will likely notice even if you’re not sure which it is.
Baldness most often starts with the hairline. If it’s starting to take the shape of the letter M, that’s a major sign of male pattern baldness.
If you’re unsure, compare your most recent photo of yourself with previous ones. Check the hairline to see if anything has changed.
However, take into account the lighting conditions of the photographs. Fluorescent lighting, in particular, is notorious for making hair seem thinner.
Look for two different photos with similar lighting conditions to assess your hair. If you don’t have two reliable pictures to compare, take pictures of yourself in the same location at the same time of the day at least a month apart.
In about a year, you’ll have enough photos to see if you’re balding.
6. Thinning of the Crown
It’s not always that the balding starts with the M-shaped hairline, though. Some men can have diffuse thinning instead. It’s a type of hair loss that affects only some specific areas, like the crown.
In male pattern baldness, it more often starts with the crown if it doesn’t with the hairline. Hair loss moves in an outward pattern; in time, you’ll have a huge bald spot on top of your head.
Most men will tell you it’s much easier to have a receding hairline than a thinning of the crown. That’s because it’s not easy to see how much of your hair on the crown you’re losing when you’re not observing.
You’ll need another handheld mirror to even see what’s going there. It’s also unlikely that you’ll see this part thinning in photos.
By the time you notice it, you may already be experiencing severe hair loss.
7. Unchanged Hair Texture on the Sides or Back of the Head
The reason why balding might start in one area, like the hairline or the crown, and not in other areas is that DHT has little effect on the hair follicles on the sides or the back of the head. This is why you might still have lush, healthy hair on these areas while you’re balding on the others.
And as we know, the effect of excessive levels of this androgen on hair follicles is the primary cause of MPB. Taking that into account, thick hair on areas that aren’t commonly affected by DHT and thin hair on the crown is a strong sign of male pattern baldness.
8. Thinning Hair Overall
There’s also a thing called invisible balding, in which you lose hair in your whole scalp at the same rate. Balding this way is gradual and balanced; this makes it harder to notice than other signs. In the other symptoms, hair loss in the hairline or the crown advances at a faster rate than the other areas.
This type of hair loss isn’t also easy to spot in photographs unless you’re looking with an eagle eye. If you know what you’re looking for, though, it becomes easy to notice. Use the tip above about comparing pictures to see if your hair is thinning.
As the change is gradual, it may also be hard to notice with touch alone. You’ll only get used to the change in the thickness in your hair until about half of the normal thickness has gone. By then, everyone else will already be noticing the hair loss, too.
9. Head Sensitivity
Another way to see if you have thinning hair overall or on specific areas only is to pay attention to how your head feels when you’re out. Hair protects us from so many elements, like the sunlight. But it also acts as an insulator, which might make the head feel hot when the hair is thick.
When you step outside on a sunny day, observe how it feels when the sun hits your head. Does the sun feel harsher than normal? At the same time, does it feel less hot and fresher?
Observe on cold days, as well. Does it feel colder than normal?
If you say yes to all these questions, your hair may well be thinning. There’s less hair to act as insulation, so your head may feel cooler as heat escapes a lot faster.
10. Hair Takes Longer to Grow
You may also notice that your hair is taking longer to grow than usual. It might be your scheduled trip to the barber, but your hair is still at a manageable length. That should set off an alarm, but it shouldn’t be your sole determining factor of male pattern baldness.
Hair grows at different rates throughout the year. It grows faster in spring and summer then it slows down in fall and winter. The current season might be a factor in the stunted growth of your hair.
Stress, your diet, medication, and any chemical imbalance in your body is also a cause of slow hair growth.
You still shouldn’t discount male pattern baldness, though. Like with hair shedding, if you see this symptom after you’ve removed all other possible causes, that’s when you should worry. You should also start to look for other signs first.
11. Your Barber Notices It
Barbers have gone through a lot of people’s hair, and they may even have baldness themselves. As such, they have a higher chance of noticing that something is amiss than you.
They’re the ones who see your crown or the back of your head. Thus, they may see the telltale signs of balding while they’re working on you.
Of course, you shouldn’t take their word at face value. They’re great at pointing you in the right direction, though. If you trust your barber, do some investigation on your own.
Look for the other signs of male pattern baldness as we’ve mentioned above. If you see at least one that applies to you, that coupled with your barber’s observation should be enough of a reason to visit the dermatologist.
The dermatologist can then give you a more accurate diagnosis. And if it turns out you do have male pattern baldness, they’ll give you a prescription.
There are also other options you can take to hide your baldness. You can wear a wig, for instance, or you can shave your entire head and embrace being bald. You can also go for scalp micropigmentation from Scalp Co. SMP to get the illusion of hair.
So don’t worry too much; it’s not the end of the world.
Keep an Open Eye Out on These Signs of Male Pattern Baldness
Made it through the list without seeing one thing that applies to you? Congratulations, you don’t have male pattern baldness – yet.
As we said above, it’s almost the inevitable fate of men. You could also be one of the lucky ones who won’t have noticeable thinning. Still, you should still keep an eye out on the common signs of male pattern baldness.
That said, there are more health and fashion tips to learn. For more tips like this, why not read more of our blog posts today?
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