The truth? Balding doesn’t happen overnight. But while most men are afraid of the thought of losing their hair. They are convinced that their manliness and beauty goes away with their hair. But we are in the 21st century where more and more women are attracted to bald men. Even you don’t speak ill of these bald men; The Rock, Jason Statham, Vin Diesel, Howie Mendel, Common, and Bruce Willis.
With that said, we’ll explore baldness in men, its causes, how long it takes, and what measures (if any) you can take to stop a receding hairline in its tracks.
How Long Does it Take to Go Bald?
Hair experts agree that complete hair loss takes between 5 and 25 years. But here’s the thing; the process is unpredictable. For some men, hair loss might occur in a short span of five years, and for some, it is a slow (almost unnoticeable) process of 25 years.
We should point out that men naturally lose around 100+/- strands of hair daily. This is normal and should be no cause for alarm. But if the numbers exceed this, then your ‘hair loss journey’ may have started.
Once hair loss kicks in, it is an uphill task to slow it down, let alone reverse the process. Whether it happens suddenly or gradually, it will be out of control. If you want to know what stage you are in, inspect the Norwood Scale below. This scale is a collection of male pattern baldness at varied stages. The image of the final stage baldness is the most severe. Using this visual scale, you can gauge your state, the rate of going bald, and determine your next action.
Signs you are Going Bald
Most people think seeing hair fall off is a sign they are going bald. But as we’ve mentioned, losing a couple of air strands is normal.
Alopecia is the scientific name for hair loss. A tell-tale sign starts as a small spot on your scalp where hair does not grow from. There are different types of hair loss, and the most common is male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia). Most men over 50 suffer from this type of hair loss.
A brief summary of male pattern baldness (MPB);
- It’s apparent at the front of your scalp
- The hairline at the front recedes with an M pattern
- For some men, hair loss occurs on the crown before manifesting on the front of your scalp
- Excess hair left behind in your comb may be a symptom of MPB.
When Does Male Pattern Baldness Start?
MPB starts at any age. According to studies, 20% of men suffer a degree of MPB by the age of 20. This percentage increases as they grow older. Men who are in their 30s have a 30% chance of developing MPB. Moreover, this percentage increases by 10% with every passing decade.
This means that by the time one is 90 years, there is a 90% chance they will experience MPB (if they haven’t already).
Why are you Going Bald?
The reasons for baldness vary greatly. At the top of the list is genetics. If your dad, mom, or great grandparents experienced hair loss, there is a high chance your hair will thin out as well.
Aside from this, the dihydrotestosterone hormone (DHT) can cause baldness. This is a big problem for men experiencing hair loss.
As mentioned above, age plays a part in baldness. The older you get, the higher your chances of going bald.
Other factors that contribute to hair loss include smoking, diet, stress, alcohol, some medication, including those used to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Also, some severe therapies, like those used in cancer treatment, might cause hair loss.
How Does Your Hair Grow?
To understand hair loss and how to stop it, you need to understand the process of hair growth. There are three growth stages;
- Anagen – This is the growing stage. Usually, 85% of your hair strands are in this stageand tend to last longer (up to 6 years).
- Catagen – this stage is shorter than anagen as It lasts for two weeks. Hair follicles in this stage can renew themselves.
- Telogen – hair follicles in this stage remain unchanged or two months. But when the stage ends, the cycle goes back to the anagen phase, and new hair growth starts.
With the above breakdown, you have noticed that when the anagen stage is shorter, the hair follicles will shrink, and balding starts. Also, if the telogen stage if longer, hair length is shorter
What to do When Suffering from MPB
You know how long it takes to go bald and what causes it. Now it’s time to learn how to cure it. But as we pointed out, the process is not easy.
- Use shampoo. The best shampoos for hair loss contain caffeine, saw palmetto, ketoconazole, and biotin.
- Use hair growth products like Minoxidil, Lipogaine, and Finasteride and dairy supplements.
- Consider hair loss treatments, including hair replacement surgery and hair replacement systems.
At this point, we hope you got the answer to ‘how long does it take to go bald,’ when the process starts and how you can stop the process. But before you take any step, consult with your doctor.
I will discuss and explore my own experiences in a future post.