Hair loss is commonly misunderstood to be something that happens only in older men, but it is also prevalent in young men.
Hair loss in young men
Sometimes boys as young as 15 begin to notice the signs, like thinning hair or the development of a widow’s peak. But so long as they understand the causes of hair loss, there are ways for young men to maintain their hairlines.
Male pattern baldness is the most common cause for hair loss but it’s usually associated with middle-aged men. The fact, however, is that no one goes bald overnight. While a third of men will have lost most their hair by the time they’re 50, it has to start at some point. Male pattern baldness is hereditary, but you can’t always use your dad or grandfather as a blueprint for how your hairline will map out. There is some indication that hair loss is becoming more prevalent in younger men and there are a few possible reasons for this.
One explanation is quite obvious. In our image-obsessed and media-driven world, it’s possible that more men are starting to notice the early signs of hair loss sooner rather than later, as compared to previous generations. A maturing hairline is quite normal for men in their teens and early 20s, but thinning at the temple areas and above the eyebrows can result in the appearance of a high forehead. This is generally when most young men start to worry about their receding hairlines. They may also begin to notice excess shedding when combing or showering, something that could have been missed by earlier, less image-conscious generations.
Lifestyle and environmental factors that can influence hair loss
But, there are multiple lifestyle and environmental factors that are thought to be contributing to an earlier onset of hair loss in men, and stress is thought to be a leading cause. The years in between school and working life are packed with changes and sometimes the pressures of study, finding work – especially in the current economic climate – moving out of home and the accompanying financial burdens, are enough to push anyone’s stress levels over the edge. You don’t need to have a full-on breakdown for your body to let you know it’s having trouble coping with the pressure. Stress is an often cited cause of temporary hair loss, and it can trigger genetic patterns of hair loss.
Certain other lifestyle choices are also thought to play a part in the development of hair loss in young men, such as smoking. The chemicals and carcinogens found in tobacco are believed to slow down hair growth which leads to thinning hair and can result in significant hair loss if not addressed. Recreational drug use also has the potential to cause hair loss because they can be a shock to the system. Drug use is often accompanied by nutrient depletion and deteriorated health, which means temporary or permanent hair loss is a very probable side effect.
There are many causes of temporary hair loss in the young men of today’s society, but if the cause is addressed it’s possible that hair growth will return to normal. Hereditary hair loss does seem to be more prevalent in young men than ever before but it could simply be that they are more concerned about their receding hairline than previous generations, or that a situation that caused an otherwise temporary form of hair loss has triggered an inherent “bald gene”. Another possibility as to why we’re seeing more young men with hair loss is that because there are effective treatment options these days, they’re reaching out for help. Whereas their fathers and grandfathers wouldn’t have had that same opportunity and probably just slipped on a hat instead.
The Belgravia Centre is the leader in hair loss treatment in the UK, with two clinics based in Central London. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the UK or the rest of the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which are the largest collection of such success stories in the world and demonstrate the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time for our hair loss helpline or to arrange a free consultation.