Question: Hi, I am a 16 year old that has a high probability of becoming bald due genetics. Due to my father, uncle, grandfather and recently my cousins have hairs that are thinning. Even though I have thick hair, I can see that when I was younger I had even thicker and longer hair. Now I see a decrease. I was wondering if this male pattern baldness can be stopped permanently forever? and would I have a chance to grow my hair out really long?
Answer: Hi, Jacob. It sounds like you have a clear family history of genetic hair loss and, whilst this does not necessarily mean you will also be affected, it is likely.
It is common for our hair density to change as we age but this is not necessarily a sign of male pattern baldness, especially in your early teenage years. A receding hairline, thinning hair along the top of the scalp or a thinning crown are key signs to look for as male pattern hair loss only affects the top of the head and tends to appear in these distinct areas.
Whilst it is predominantly found in men from their mid-to-late 20’s and 30’s upwards, male pattern baldness can develop any time following puberty in those with an active inherited predisposition – which can come from either side of your family, not just your father’s side.
You mention that you hair is currently thick, which is a great sign. At this stage you should have little problem with growing your hair. Even if you were to develop genetic hair loss later on, this would not significantly impact how long you could grow your hair. The hair around the sides and back of your head, from the top of your ears downwards, will remain unaffected, though the hair in the affected areas may appear thinner than the rest, which may not produce the look you want naturally.
With regards stopping it permanently, there is no cure for male pattern baldness yet, we’re sorry to tell you!
There are, however, well-established, clinically-proven hair loss treatments which can help to effectively manage the condition in cases where the follicles are still capable of producing hair, even if it is thinning. These are finasteride 1mg and minoxidil which help in stabilising shedding, regrowing hair and preventing baldness, and are the only drugs to have been both licensed by the MHRA in the UK, and approved by the FDA in the USA, for the treatment of pattern hair loss in men.
Finasteride 1mg is an oral one-a-day tablet which inhibits the formation of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone in the system. Commonly known as ‘DHT‘, this testosterone byproduct is important for the development of sexual characteristics during puberty. After this time, however, it is largely extraneous and instead binds to the follicles around the top of the scalp and hairline in genetically-predisposed men, gradually weakening them, which is why thinning hair occurs. Without appropriate intervention, this can lead to hair loss and even eventual baldness in the affected areas.
Finasteride 1mg is a prescription medication that is only suitable for medically-appropriate men aged 18 years and over.
The other MHRA licensed and FDA approved male hair loss treatment is high strength minoxidil, though it can also be used on its own it can also be used in conjunction with finasteride 1mg in those determined suitable users. This is a topical drug which is applied directly to the scalp in order to promote hair growth and prevent further hair loss.
This approach can be used regardless of hair type or pattern of shedding – such as a receding hairline or a thinning crown.
Supplementary hair growth supporting products can also be employed, such as low level laser therapy or nutritional supports, to encourage healthy hair growth. One such product is Belgravia’s exclusive food supplement Hair Vitalics for Men which not only includes a highly-targeted range of key vitamins, minerals, amino acids and botancial extracts but also contains biotin, zinc and selenium for the maintenance of normal hair growth.
If you feel you are starting to notice other signs of hair loss and would like an assessment in order to receive personalised advice, the best thing to do is to have a consultation either in person or online, with a hair specialist. Time is certainly on your side though so do try not to let the possibility of losing your hair later in life worry you. Should you want them, there are options once the condition becomes active – if you aren’t one of the lucky ones for whom baldness skips a generation.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. 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 world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.