Do I Have Male Pattern Baldness at 22 After Being Unhealthy?'

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Name: Joshua

Question: Hey my hair started acting funny once I went to junior college my first year there was fine but my second year became very stressful and the school didn’t have healthy food to eat so all I ate was unhealthy food then I started smoking weed a lot on top of that. that’s when I noticed my hair starting to thin in front and then I would shave it all and it would grow back black and colorless but the colorless keeps growing with the black. Only difference is the colorless grows a little slower but it’s growing in length and now I finally shaved it again and I’m eating healthy and not smoking and using coconut oil and Castro oil - and once again when I look at my scalp in certain lighting I can see all my hair but the sides and back are growing faster then the frontal. But the frontal is growing though it’s just growing with some black and colorless - is that male pattern baldness or what? I’m only 22 - my dad didn’t lose his hair till his 40s and my mom has hair - do you know what it is?

Smoking-Bad-Habits-Lifestyle-Hair-Loss-MPBAnswer: Hi, Joshua. This is an interesting case given the pattern of hair loss you mention does not fit with the 'colourless' regrowth symptom.

Everything you have said about where you are experiencing thinning hair suggest a diagnosis of Male Pattern Baldness is the most likely. If your father went bald then it is likely you have inherited this genetic condition. Certain lifestyle factors including those you mention here - stress, a poor diet, smoking cannabis - can trigger male hair loss in those who have this genetic predisposition. They can also accelerate the hair thinning in those who were already showing signs of this condition. Whilst it is good that you have ditched these habits and are now following a healthier lifestyle, once triggered this cannot be undone.

Although commonly thought of as something that only affects older men, Male Pattern Hair Loss can affect those with the relevant genetic makeup any time following puberty. The stresses of modern living are causing increasing instances of hairloss in younger men in their 20s and even in their late teens. The rate of shedding varies from person to person so, for those not using preventative treatments, some men may notice their hair thinning rapidly from the onset, yet others may have a slower rate of hair fall.

The frontal area of the scalp is the slowest to grow hair - and thus to regrow hair too. This is why it is important that men concerned about a receding hairline use a treatment course tailored to assist this particular area. There are two key male hair loss treatments which have been clinically proven, licensed by the UK's MHRA and approved by the USA's FDA - finasteride 1mg and high strength minoxidil. However, whilst finasteride 1mg can be highly effective as a DHT blocker in suitable men aged 18 and over, its efficacy in relation to the hairline area is unconfirmed. Therefore, specialists may recommend trying the topical minoxidil option for stubborn hair loss, either on its own or paired with finasteride 1mg, but will always make recommendations based on the individual's specific situation.

With regards to your use of coconut oil and castor oil, these may help to keep your existing hair soft and shiny but they will not treat a hair loss condition.

As mentioned, the issue of your regrowth colour seems at odds with the other symptoms outlined. There are certain instances in which regrowth which is 'colourless' - often cream, white or a yellowish shade - is common. These include following chemotherapy or sudden, patchy hair loss from the autoimmune disorder Alopecia Areata. Neither of these fit with the description of what you have described here.

With all this in mind, we would recommend you have a professional consultation, either online or in person with a hair loss specialist who can provide you with a confirmed diagnosis of your condition and make personalised treatment recommendations based on their findings.
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