It will come as no surprise to hear that many men worry about hair loss – whether they are already losing their hair or are concerned about going bald in the future. What may be somewhat shocking, however, is the level of emotional distress these worries can lead to.
A new study, carried out for the supermarket chain Asda, revealed some significant data about the emotional effect of men’s hair loss affects their mental health.
What’s more, the findings appear to back the theories of various studies regarding how the amount of everyday stress modern men are under is contributing to the trend for male pattern hair loss now developing from an earlier age than in previous generations.
Turning to drink and drugs
The survey polled just over 2,000 men in the UK, 38 per cent of whom said that hair loss made them ‘depressed’. More than a quarter of men under 35 years of age admitted to using alcohol and drugs to help them cope. Within this age group, 36 per cent of the men surveyed listed hair loss as one of their biggest worries, whilst 41 per cent said that they would rather lose the sight in one eye than go bald.
Self-confidence took a definite knock when men started developing signs of hair loss with a third of the men polled saying it caused them to avoid socialising with friends. Just under a third stated that thinning hair caused them to lack confidence. Additionally, 39 per cent noted a decreased sex drive which they also attributed to concerns over the appearance of male pattern baldness.
Though these results may be fairly shocking to some, this is the reality for many of the men – and, indeed the women – we speak to every day, here at Belgravia. One of the top reasons clients give for seeking hair loss treatment is because of the negative effect this hereditary condition has been having on their self-esteem. Clients following non-surgical courses featuring clinically-proven medications, often alongside hair growth supporting products, regularly tell us that the individual support they receive is an important aspect of their journey, and that their confidence improves with their regrowth.
Whilst some men are un-phased by developing a receding hairline, a widow’s peak or thinning crown, or find they like how they look with a shaved head, others are not so confident. Reasons men give for wanting help with hair loss often include the fact that they feel uncomfortable with the shape of their head, or that they simply like their hair and want to try their best to keep it.
Whilst following a custom treatment programme based around either or both of the two MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved treatments, finasteride 1mg and minoxidil, can often produce significant results, there are other aspects which may also need addressing. Namely, how certain lifestyle issues may speed up the rate of hair loss in cases of existing male pattern baldness, or even trigger the condition where there is an underlying genetic predisposition which had not yet become active. It is these additional factors that are thought to be behind the rise of premature baldness in young men.
Lifestyle issues may speed up hair loss
Anything which places the body under undue stress – either in large quantities, for an extended period of time, or both – has the capacity to cause thinning hair. Many of the triggers are to do with lifestyle and are not necessarily issues one would consider problematic as ‘stress’ does not refer only to the emotional aspect of feeling stressed.
Some of the lifestyle issues that may accelerate hair loss are ones we already know are bad for our health. These include smoking – specifically cigarettes but , at least anecdotally, vaping has also been linked to hair thinning, regular heavy drinking, recreational drug use, and having high levels of sugar in our diet.
Others which are perhaps less well known include regular excessive exercise, constant lack of sleep, an unbalanced diet – which can also include dehydration – and the frequent consumption of certain types of sports nutrition products.
Whilst the Asda survey found that 31 per cent of the male respondents – who were all under 35 years of age – are already considering hair transplant surgery, this option is inadvisable for many young men. The minimum age for men wanting a hair transplant, as recommended by top hair restoration surgeons, is 30 years old. This gives them a chance, not only to ensure they want the operation, but also to see whether their hair loss will develop to the point where an invasive approach is the best option. Surgery is normally a last resort when baldness – where the follicles no longer function – has developed.
What many men do not realise is that a hair transplant is not the ‘quick fix’ they assume it will be, when it comes to male pattern baldness. Grafts can take from 12 months up to 18 months to properly settle in and show results. More than one operation may be required to achieve the desired result, too. Additionally, a course of pharmaceutical treatment is recommended for at least six months before surgery then, if surgery goes ahead, it is also considered necessary on an on-going basis afterwards. This is because the DHT will continue to attack follicles surrounding the new grafts and will remain subject to thinning. Following a hair loss treatment course as part of the long-term aftercare provides the best assistance in preventing baldness and preserving the post-surgery look.
Commenting on the survey findings, hair loss expert Spencer Stevenson, also known as Spex, agrees with surgery being the last port of call for men dealing with hair loss. He told The Telegraph, “You need to put a comprehensive regime in place to protect and preserve your existing hair situation for a minimum of twelve months to two years to stabilise your situation, enable you to see where your hair loss is progressing to or not, and then at that point look at doing surgery.”
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.