Question: I'm getting married in November and I'm worried that my hair is getting really thin and I don't think it's just wedding stress. My father's bald and I don't really remember him ever having thick hair. I'm 29 and my hairline is good but the hair on top of my head and at the back is getting thinner all the time. I've been looking into starting treatment because I want my hair to look good in the wedding photos but I'm worried about the initial shedding periods I've been reading about. When should I start treatment so my hair looks its best and I'm not losing even more hair because of the shedding during my wedding?
Answer: Hi, Chris. From the brief description you give here, it does sound likely that you are experiencing Male Pattern Baldness.
This genetic condition can be prematurely triggered or exacerbated by stress and organising a wedding can certainly be stressful!
Thinning hair on top and a thinning crown are typical signs of Male Pattern Hair Loss, as is a drop in hair density. There are, as you'll no doubt have read during your research, clinically-proven male hair loss treatments that can help with preventing baldness and encouraging hair growth, however.
Finasteride 1mg, the oral tablet taken once-a-day to inhibit DHT formation, helps to prevent the cause of follicular miniaturisation, while topical applications of high strength minoxidil encourage accelerated hair growth. Both are MHRA-licensed and FDA-approved for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia in men. Low level laser therapy (LLLT) devices use medical-grade laser beams on the scalp to stimulate the follicles, boosting hair growth, strength and condition.
Any hair loss treatment or device, such as the FDA-cleared LaserBand, which influences the hair growth cycle can cause shedding within the first few weeks or months of using it. However, the amount of hair fall that occurs during this time varies from person to person; whilst some people may experience significant hair loss, others may barely notice it.
As this shedding period tends to happen at some point during the first two-to-three months, with response to the treatment becoming visually noticeable at the three-to-four month mark, ideally we would recommend starting your course a minimum of at least four months prior to your wedding.
Given you are getting married in November and it is now the end of May, starting now would give you a good six month lead-in.
You can find out more about timings in our Levels of Hair Growth from Hair Loss Treatment page.
It is important to remember, however, that this information and that given information above are based on mild to moderate Male Pattern Baldness. In cases where the hairloss is more extensive, it can obviously take longer to see results.
Whilst this general advice should give you a rough guideline as to what to expect, in order to get personalised hair loss advice based on your current level and pattern of shedding, as well as your medical profile, we recommend having a consultation with a specialist.
At Belgravia this can be done in person - something we always recommend, where possible - or, if you are based outside London, UK, or abroad, you may find an online consultation, which allows you to upload photos, more convenient.
We wish you all the best for your wedding day and hope you get the hair you want in time for the photos!
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic 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 from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.