Early signs of male pattern baldness

The ultimate stage of alopecia, baldness mainly affects men. Women are rarely affected. It's normal to lose your hair, but when it becomes extensive, it can have psychological consequences: lower self-esteem, unease, depression, etc. How can you recognise baldness and make the right diagnosis? Why does it appear? What treatments are available? Is medicine the only way to treat baldness?

What is baldness?

Baldness is simply defined as abnormal, excessive hair loss. Losing 20, 30 or even 100 hairs a day is normal. This is because hair follows a life cycle, like other components of the human body, including our body cells, which renew themselves throughout our lives at a predetermined rate. What's not normal, however, is when we lose more hair than grows back. Especially if this phenomenon is accompanied by a progressive thinning of the hair, the hair cycle becoming too rapid to ensure identical renewal of each hair that falls out.

When do we talk about baldness?

Baldness is theabsence of hair on part or all of the head. This is the result of alopecia or abnormal and accelerated hair loss. It is manifested by the appearance on the scalp of a area not covered by hair. It is therefore possible to see the scalp. The areas where capillary degradation is particularly marked are in the :

  • the temporal gulfs
  • the frontal zone
  • the toupee, located above the forehead
  • the tonsure or top of the skull
  • the back of the skull.

Most often, baldness begins at the temples. The top of the head and then the forehead become bald.

Anyone can be affected by baldness, although it is mainly men who are affected. Baldness generally appears around the age of 35 or 40. This does not rule out the fact that it can appear earlier, in one's twenties or even earlier. The psychological consequences of baldness are greater for young adults, who believe it is the premature effects of old age or a symptom of a serious health problem.

The difference between baldness and alopecia

The terms "hair loss", "alopecia" and "baldness" are often confused.

In humans, hair loss is a normal phenomenon resulting from the life cycle of the hair. A healthy hair lives on average between 2 and 7 years. A life cycle capillary action goes through three phases:

  • the anagen phase corresponding to hair growth;
  • the catagen phase during which the hair stops growing;
  • the telogen phase which corresponds to the death of the hair. The hair remains attached to the scalp until it falls out and is replaced by a new hair.

We speak of alopecia when the hair loss becomes chronic. It results from an abnormality in the hair's life cycle. The person loses a greater quantity of hair, either in patches (alopecia - if it is total alopecia, then all the hair on the body will be destroyed) or diffusely. When hair loss is permanent, with no hair renewal, it leads to baldness. In the case of androgenetic alopecia (hereditary cause), this is not a health problem at all, but 'simply' the deleterious effects of a hormone, DHT, on the growth of hair follicles. By attacking and atrophying hair follicles, DHT causes progressive hair loss. If nothing is done, the damage will continue inexorably and the diagnosis is clear: baldness sets in.

Symptoms of the onset of baldness in men

Hair loss is generally of no consequence when it remains reasonable. But when hair loss exceeds regrowth, you should be alerted because the effects of this hair "deficit" will be felt very quickly. The male pattern baldness goes through 7 theoretical stages, the onset of baldness being the first. It generally manifests itself as a receding hairline, with the temples becoming thinner and the gulfs progressively deeper. There are therefore 6 stages before a person becomes bald.

Obviously, the earlier you become aware of male pattern baldness, the more likely it is that the treatment you choose will be effective. And the effects of an anti-hair loss treatment will also be faster if the process can be stopped as early as possible.

It's important to know how to recognise the warning signs of baldness. In fact, when this phenomenon is detected earlier, it is easier to treat, either medically or with more natural treatments.

If you lose your hair abnormally for more than 6 months, this may be a sign of the onset of baldness. Remember that you can lose more than 100 hairs a day without this being a cause for concern, as long as you regrow as many of the same quality. Here's the first symptoms :

  • your temples are receding, then the top of your head;
  • as your hair grows, it becomes uneven in length;
  • your hair is growing thinner and thinner ;
  • the volume of your hair is reduced and your hair becomes thinner;
  • more or less of your scalp becomes visible;
  • you experience a tingling sensation on your scalp;
  • regrowth is slower than usual;
  • when you run your hands through your hair, a large amount of hair remains between your fingers.

Possible causes of baldness in men

Baldness affects the majority of men. Approximately one man in 3 undergoes this phenomenon. There are many causes of baldness, but the most common are heredity is the most common. When this is the case, we talk about androgenetic baldness.

An enzyme (5-alpha reductase) transforms male hormones into another androgen-like hormone, dihytestosterone (DHT). Under the effect of this hormone, the life cycle of hair accelerates. Hair falls out faster and grows thinner. Working at a frantic pace, hair follicles tire more quickly. Eventually, the hair follicles stop producing hair.

Visit other potential causes baldness:

  • chronic stress and fatigue,
  • an unbalanced diet,
  • a deficiency in iron, B vitamins or vitamin D,
  • frequent use of overly aggressive hair care products,
  • chemotherapy,
  • endocrine disorders,
  • metabolic disorders,
  • smoking,
  • age,
  • Wear a hat at all times.

Solutions to remedy incipient baldness

To treat baldness more effectively, you need to identify the cause. So, if the phenomenon occurs as a result of using aggressive shampoos, it's vital to change products. If fatigue is to blame, rest or even a change in lifestyle (slow down, even temporarily) is recommended. But nothing is lost! There are a number of solutions to counter the onset of baldness. Most importantly, don't wait for the final stage of baldness to start an anti-hair loss treatment and stimulate your hair follicles for healthy hair!

Drug treatments

In the case of androgenetic baldness, once the diagnosis has been made, dermatologists often prescribe drug treatments. One of the most widely prescribed is Minoxidil, a foam or solution to be applied to the balding area. Depending on the individual, it is thought to stimulate hair growth or stop hair loss. Finasteride comes in tablet form. If taken, it can stop hair loss.

Natural treatments

It is possible to make hair stronger and healthier without resorting to the chemical solutions offered by medicine, thanks to phytotherapy and aromatherapy. Certain plants are known for their anti-hair loss properties. It is also advisable to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

At the Centre Clauderer, we naturally work with people of all ages. We've found that the earlier you address your baldness and its early signs, the better the results: rapid regrowth, stronger, more toned hair. Then, by simply providing regular support, you can put a stop to the programmed deterioration.

Surgical treatment

Grafts are taken from the back of the skull. They are then implanted into the bald area.

Answers to your questions about the onset of male pattern baldness

At what age does baldness start?

Men generally start to lose their hair from the age of 35. But in the case of androgenetic baldness, symptoms may appear earlier. Baldness can then affect a 20-year-old, or even a 15-year-old. This phenomenon affects around 70 % of the French.

How can you tell if you're starting to go bald?

If your hair is sparser at the temples and above the skull, consult a doctor. If you can see your scalp on certain areas of your head, this could also be the start of baldness. Losing a large amount of hair every day for more than 6 months can also be considered a warning sign of baldness.

How can I stop the onset of baldness?

Certain drugs such as Minoxidil and Finasteride are effective in treating baldness. There are also Natural remedies for hair loss, based on plant extracts or essential oils. Alongside these solutions, we recommend adopting a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy, balanced diet. You should also avoid all chemical products and aggressive hair treatments likely to damage your hair, such as colouring.

Jean-François Cabos

Jean-François Cabos is the creator of a unique hair care method based on the research he coordinated, which led to the publication of the book "Cheveux, Racines de Vie" with Hélène Clauderer by Robert Laffont (Collection "Réponses/ Santé").

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