As a doctor, I’ve seen plenty of men coming into clinic to chat about what to do with their hair loss. Men have expressed their worries about the side effects of taking Finasteride after Minoxidil didn’t work or they’ve asked about scarring from surgical hair transplants and the pros and cons of the multitude of other solutions….
…but what has struck me is the little understanding we have about the actual pattern of baldness that affects 40 percent of men by the age of 35. So here are a few Q&As!
What are the different types?
There are a ton of different scales/scores used to classify stages of male pattern baldness i.e. Hamilton-Norwood Scale but the details don’t really matter.
Here are the major places where balding can start: The crown (slope at the back), vertex (the top), temples (the sides) and the hairline. Thinning or receding of any of these places can occur on their own or together.
When do you start to bald and how long does it take?
Research shows that one in five of men will experience some hair loss by age 20, and the percentage grows with age . However this is where it gets tricky. You may suffer from a receding hairline at 21 years old whereas the next man may suffer from thinning at the vertex and crown at 30. There is just no way to predict when exactly it will start for you.
The scientific community generally agree that complete hair loss takes between 5 to 25 years which is a clearly a big range. As discussed in our last blog there may be many reasons as to why you can lose your hair such as medications and stress and unfortunately these can only work to quicken your hair loss.
So the moral of the story is that pattern of male balding is largely unpredictable!