What Causes Hair Loss in Men?

What is that for ?

Hair Loss in MenMale hair loss is a common affliction faced by most men. Fortunately, there are different hair loss treatments available for men so they do not have to lose all hope. The first step is to pinpoint the exact causes of hair loss for men so that hair loss professionals can determine which treatments will work best in each individual case. There are many causes of hair loss in men. Although genetics might have something to do with it, you can’t place all the blame of thinning hair on mom and dad. Androgenic alopecia, otherwise known as male pattern baldness, is responsible for the majority of hair loss in men. Of course there are a variety of other reasons for hair loss in men, including illness or reactions to certain medications.

Sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)

DHT causes the lifespan of hair follicles to shorten and eventually stop growing—so when DHT is suppressed, hair follicles flourish.

Male pattern baldness is generally characterized by a receding hairline and a thinning crown—areas that are sensitive to DHT. Other areas that are sensitive to DHT include hair at the temples and the mid-anterior scalp. Hair loss in these areas can eventually progress to baldness throughout the entire scalp area, resulting in a “horseshoe” pattern.

It takes extended exposure to DHT before hair loss occurs, making it easy to detect early and find an effective hair loss treatment.

Illness/Disease

Certain illnesses and diseases do not necessarily directly affect hair loss in men, but their symptoms are often the culprits. Many men who suffer from autoimmune diseases, in which the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy and fast growing cells in the body, including hair follicles, can attest to this. Even though the hair was going to fall out as part of its natural life cycle anyway, certain illnesses can facilitate and even prevent the growth of new hair strands. Additionally, the emotional and physical stress of being ill, coupled with various side effects of taking certain medications to alleviate the illness can also be a leading contributor to male baldness.

Emotional Trauma

Emotional trauma caused by internal or external grievances can be a major cause of hair loss in men. When traumatic events occur, the body goes into shock and, oftentimes, it acts erratically by attacking itself. Emotional trauma can be directly correlated to suffering from a physical or mental illness and the resulting hair loss usually further aggravates the situation.

Medications

Although medications are meant to help heal patients or, at the very least, help lessen the symptoms of their illnesses, sometimes they can also cause severe hair loss in men. In some cases, the hair loss can be permanent, but for the most part, the hair does grow back. An example of this is chemotherapy.

Scalp Infections

Scalp infections are usually a side effect of autoimmune diseases. When the immune system attacks the hair follicles to the point where they are no longer able to produce hair, infections such as ringworm can occur. This can result in scarring or patchiness where the hair used to grow, also known as alopecia areata.

Skin Disorders

Skin disorders such as lupus and psoriasis of the scalp can indirectly cause hair loss in men. Psoriasis itself does not cause male hair loss, but the scaly patches on the scalp are extremely itchy and harsh scratching can severely damage the hair follicles, causing hair to fall out. In most cases, the hair loss is not permanent.

Trichotillomania

It is not clear whether trichotillomania is a symptom of behavioural issues such as OCD or if it has a different origin, but it consists of habitual pulling and tugging on hair all over the body, especially the scalp.

Radiation Therapy to the Head

Men who have undergone radiation therapy to the head may also suffer from male baldness due to the harsh effects of the radiation. Usually, hair grows back significantly thinner and weaker.

Certain Hair Styles and Treatments

Different hair styles and treatments cause hair to become drier, thinner, and even to fall out at a much faster rate than usual. Constant brushing, blow drying, dyeing, straightening, curling, and tying hair in tight ponytails can severely damage hair follicles.

Styling, although not as severe as the previously mentioned causes of hair loss in men, is more preventable and controllable than the others due to the many hair loss treatments for men that are currently available.

Genetics

Your genes have some involvement in the matter. Male pattern baldness tends to run in the family. Male pattern baldness is polygenic, so there’s just as much chance you will inherit it from your mother as you would your father. In fact, you have a higher chance of inheriting it from your mom, due to the presence of an androgen receptor gene commonly associated with the X, or female, chromosome. Even if baldness in men runs in the family, you may dodge a bullet since the gene needs to be “expressed” or turned on.

Age

As men get older, hair follicles may shrink, leading to hair loss. Even hair found in the permanent zone—the back and sides of the scalp—may start to thin out. Luckily, some men retain enough hair in these areas that they can undergo procedures, such as a hair transplant.

Other Reasons for Hair Loss in Men

There are a number of other reasons for hair loss in men:

  • Men who wear their hair in cornrows, ponytails or dreadlocks may be more susceptible to hair loss due to stress placed on the hair follicles. Stress can cause your body’s hormone’s to go “off-kilter” and lead to hair loss.
  • Hypothyroidism (an underactive thyroid) due to birth abnormalities, autoimmune diseases or having the thyroid itself removed is one of the causes of baldness in men.
  • Vitamin deficiencies

Hair Loss Treatments for Men in Toronto

The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists offers a number of treatments for male pattern baldness. Our experience allows for efficient and safe procedures to be completed with lower costs to our customers. In addition to treatments, we also offer our patients a number of creams, shampoos and conditioners. Contact us for a risk-free, no-obligation consultation.

by Ken Robson

In business since August 1, 1986, I am the president and also a client at The Canadian Institute of Hair & Scalp Specialists. Having worked with a team of Doctors and Chemists over the years I have compiled a great deal of knowledge in this area, originally involved with a Pharmaceutical company manufacturing vitamins for the hair loss industry. Years ago I was fascinated by the new developments in this area as my own hair was beginning to thin. Studying Trichology at the Toronto clinic I then opened my own office and have enjoyed it ever since.