You might expect to see a bald spot or a bit of thinning on the crown of a 40-something or 50-something man. But, looking in the mirror and noticing that your hair is thinning, when you’re barely in your 20s can be shocking. Losing your hair when you’re still young can be even more upsetting than losing your hair as an older adult. You might be worried that the hair loss is a result of something you did or that you’re stuck going through adulthood bald.
Depending on the cause of the hair loss, you might be able to treat it at a young age and have most, if not all, of your hair grow back. Hair restoration surgery may be appropriate if your hair loss is a result of trauma or male pattern baldness. Diagnosing the cause of the hair loss is the first step in figuring out the best way to treat it.
Plenty of lifestyle habits, particularly habits associated with the more carefree days of youth, can lead to premature hair loss. For example, the New York Times recently reported on a couple of studies that looked at the connection between smoking or tobacco use and premature hair loss and graying. The studies suggested that people who smoked were more likely to suffer from hair loss or premature graying.
The study that looked at hair loss and smoking examined 740 men in Taiwan. Hair loss was more likely among those who smoked. Men who smoked the most were the most likely to experience more severe hair loss.
Heavy drinking can also contribute to early hair loss in some people. A 2011 study that involved sets of identical twins compared the amount of hair loss in each person to their various lifestyle habits. Men who drank, smoke or led stressful lives were more like to deal with hair loss than their healthier twins.
Good Old Genes
While outside factors can contribute to early hair loss, in most cases men have their genes to thank. It’s estimated that genetically predetermined male pattern baldness makes up about 95 percent of hair loss. About 66 percent of men with male pattern baldness will have some evidence of loss by the age of 35. About a quarter of men will show signs of hair loss before the age of 21.
If members of your family started showing signs of hair loss when they were still young, odds are likely that you’ll also suffer from male pattern baldness. It’s a good idea to see a doctor for a diagnosis if you think this is the case.
The process of diagnosing male pattern baldness isn’t complicated. Your doctor won’t have to analyze your hair or perform a biopsy. Instead, he will usually look at the hair follicles with a tool called a densitometer to see if there is miniaturization in the follicles.
Hair loss in younger people can occur for a number of other reasons, from high stress to injury. For example, if you were in an accident, you might have developed a bald patch on your scalp as a result of the area being scraped. A burn can also cause hair loss in a specific area.
Telogen effluvium is another cause of hair loss in younger people. Depending on how severe the condition is, you might notice a considerable amount of thinning. Often connected to a high stress event or shock to the body, hair loss due to telogen effluvium typically grows back.
Treating the Hair Loss
If your hair loss is due to an injury or trauma, or due to male pattern baldness, hair restoration surgery might be your best option. There are some things to consider if you are still in your 20s or 30s, losing your hair for genetic reasons, and considering the surgery.
If your hair loss isn’t dramatic or severe just yet, keep in mind that the procedure won’t put an end to your hair loss. While the transplanted hair will be permanent, you might continue to lose hair in other areas of your head. That can mean that you’ll need an additional surgery in a few years time. For some men, having the surgery now, and again in a few years, is often worth it, as it helps restore not only their hair but also their self-esteem.
The first step in figuring out how to treat your early onset hair loss is figuring out what is causing it. Hair restoration specialist Dr. Kyle Choe can answer any questions you have about hair loss and the surgery. To schedule a consultation, contact him at the Choe Center for Hair Restoration in Virginia Beach. Call (757) 389-5850 today.