Going bald is a huge concern for many men, especially when they find out that two out of every three men will begin losing their hair around their thirties. Some men make the best out of going bald by embracing this change, while others desperately want to avoid it at all costs. Unfortunately, because hair loss may have a genetic basis, it may not be preventable completely. In fact, the gene for hair is linked to the mother’s side. So, if your mother’s father had balding at an early age, then you may be more likely to face it yourself too.

Thankfully, with a bit of awareness and education, men can make changes in their life to help keep their locks from falling out. Here we have answered a few common questions men have, particularly those who are plagued by the idea of hair loss:  

Q: Is stress a contributor to hair loss?

A: If you are shedding quite a bit more hair than usual and have begun to notice bald patches, you may want to check in with yourself about stress. Under immense stress, hair follicles may sit in a resting stage in which growth halts. To explain further, anxiety can flood the body with the stress hormone cortisol, which causes other hormones to fluctuate. Stress can be a factor that is contributing to the hair loss, especially if that person is genetically predisposed to balding.

Q: Do topical medicines really work?

A: There are several over-the-counter scalp medicines that can help you hold onto the hair you still have left. These topical meds can increase blood flow to the hair follicles, so needed nutrients and oxygen can be received. Do be wary that certain products for hair loss can cause irritation and greasy-ness. Any hair that does grow back after using these products may be thinner and more delicate, so anticipate that locks may not be as full as before.

Q: Is it true that testosterone shrinks hair follicles?

A: When testosterone is converted to dihydrotestosterone in the male body, it can shrink hair follicles. To help prevent this from occurring, many men purchase anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners with the anti-androgen ingredient ketoconazole. By using these products regularly and letting it sit for three minutes each time, ketoconazole can help block testosterone from becoming dihydrotestosterone.

Q: Can hair loss be a result of vitamin deficiency?

A: Some studies have reported that low levels of the vitamin D is linked to cases of alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disorder that can lead to hair loss. Vitamin D helps support hair during its growth phase. If you are concerned about your vitamin D intake, you can incorporate more foods such as fish, milk, and orange juice into your diet. Or, you can purchase vitamin supplements at your local grocery store. However, don’t expose your balding spots to vitamin D through sun exposure, as this may result in an even bigger issue than before.


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Dr. Robin Unger, MD, Hair Restoration NYC