The most common cause of hair loss in men is androgenetic alopecia or hereditary baldness. It usually results in a receding hairline, although it may also result in a bald spot on the top of the head, often referred to as male-pattern baldness.
Women also sometimes suffer from androgenetic alopecia, by the way. When the condition affects women, it generally causes thinning of the hair all over the head, often referred to as female-pattern baldness. Androgenetic alopecia is more much common in men than in women, however.
There are many other things that can cause men’s hair loss, of course. Other possible causes include:
- Alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition. It is believed that in people with this condition, the body mistakes the hair for a foreign object and attacks it, causing hair loss. This can cause hair loss all over the body, not just on the head. Doctors aren’t certain what causes the condition.
- Cicatricial alopecia. This is a condition in which scarring of the scalp destroys hair follicles, causing hair loss. Due to the scar tissue and destroyed hair follicles, hair cannot regrow in the affected area.
- Hormonal imbalances. This is a more common cause of hair loss in women, but it is also a possible cause of men’s hair loss. It’s usually caused by an underlying medical condition.
- Underlying medical conditions. Many illnesses can cause hair loss, including things like thyroid disease and lupus.
- Scalp infections. Infections of the scalp, including fungal infections like ringworm, can cause hair loss.
- Telogen effluvium. This occurs sometimes after major surgery, as a result of general anesthesia. It may also occur after a serious illness, often involving very high fever. The natural growth cycle of the hair is interrupted and a few months later, hair loss occurs. Hair later grows back without any medical treatment in most cases.
- Weight loss. Significant weight loss, especially over a short period of time, can cause hair loss. This is just a temporary condition and hair usually grows back after body weight has stabilized.
- Nutritional deficiencies. Numerous nutritional deficiencies can cause hair loss, including iron deficiency (while this is more common in women than in men, it can cause hair loss in men, as well), zinc deficiency, and protein deficiency. It’s important to understand that while nutritional deficiencies are common in men that are significantly underweight, they can also occur in men of normal weight or even in overweight men. They can also occur in men who appear to be in good health.
- Eating disorders. While eating disorders are sometimes thought of as a women’s illness, they can affect men, too. The combination of extreme weight loss and nutritional deficiencies associated with eating disorders often leads to hair loss.
- Medications. Numerous medications can cause hair loss as a side effect, including some blood thinners, antidepressants, arthritis medications, blood pressure medications, and anabolic steroids. Some cancer drugs also cause hair loss.
Treating Hair Loss in Men
The best treatment for hair loss depends on the cause of hair loss. Some types of hair loss don’t require any treatment but will resolve on their own in time, such as hair loss due to weight loss or telogen effluvium. In most cases, though, if you want your hair to grow back, you’ll need to do something about it.
Hair loss caused by nutritional deficiencies is generally treated by nutritional supplementation, although sometimes deficiencies are caused by underlying medical conditions, in which case those conditions should be treated as well. Hormonal imbalances are usually caused by underlying medical conditions, as well, which should be treated.
In cases of androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata, the most common causes of male hair loss, treatment may be more complicated. Doctors often treat those conditions with medication, although sometimes dermatologists recommend laser treatments or even surgical procedures instead.
Our Preferred Treatment for Hair Loss in Men
Our preferred treatment for male hair loss is Rogaine. It’s a topical medication applied to the scalp, available without a prescription. Unlike many other topical products, this is a spray, not a messy cream or foam, which is one of the reasons we like it so much. Of course, we also like it because it’s effective. The active ingredient, minoxidil, is the only over-the-counter medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat hair loss in both men and women. Rogaine offers a formula designed especially for men, however, which we highly recommend. To learn more, just follow the link.