Hair loss in men is more common than you might think. Roughly 70% of men experience hair loss at some stage of their lives . The good news is that there are plenty of treatment options out there and it is possible that you can reverse it by taking measures into your own hands.
Spotting common signs of male pattern baldness — like a balding crown — and seeking advice from a medical professional can be a good way to put a stop to hair loss.
If you've started Googling about a receding hairline or thinning hair and you're panicking, never fear. We're diving into what causes a balding crown, the common signs you should be looking out for and a run down on all your treatment options.
What causes a balding crown?
A balding crown is one of the earliest signs of male pattern baldness a.k.a androgenetic alopecia .
Male pattern baldness is the most common cause of hair loss and most men will experience some form of patterned hair loss throughout their lifetime (so don't panic if you start to notice a thinning or balding crown).
Men start to develop retreating and thinning hair at the temples, which can eventually turn into a bald spot at the top of the head. A balding crown is typically determined by your genes, which can mean you're more sensitive to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
When testosterone is converted into DHT, it slowly begins to shorten the growth phase of your hair and deteriorates your existing hair follicles.
What are the most common causes of hair loss?
There is a range of reasons you might experience hair loss or shedding hair throughout your lifetime.
From genetic conditions such as androgenetic alopecia to stress and even your hairstyle, getting to the bottom of why you may be experiencing hair loss or hair thinning is important. Let's dive in.
The most common reason for badling at the crown and developing male pattern hair loss is genetics. Hair loss is often inherited from your family, so if someone in your family has experienced male pattern balding before, you're more likely to inherit that trait.
Increased DHT levels can shrink hair follicles which causes hair thinning and hair loss.
Major life events or persistent emotional stress can cause hair loss and thinning hair, although this is generally temporary hair loss. This is usually a result of a condition called telogen effluvium which causes hair follicles to go into a 'resting' stage and increases the rate of hair loss.
Another cause of hair loss involves trichotillomania — a hair-pulling disorder that involves an irresistible and persistent urge to pull your hair out . Trichotillomania is considered a mental health disorder and can be exasperated or sparked as a result of stress.
Male hair loss can occur as a result of certain medical conditions, such as:
- Lupus: an inflammatory disease where the immune system attacks its own tissues .
- Thyroid disorders: when your thyroid gland either produces too much or not enough of certain hormones.
- Ringworm of the scalp: a contagious fungal infection.
- Psoriasis: a chronic inflammatory condition .
Medication side effects
Undergoing cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can cause most or all of the hair to fall out, resulting in complete baldness.
Other medications that are used to treat high blood pressure, depression, cancer, heart problems and arthritis can also play a role in male hair loss.
Believe it or not, your hairstyle may be causing baldness. Tight hairstyles that pull your hair back may cause strands of hair to break and even fall out. Over time, persistent pulling can damage healthy hair follicles which may result in permanent hair loss .
This is referred to as traction alopecia and is exacerbated when you use chemicals or heat on your hair. Try to avoid bleaching your hair or pulling out the hair straightener.
Does a thinning crown mean baldness?
Unfortunately, thinning hair at the crown is an early sign of balding. However, this doesn't necessarily mean you will go bald.
According to the Norwood Scale (a seven-stage classification system of male hair loss), bald patches and thinning hair on the crown of the head occur in stage 2.
The good news is thinning hair on the crown is still in the earlier stages so if you catch it early you can look into treatment options and start making lifestyle changes.
Can you regrow hair on the crown?
Given how common hair loss is in men there are plenty of ways to stimulate new hair growth. Plus, there are many hair loss treatments that can help prevent further hair loss. With the right treatment, there are ways hair can regrow on the crown.
From hair loss pills and medications to surgical treatments and even natural methods, there are plenty of treatment options you can try.
Treating male pattern baldness
Now that we've covered the common causes of male pattern baldness, we're onto the good part: treatment. Based on your medical history and seeking professional medical advice, you will be given a range of different options to consider.
Let's dive into some of the ways you can treat male pattern baldness.
Massaging the scalp can stimulate hair growth and even make your hair thicker by stretching the cells in hair follicles and stimulating blood vessels which facilitate blood flow.
There are so many ways you can massage your scalp and let's face it who doesn't love a good head massage?
You can use your hands, invest in a derma roller (which encourages blood flow), massage your scalp while washing your hair and even incorporate essential oils such as peppermint and lavender (some studies have shown these ingredients can increase hair growth) .
Switch to healthier lifestyle habits
When your body isn't getting the right essential nutrients like zinc, iron, vitamin D, protein and biotin, it can affect hair growth. Try to incorporate foods into your diet that are rich in those vitamins and nutrients like salmon, eggs, green vegetables and red meat.
Increasing exercise to stimulate blood flow and taking control of your mental health if you're experiencing severe stress can also help slow down hair loss — particularly in the early stages.
Hair loss pills
Pilot's hair loss treatment uses clinically proven hair loss medications with a personalised treatment plan to suit your individual needs. Pilot uses two medications for male pattern baldness.
First up, the oral medication blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT — the hormone that stops hair growth. The other medication works to stimulate and increase blood flow around hair follicles which in turn, stimulates hair growth.
This class of hair loss treatment is pretty darn effective with 83% of men keeping their hair, 66% regrowing hair and only 2% of men experiencing side effects (which all stop once treatment is finished) .
Hair transplant surgery
It's safe to say that hair transplant surgery is one of the more invasive (and costly!) ways to treat hair loss. This surgery involves taking follicles from healthy areas of the head (usually in the back) and transplanting them into the areas that need a little help with hair growth.
Hair transplants do produce effective results in promoting hair growth, particularly for people in the later stages of hair loss. It's also worth noting that hair transplants can also be pretty expensive, with an estimated cost of anywhere between AU$11,000 and AU$18,000 and in some cases, it can cost as much as AU$30,000.
These surgeries also come with their own set of side effects and risks, including risks associated with general anaesthesia (such as an allergic reaction), bleeding and infections, nerve damage, death of skin grafts and tissue death around the wound .
Hair growth boosters
Aside from medical treatments, there are non-prescription alternatives on the market such as Pilot's Hair Growth Booster Kit. This can be used on its own or in combination with medications for an extra boost of hair regrowth.
The Hair Growth Booster Kit contains our Thicken Shampoo and Keep Conditioner, packed with active ingredients including zinc, niacinamide and biotin, which all encourage healthy hair.
The Derma Roller also helps to encourage hair growth through microneedling, while the Biotin Hair Gummies are packed with biotin, which supports the synthesis of Keratin, the protective protein that makes up your hair (and makes it stronger and less prone to damage).
When should you seek a solution for hair loss?
Many men often find the topic of hair loss awkward, which is totally understandable. But as a result, it means you might leave it a little too long and find it harder to remedy the situation.
If you're dealing with a balding crown, it's nothing to be ashamed of. And, our team of Australian practitioners are ready to help you when you're ready. Keep an eye on your hair and if you notice any early signs of balding or thinning hair, get in touch and have a consultation.
Photo credit: NBC