Up to 85% of men will have some degree of hair loss during their lifetime, and hair loss can start in some as early as your teens or twenties.
While hair loss is not usually welcome, for many it is a normal part of life and generally permanent.
(If you have an illness or recent period of stress that caused your hair loss, your hair may return to its former glory, but you should bring up any medically related hair concerns to your doctor.)
But, sometimes it may be difficult to distinguish between normal daily shedding and long-term hair loss.
In this article, we will go over 9 signs of balding that may indicate you are losing more hair than you are regrowing.
Keep a close eye on your hairline to identify any changes in the shape.
For many men, the first portion of the hair to change is the frontal hairline area (women tend to experience more of an overall diffuse hair loss).
If you used to have a straight hairline, but now you are seeing an “M” or “V” shape, you may have a receding hairline.
If you are unsure if hair loss is occurring, compare photos of your hair from the past to see if there are any noticeable changes.
Or, you can even take photos in the mirror on occasion to identify any hair variations as it may be easier to see hair changes from a different perspective.
Try to take pictures from the same angle, with the same lighting, and with your hair dry.
Harsh fluorescent overhead lighting and wet hair can make hair look thinner than it actually is.
If two photos taken a year apart in the same lighting and from the same angle seem to have different amounts of hair, there is a good chance you are experiencing some amount of hair loss.
Everyone usually loses between 50-100 hairs a day, and that hair loss is normally evened out by about the same number regrowing each day.
While this sounds like a lot of hair loss, the average person has about 100,000 hairs on their head, so a daily loss of 0.1% is normally not noticeable.
If you are concerned the loss is too much, check out your shower drain, or look at your hairbrush to gauge if the amount of shed is more than what you are used to.
Keep in mind that if you have very long hair, the individual strands are easier to see scattered around and you may think that you are losing too much when it is just the normal everyday shedding.
If you add up these strand loses and it appears to be more than about 100 hairs, you may be experiencing more hair losses than you are able to regrow.
If you always rocked your side swoop easily with 2 brushes and 10 seconds, but you are now having to spend more time and product to get it right, you may have lost some hair.
You can compare old photos or ask your long-term hair stylist if they have noticed any changes in your hair over time.
Tilt your head down or grab a hand-held mirror to see if you notice more scalp showing through than usual.
More scalp showing through at the crown of your head could mean the beginnings of a bald spot, and more scalp overall could mean a more diffuse whole-head thinning.
So you went to the beach and you ended up getting a sunburn...on the top of your head.
If you used to have enough hair on the top of your head that your scalp was protected even on the sunniest days, your first burn on the scalp could be a warning sign that your hair isn’t as thick as it once was.
If you used to have to go to your barber like clockwork every 6 weeks, but you now find you are able to stretch it out much longer, you may be in the initial stages of hair loss.
Overall hair loss is normally accompanied by individual hairs growing slower and shedding sooner than usual.
Notate your haircuts on a calendar to see if there is a trend of increased time between trims.
As we age, the new hairs that we grow tend to be thinner than in our youth.
One study found that this gradual thinning of hair strands stems from the hair follicle stem cells accumulating DNA damage over time, causing the follicle to shrink and eventually fall out.
So, it is the physical shrinking of the hair follicle the leads to the production of thinner and thinner hair strands.
If you notice that your strands aren’t quite as sturdy as they once were, you may be experiencing hair loss.
Your hair color is produced from your hair follicles depositing melanin in the strands.
This is the same chemical pigment that gives your skin its color or creates freckles.
Over time, hair follicles tend to start depositing less and less melanin into each strand, causing hair to look lighter or sometimes almost transparent.
If your hairs are looking a little lighter, and you haven’t had any new hair treatments or been out in the sun more than usual, this may be a sign of the progressive aging of the hair follicle.
Just because you are noticing some signs of hair loss, does not mean there is nothing you can do.
There are a few validated medications on the market that may help slow the progression of hair loss or even regrow a portion of hair in some situations.
However, the sooner these medications are started once hair loss is apparent, the more effective they can be for maintaining your mane.
Two FDA-approved hair loss medications on the market include Minoxidil and Finasteride.
Schedule an Online Visit with our U.S. licensed physicians today to see if our hair loss medications are a good fit for you.