Hair Loss - 5 Key Facts

When men first think they're losing their hair it’s straight onto Google to try and find out what’s happening.

It’s a sensitive subject and we rarely ask friends and family for advice.

On the internet there’s so much information it’s sometimes hard to separate the truth from the myths. We’re here to help. We’ve provided five key facts that should clear up a few questions. We’ve even provided a few interesting statistics.

1. Some Hair Loss is Natural
We all shed hair organically every day. On average, the male scalp has anywhere from 100,000 to 150,000 hair follicles. Hair follicles cycle through 3 different stages; Growth, Transition and Resting. At any one time about 10% of hair is in the resting phase during which hairs are shed from the follicle. The average male sheds about 100 hairs a day with most hair (about 80%) falling out when washing or brushing it.                                                                                                                  
2. Genetics Matter
Most of the time hair loss is hereditary. Contrary to the old wives’ tale that hair loss comes from your mother’s side it can come from either side of your family (the primary baldness gene is on the X chromosome, which men get only from their mothers, but other factors matter). Male pattern baldness is caused by oversensitive hair follicles which react to a by-product of the hormone testosterone.       
3. Hair loss is very common
Most men losing hair think that this a rare phenomenon. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The NHS says hair loss affects around half of all men by the age of fifty and usually starts around the late twenties and early thirties. This means that in the UK as many as 8 million men will experience hair.
4. Hair loss is age related
Male pattern baldness affects all men differently, starting at different ages and progressing at different rates. Around 25% of men begin to lose their hair at 30 and 40% of men experience hair loss by the age of 35. On average it takes 15-25 years for men to go completely bald.
5. Hair loss differs according to race

There are racial differences in the incidence of male pattern baldness. Caucasians have the highest rates followed by Afro-Caribbean men. Chinese and Japanese men having the lowest rates of male pattern baldness. Studies have shown that the incidence of genetic hair loss across men in Western Europe, such as the UK, Germany and Spain is similar.


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Written by Mike Firth, GP and Medical Director

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.