Balding: Cause and Effect
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Balding: Cause and Effect

The most common form of hair loss in men is androgenic alopecia (AGA)—more commonly known as male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, the research done on the causes of AGA and other baldness inducing medical conditions have yet to pin down a singular cause. However, there are a few suspects:



The belief that hair loss is passed on to you from your mother’s father (your maternal grandfather) has not been proven. The hair loss gene can be inherited from either side of the gene pool.



The hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a derivative of testosterone. DHT levels in the body increase as men age. DHT blocks blood flow to the scalp, damaging hair follicles and keeping them from growing properly.



    • Fatty foods and red meat can affect your hormones, potentially increasing production of DHT.
    • Caffeine and alcohol will dehydrate your scalp and cause an increase in oil production. An overload of oil on the scalp will clog hair follicles and prevent their growth.



Though less common (and more predictable) than other causes, some illnesses and medical treatments can alter your hair growth pattern and cause sudden hair loss.



White men are most likely to experience hair loss and at an earlier age than men of different races. African-American men are less likely to lose their hair than white men and Asian men are the least likely to suffer hair loss.


Studies that focus on the psychological impact of balding have shown that men with visible hair loss are perceived to be older, weaker and less physically attractive than men with a full head of hair. This unwelcome social stereotype negatively impacts the self-image of men suffering from hair loss. Men that suffer from hair loss report distress about the situation, feelings of physical unattractiveness and body image dissatisfaction.

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