Have you seen sudden changes in your hair which made you question “am I going bald?”. However uncomfortable that question might be, we eventually have to face the truth that male pattern baldness affects roughly about 50 million males in the United States as mentioned by the US national Library of Medicine.
This means male pattern baldness is pretty common and it is the main reason for hair loss. But the key point of balding is that it does not happen overnight just like common cold or fever. It takes several years at least.
Before you go bald completely or partially, you will see some changes in your hair which could be signs indicating that you are balding.
I had pretty thick curly hair during my teenage years, but I saw it changing gradually when I stepped into the early twenties. These signs could be indications that I am going to be bald in the future. But I have already started the treatments hoping for the best.
I have listed 6 signs below that I have identified through my own experience and research which will tell you whether you are going bald .
Signs indicating that you are balding
Positive thing about balding is that it does not happen overnight and it happens gradually over the years.
Watch out for these six signs so that you can take necessary actions early on, in order to take the required treatments.
1. Thinning out in the front of the head
Your hair may thin out and the scalp may become visible to the outside in the front portion of the head which is just above the forehead.
This is usually where the balding of the midsection of your head starts
I have this condition and my scalp is visible just above my forehead. I can’t imagine how my hair became so thin when I had thick curly hair during my teenage years. This is what male pattern baldness does. It makes your hair thin out.
In order to check whether you have hair thinning on top, compare your old photos with the current condition. Then you can find out whether your hair has thinned out.
On the other hand you can use the front camera of your mobile phone to capture the front portion of your head from an angle above your head.
Do not confuse this with the scalp you see when your hair is wet, especially after a shower. This happens because of the hair clumping together due to the moisture in your hair.
2. Thinning out at the crown
This is where you could see the scalp in the crown area of your head.
This is usually where the balding of the back end of your head begins.
Fortunately I do not have this condition. At least not yet. The thinning out at the crown area is highly common in adults over the age of 40 and 50.
Just like observing the thinning out in the front, the best way to observe this is by comparing the old photographs. But it is highly unlikely to have photos which cover the back portion of your head.
In such situations, use the front camera of your smartphone and compare it monthly to notice any visible thinning at the crown.
3. Increased hair fall
Increased number of hair strands that you see daily could indicate that you might be going bald.
While there can be many reasons leading to hair fall, it is completely normal to lose about 50-100 hair strands every day due to the hair growth cycle.
Just because you lose hair naturally, do not neglect it. Be vigilant and mindful about the number of hair strands that come off your head daily.
Check your pillow every morning whether there are anything more than 5 to 20 hair strands on the pillow case, or when you shower check your drains and hands after applying shampoo for excess hair strands, or even after combing, check your clothing or the comb for excess fallen hair.
If you feel like you are losing more than 100 hair strands a day, then you could be losing more hair than usual.
4. Takes more time for the next hair cut
Our hair grows roughly by 1cm to 2cm every month. So if it takes longer than usual for your next haircut, then you might be having hair growth issues.
The issues in hair growth can occur due to a deficiency in nutrition, stress and various other factors. Therefore make sure that you are taking the required level of nutrition and avoiding excessive stress (both physically and mentally).
If you are having hair growth issues even after keeping the nutrition intact and minimizing the stress levels, then the low hair growth could be a sign of balding due to male pattern baldness.
How often you go to the salon is the best way to observe the hair growth pattern. I usually go to the salon once a month for a haircut.
5. Receding hairline
A receding hairline occurs above the temples and the hair recedes backwards leaving an “M” shaped hairline in the front.
This is usually where the balding of the front portion of your head starts and it gradually moves back towards the crown area.
The best way to find whether your hairline is receding is by comparing your old photos to the current status. If you have hair in the front covering the forehead and the temple, lift it up to check how far your hairline has receded backwards.
6. Having thick facial hair
Having a thick hardcore facial hair is an indication that you have higher amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your body. Which is a key hormone causing male pattern baldness.
This is not an exact sign saying that you will go bald, because DHT will lead to hair loss if the receptors in your hair are sensitive to the DHT.
I do not have a thick beard but my hair seems to be falling out. However, if you have thick facial hair, then you can be at the risk of going bald. Therefore watch out for the other signs and be extra vigilant.
How long does it take to go bald
The balding does not happen overnight and it takes years for you to go bald. There is no specific time period for balding to happen.
It could take 10 to 25 years on average for a person to go bald once the signs appear and it could vary depending on the treatments and the precautions that you take.
However do not take this as a chance to delay the treatments once you start seeing the signs. I made this mistake and I lost most of my hair without proper treatments.
Can I stop going bald
There is no proven treatment to cure male pattern baldness, but the balding process can be slowed down with proper continuous treatments, such as minoxidil.
A treatment with minoxidil (an ingredient in Rogaine) is recommended for the male pattern baldness . This is what I have been using for the last couple of months, and I’m seeing amazing results.
It has to be applied on the area where the hair has thinned out, and give a gentle massage or comb so that it absorbs to the scalp. I will write a separate article on minoxidil in the future.
It did not regenerate the lost hair, but it does an amazing job by restoring the thickness in the hair. I don’t know how, but it does.
Further my doctor recommended a DHT blocker which has to be taken orally as a pill. But you should never take DHT blockers without the recommendations and approvals of a doctor.
Should I see a doctor
Getting the doctor’s advice would be the best before starting any kind of treatment, especially before taking medicines orally.
You could be losing hair due to some other reason other than male pattern baldness. The best person to diagnose such a condition is a trained doctor particularly in the field of dermatology. If you are suffering from some other condition then doing treatments could be a waste of time and money.