Men’s Hair Loss: Causes and Treatment 

Male-pattern baldness, receding hairline and DHT. A guide to what causes men's hair loss causes and how to beat it.

bald man
Written by Fiona McDaniel
Sep 06, 2022 

Unless you’re lucky enough to have been blessed with some genes from the gods, the majority of us will experience hair loss at some point in our lives. We all lose hair on a daily basis, which is part of the natural hair cycle. However, we want to talk about the type of hair loss that can cause unwanted thinning of the hair and eventually lead to male pattern baldness.

Hair loss remains one of the top men’s grooming issues - and it is a huge topic - but Humanery has put together some simplified guidelines on how to deal with it.

What Exactly Is Hair Loss?

Male hair loss is extremely common. We generally tend to think of it as something that happens as we get older, but it can happen at any stage of our lives and this can be due to a variety of reasons.

Natural hair loss can be determined by the Hamilton-Norwood scale, which explains there are 7 stages of hair loss. This scale was created in the 1950s and is a useful tool to track the progression of male hair loss.

Typically the hair starts to recede at the front of the hairline and moves backward. This is a gradual process that can start in your early 20s. Hair loss can be patchy, where the hair starts to thin and drop out from the scalp in more specific areas. It can start to thin out on other parts of the body at the same time.

More dramatic, and unexpected, hair loss can be due to personal health, hormones, and stress. Hair loss can also be temporary or permanent, depending on the causes. It’s important to remember that everyone’s hair loss journey is different, and this is normally down to genetics. (source)

What Causes Men’s Hair Loss?

There has been a huge amount of research into the causes of male hair loss, so as you can imagine, there is a lengthy list of possible causes. We want to pick out some of the key causes of hair loss to make it slightly more comprehensive. Once you’ve discovered the cause of your hair loss, it will definitely be easier to treat.

  • Age - it’s just natural! As we get older, the texture and colour of our hair changes; becoming finer and, possibly, more brittle. Also, the rate of hair growth slows down. Unfortunately, those lucious locks from our 20s and 30s might eventually disappear. 
  • Stress - going through a stressful stage of your life can lead to rapid hair shedding (telogen effluvium). Psychological stress can ‘shock’ the system which can force the hair follicles from the growing phase into the resting phase. This process tends to be temporary and hair continues to grow. 
  • Hormones - you may have heard the term ‘DHT’ thrown around when it comes to men’s hair loss. We will discuss this further but dihydrotesterone is one hormone that already exists in our skin, hair, and prostate and can, at certain levels, attack our hair follicles. The amount of DHT in our system can be due to genetics. High and low levels of thyroid hormones can also cause hair loss.
  • Medication - chemotherapy is one of the most well-known medications to cause hair loss (alopecia). Some anti-depressants, steroids, and blood thinners can cause thinning of the hair - speak to doctor if you are concerned about this side effect.
  • Lifestyle - research has shown that smoking can cause hair loss. Also, a bad diet can affect the health of your hair, as can continual exposure to high heat. 
  • Male-Pattern Baldness (androgenetic alopecia) - is the most common cause of hair loss. Male pattern baldness is caused by hormone changes that happen with age. It comes down to genetics and something that is passed down through the generations. 
man losing hair

DHT in Men’s Hair Loss 

We can’t really talk about hair loss without talking about DHT. DHT (dihydrotesterone) is a sex hormone (androgen). It is created by an enzyme (5-alpha reductase) which converts testosterone into DHT in the testes and prostrate. DHT helps to develop our male characteristics such as a deep voice, body hair, and muscles. Having too little or too much DHT in our system can determine changes in our bodies, and particularly our hair growth. 

How is DHT Linked to Hair Loss? 

Once it is released, DHT travels around the body, and when it reaches the hair follicles it will latch onto the receptor where it starves the follicle of nutrients and causes it to shrink and die. This process is called ‘miniaturisation’. Sign of miniaturisation are the thinning of the hair on the crown of the head, a receding hairline, and you will probably notice more hair falling out after you shower or brush your hair.

It’s frustrating because although we need DHT at our early developmental stages, it really doesn’t help that much as we get older. The levels of DHT in our bodies is generally determined by genetics.

Biggest Hair Loss Myths

When looking for an answer to hair loss and treatments, you may also come across some myths - as you would with any condition. It’s important to keep in mind that the list below includes a few myths around the causes of hair loss. 

• One of the most popular ones; wearing hats will not directly make you lose your hair, but constant friction on the scalp can, just like tight hairstyles and heat is also not great for your hair.
• Having a poor diet won’t affect your hair loss, but micronutrient deficiency can play a part in hair loss. Lacking certain nutrients such as vitamin D could contribute to losing your hair (source). Food with vitamin D includes egg yolks, red meat and oily fish like salmon or sardines.
• Illness can cause hair loss, but hair loss can’t cause illness. (source)

Treatments For Hair Loss

We cannot completely reverse the natural cycle of hair loss - unless you decide to go for a hair transplant. Follicular unit transplantation and follicular unit extraction are intense procedures and if you want to go down that path, it is something that should be discussed with a professional.

  • Lifestyle
    There are things we can easily alter in our lifestyles that can help reduce the chance of hair loss. Quitting smoking is a good start - as is eating a healthy diet - and trying to reduce major stresses in your life will certainly help. 
  • Finasteride
    There are medications that can prevent hair thinning. These can be prescribed by your GP. Finasteride is one of the most commonly prescribed medications. Finasteride blocks testosterone from converting into DHT; it won’t cure hair loss but it will likely slow the process. 
  • Minoxidil
    There is also minoxidil which comes in tablet form, or can be applied as an over-the-counter topical cream. It is believed Minoxidil helps to widen blood vessels which increases blood, oxygen, and nutrient flow to the follicles of the hair and in turn helps to promote healthy hair growth. You can combine minoxidil with finasteride for a full-pronged attack!
  • DHT-blocking Shampoo
    One of the main cruxes of male pattern baldness is DHT. A DHT-blocking shampoo is a great way to try and reduce hair loss. It’s a cheap solution and something you can do at home. These types of shampoos stop DHT binding to the follicles and therefore encourage hair to grow. Ingredients to look out for in anti-hair loss shampoos and conditioners are: biotin, saw palmetto, ginseng, geranium oil, rosemary oil, caffeine, and viviscal.

Just one thing to remember, hair loss is VERY common and it’s absolutely nothing to hide or be embarrassed about. We’re all going to experience it, so we might as well talk about it.

Explore our collection of men's hair loss and thinning hair shampoos and conditioners, that might be helpful in your own hair loss journey.

Product Round Up - Tackle Men's Hair Loss

Patricks SH1 Daily Hair Thickening Shampoo for Men
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Patricks SH1 Daily Hair Thickening Shampoo for Men
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Hair Thickening, Strengthening & Hair Loss Protection
Sons The DHT Blocking Shampoo for Daily Use
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Sons The DHT Blocking Shampoo for Daily Use
Sons The DHT Blocking Shampoo for Daily Use

Sons The DHT Blocking Shampoo for Daily Use

Clinically Proven to Halt Men's Hair Loss & Strengthen Follicles
PATRICKS CD1 | Stimulating & Thickening Conditioner
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PATRICKS CD1 | Stimulating & Thickening Conditioner
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PATRICKS CD1 Stimulating & Thickening Conditioner

Deep Cleansing, Improved Hair Fullness + Reduced Hair Loss
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PATRICKS PLUS Complete Ultra Thickening Anti Hair Loss Kit
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Four Step Anti Hair Loss - Shampoo, Conditioner, Spray and Style
JASON Thin to Thick Shampoo-Humanery
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JASON Thin to Thick Shampoo

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Aesop Volumising Shampoo
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A Lifting Formulation Powered by Botanics & Polyquaternium 67

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