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Home / Hair Loss / Things you can do to prevent hair loss early

Things you can do to prevent hair loss early

Learn more about preventing hair loss in your twenties

Hair loss is a common problem that many men face as they age. However, hair loss can start as early as your twenties in 25% of men according to the American Hair Loss Association.

Balding, thinning hair and receding hairlines can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, stress, and poor diet. Most cases of male pattern baldness cannot be prevented, such as genetic causes, but almost all cases can be treated early.

If you have spotted the first signs of hair thinning or first signs of balding, keep reading to find out about lifestyle tips and treatments that can help prevent hair loss early.

Young man with a receding hairline combing his hair back

What causes hair loss in young men?

There are several causes of hair loss in men, and it's important to know the cause before you can find the best treatment.

The most common cause of hair loss in young men is ‘androgenetic alopecia’, otherwise known as male pattern baldness. This occurs as a result of a genetic sensitivity to a male hormone (androgen) called DHT or dihydrotestosterone. This androgen targets hair follicles, causing them to shrink over time and become less capable of supporting healthy hair growth. You cannot necessarily prevent male pattern baldness, as this is caused by inherited genes. However, you can treat it early.

Another prominent cause of hair loss and hair thinning in men is poor hair health. Over bleaching, over styling, tight hair styles or heat damage can all damage your hair and cause your hairline to recede. If spotted early, you can prevent further hair loss and potentially encourage healthy new hair growth by changing your habits and having treatment.

Hair loss can also be caused by several other factors including:

  • alopecia areata - immune disorder where your immune system mistakenly attacks the healthy hair follicles
  • trauma or a stressful event (telogen effluvium)
  • certain medicines (e.g chemotherapy, acne medicines, medicines for high cholesterol and high blood pressure)
  • vitamin deficiency such as an iron deficiency
  • other medical conditions (e.g thyroid conditions)

These causes are rarer and more likely to cause severe or sudden hair loss. If you think you are experiencing any of the following, you should speak with your doctor as soon as possible to identify the cause.

What causes hair loss in women?

Women lose up to 50 - 100 hairs a day. This is normal, however some women do experience hair loss as they age in a similar way to men.

Female pattern hair loss or female pattern baldness is also a relatively common phenomenon, particularly after menopause, but is notably less understood. It’s not known if androgens play a role in hair loss in women as the majority of women suffering from it have normal hormone levels. However, it is believed to be hereditary.

Women can also experience hair loss from stress, poor hair habits, certain medical conditions and as a side effect of certain medicines. However, there are different treatment options for women and it’s important to consult your doctor if you’re unsure of the cause of your hair loss.

Can I prevent hair loss early?

If you notice signs of hair loss early, either from male pattern baldness or from poor hair habits, there are several things you can do to slow down or completely stop hair loss. Keep reading to find out what you can do to prevent your hair loss.

Cut out bad hair habits

Not having good hair care can permanently damage your hair and prevent it from regrowing healthily. This can cause your hairline to recede or bald spots to form in both men and women.

Here are some common hair care habits and how they can cause hair loss and damage over time.

Avoid certain hair styles

Some hairstyles that require you to tie your hair back tightly or pull significantly on the hair can cause damage in the long-term. Frequently styling can pull the hair away from the scalp and weaken the bond between your scalp and hair. This phenomenon is known as traction alopecia.

Hairstyles such as the following should not be worn often:

  • tight ponytails, braids or buns
  • cornrows
  • dreadlocks
  • hair weaves or extensions

Make sure to change your hairstyles up regularly or loosen up your current up-do.

If you wear a weave or hair extensions, do not wear them long-term and make sure to check your scalp every month so if you notice hair loss, you can start treating it as soon as possible. Opting for sewn-in weaves rather than bonding glue may also help maintain your hair.

You should also regularly see your hairstylist so they can monitor your hair.

Close up of man with cornrows

Avoid heat-styling tools

What you style your hair with can also contribute to hair loss. Most styling tools use heat to shape your hair into a certain shape, such as hair straighteners, hair curlers and hair dryers.

Excessive use of these tools can affect the structural proteins of your hair. In particular, keratin. Keratin is very important for healthy hair growth, but regular exposure to high heats melts the keratin in your hair and causes your hair to weaken. Heat also strips your hair of its natural oils and this loss of moisture also affects the keratin structure.

Weaker hair means you are more prone to hair damage and hair fall. Try salt sprays, air dryer styles or do loose braids in wet hair to create a unique style without heat.

Close up of man blow drying his hair

Change your hair brush

Brushing your hair daily, depending on your hair type, is extremely beneficial in keeping your hair healthy. However, you should opt for a hair brush that has soft bristles and natural fibres.

They are more gentle on thinning or damaged hair as they don’t rip the hair from the scalp, which would damage the bond between them. They are also better for maintaining keratin in your hair.

Rear-view close up of man brushing his hair with wooden hair brush

Use the right hair products

Which shampoo you use and how often you use it is important. Most common shampoo brands contain sulphates, an ingredient that has been linked to fragile and damaged hair.

There are several shampoos available that are suitable for hair loss, but it’s important to check the ingredients and what they do. One clinically-proven shampoo ingredient is ketoconazole. It is an anti-DHT shampoo and research has found that this ingredient alters the pathway of DHT on the scalp, which slows down hair loss rates.

You may be at a higher risk if you overwash your hair. It’s recommended you use a gentle or hair-loss specific shampoo every 2 - 3 days, depending on your hair type.

If you’re concerned about hair loss, you should also avoid bleaching, dyeing, perming or using other chemical treatments in your hair. These can affect the keratin in your hair and cause it to weaken over time.

Rear-view close up of man shampooing his hair in the shower

Eat a healthy diet

Hair loss can sometimes be caused by a nutritional deficiency. This is the common cause of a type of hair loss called telogen effluvium. Research has shown that several key nutrients can influence hair loss. Some of the most notable include a lack of iron, niacin (a form of vitamin B3) or protein. Research has also linked sudden weight loss, such as from an eating disorder, to hair loss.

Eating a balanced and nutritional diet is a good way of keeping your hair and the rest of your body healthy.

Quit smoking

While quitting smoking has a multitude of health benefits, one of the more surprising effects of smoking is hair loss. One 2020 study found that 85% of smokers aged 20-35 had experienced some degree of hair loss, compared to 40% of non-smokers.

Experts aren’t sure what the exact relation is, but some theories include the effects of oxidative stress and reduced blood flow to the hair follicles can cause hair loss.

Minimise stress

Telogen effluvium can also be caused by severe stress. It’s not fully understood the link between the two and the current research is divided. However, it may be that stressful life events or situations can trigger the condition or exacerbate symptoms. The condition itself can be distressing, so it can cyclically worsen your hair loss.

Get hair loss treatment early

As soon as you spot any signs of hair loss, you should get treatment quickly if you want to stop further hair loss. Thankfully, there are many clinically-proven hair loss treatments available.

Do supplements work for hair loss?

Several vitamin supplements such as biotin have received anecdotal praise for their treatment of hair loss. However, taking supplements like biotin, niacin or any others without a diagnosed deficiency has no clinical benefits. In fact, taking iron supplements for instance without being advised to do so by a doctor can cause adverse effects.

If you think you have a deficiency or you’re not sure what’s causing your hair loss, you should consult a doctor before trying any supplements.

Minoxidil

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a popular treatment for both male and female-pattern baldness, available as a topical form over-the-counter and on prescription.

While the exact mechanism of action is unknown, most who use it see significant results. One study found that 92% of 11,000 men observed noticeable improvements in their hair after one year of treatment. After 4 years of treatment in another study, 40% of men even reported hair regrowth.

Finasteride

Another clinically-proven treatment for male-pattern baldness is called Finasteride, often sold under the brand name Propecia. It belongs to a class of medicines known as 5α-reductase inhibitors (5-alpha reductase inhibitors), which specifically target the male hormones linked to hair loss.

Many men experience significant improvements using Finasteride. After a year, one study found that 83% of men observed no further hair loss, with another 66% of men experiencing significant hair regrowth after 2 years of treatment.

It is a prescription-only treatment, meaning it must be given to you under the advice of a doctor. Thankfully, you can get a prescription for Finasteride without an in-person consultation at euroClinix. Our service is confidential, secure and all online. Once approved for treatment, Finasteride is delivered right to your door the very next day.

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