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Noticing the early signs of balding can be traumatic, whether you’re a man or a woman. But spotting the signs of hair loss, whether due to male pattern baldness or something else, can actually be a good thing. It may give you enough time to take action and do something about it.

Here are some of the early indications of hair loss, as well as some of the possible reasons why male pattern baldness and other issues might occur.

Experiencing Early Signs Of Balding: How To Recognize Male Pattern Baldness

In order to spot the signs of male-pattern hair loss, or women’s hair loss, for that matter, it’s important to be observant. In men, one of the most common characteristics of male pattern baldness is an “M” shape pattern that develops between the temples. Some men have a half-moon pattern in this area.

Another place to check besides the front portion of the hairline is the top (or crown) of your head. This is another area where an “M” or half-moon pattern can appear. Try holding a mirror over your head while looking into your regular mirror to check the crown.

When you brush your hair, check your brush. Do you see more hairs than normal? Male pattern baldness often results in serious shedding of hair.1 Wash your pillowcase before you go to sleep. Then check it in the morning. If you see a lot of hair on the pillowcase, it could be a telling sign of hair thinning.

Know the Different Types Of Hair Loss: Androgenetic Alopecia, Telogen Effluvium, And More

male baldness | LCR Health

If your hair is thinning, there are a lot of potential reasons that might be to blame If you start noticing unexpected signs of balding, see your doctor right away. You’ll want to rule out any medical issues that could be causing your hair to fall. Here are just a few possible reasons for hair loss.

Androgenetic Alopecia

Millions of people suffer from androgenetic alopecia. In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons for baldness and hair loss in the U.S. Both men and women can develop this issue. In men, it’s known as male pattern baldness. In women, it’s called female pattern hair loss. Genetic and environmental factors are thought to be causes.

Male pattern baldness can start at any time after puberty. It will usually progress gradually, and it could take years or even decades to cause substantial hair loss. Male pattern baldness typically starts at the temples and the crown.2

Telogen Effluvium

To fully understand telogen effluvium, you should know that there are three phases of the hair growth cycle.

  • Anagen is the phase where hair grows.
  • Catagen is the phase where hair regresses.
  • Telogen is the resting phase.

Anagen is where the hair follicle produces a hair shaft. During catagen and telogen hair growth phases, the follicles wait for a signal to produce new hair.3

Telogen effluvium, also known as diffuse hair loss, is a type of baldness that takes place when the hair shaft fails to progress to the next stage of growth. It gets to the telogen, or resting, phase of the growth cycle, and it stops. Hair falls out, and new hair shafts don’t come in to replace the lost hair.

While people typically don’t go completely bald due to telogen effluvium, they can still lose a significant amount of hair each day. This can lead to notable thinning. Recent surgery, fever, thyroid issues, and even childbirth may cause this type of baldness. In many cases, hair will begin to regrow. In some instances, though, telogen effluvium can last for years.4

Cicatricial Alopecia

Also referred to as scarring alopecia, this relatively rare condition destroys hair follicles, resulting in scar tissue. Once this scar tissue develops, that makes it impossible for hair regrowth.

Cicatricial alopecia is typically gradual. Hair loss might not even be that noticeable at first. In some instances, however, hair can fall out in clumps. Swelling, scalp lesions and itching may also occur.5

Lichen planopilaris

Lichen planopilaris is another form of alopecia. The culprit is a skin condition known as lichen planus. This type of hair loss leads to the development of a flaky rash on the scalp. The rash, accompanied by itchy, red bumps, can cause hair to fall out in bunches.

Alopecia Areata

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune problem. This happens when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, such as hair follicles. When someone has alopecia areata, their hair falls out and new hair doesn’t grow.

Alopecia is common in both men and women. One of the symptoms of alopecia areata is patchy hair loss. It occurs on the scalp, but it can also affect the body, including vellus hairs (the fine, barely visible hairs found on the skin), eyelashes, and eyebrows.6

Other Potential Causes Of Hair Loss

woman hair loss | LCR Health

There are several other reasons why someone will suffer thinning of hair or hair loss, no matter what type of hair they may have. Hair loss might occur due to a lack of proper nutrition. Stress, thyroid issues, or genetics may also contribute to hair loss.7 Your doctor will be able to determine the cause behind your hair loss and address it appropriately.

It’s not uncommon for someone to lose as many as 100 hairs each day. But if you notice your hair falling in clumps or if your hair appears much thinner than usual, it could be time to pay a visit to your doctor.

Getting the problem addressed as soon as possible is important. If you wait too long, your hair loss may become too advanced.8

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