If you are worried that you are losing your hair, you’re not alone. The lockdown has been stressful for all of us and, judging by recent pictures of David Beckham’s hairline, it’s been harder on some than others.
While stress related hair loss is possible, if your hair has begun to fall out, it’s far more likely to be male pattern baldness.
Let’s say up front that losing your hair is very common. Hair loss is a perfectly natural occurrence in men and 25 percent of us will have begun losing our hair by the age of 21. That rockets to 66 percent by the time you hit 35.
With Beckham now 45 years-old, it’s no surprise that his famous locks might be thinning. But what a career in hair it’s been. Beckham has lead the men of the world on a merry tonsorial dance, from shaving it off, to growing it back and dying it blonde, only to braid it and push it back behind an Alice band. Where his hair has gone, millions of men have followed. And now, if his hair has actually gone, perhaps this will help those struggling with hair loss to And if hair loss can happen to David Beckham, then it can happen to you, too.
But what, if anything, can you do if you think you are losing your hair? First of all, let’s look at the evidence.
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Am I going bald?
According to the American hair loss association, the vast majority of hair loss in men is hereditary, meaning you’ll inherit the propensity for a shiny pate your family. However, it’s important to work out whether you are actually losing your hair.
If, for example, your hair is falling out in patches, it’s unlikely to be male pattern baldness. Instead it could be alopecia, an auto immune condition that can make the body attack itself. This is different from ‘going bald’.
Typically, male pattern baldness will begin in a consistent fashion at your crown or just above your temples, as your hair line begins to recede.
You can see from these pictures that it looks like Beckham’s hairline is beginning to recede and his hair is thinning all over.
What are the causes of baldness
We still don’t entirely understand what causes male pattern baldness but scientists think it’s due to the hormone Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). As DHT builds up in your hair follicles it causes your hair to reproduce at a slower rate, and in turn your hair begins to thin. How susceptible you are to these hormones is hereditary.
In addition to that, there are other factors to consider, especially stress and how you treat your hair. According to trichologist Philip Kingsley, stress can contribute to excessive daily hair shedding, Alopecia Areata (hair loss in areas), Trichotillomania (hair pulling) and Androgenic Alopecia (hair thinning).
But Kingsley also points out that stress will usually not cause your hair to fall out immediately. Instead, it can result in delayed hair loss up to six months later.
How Quickly will I Lose My hair?
As we said at the top, male pattern baldness can kick in by the age of 21, and by the time we get to 50 years-old, 85 per cent of us will have experienced hair loss to some degree. If your hair has started thinning, it’s impossible to say how long it will take for you to lose it completely, but it could be anywhere between five and twenty-five years.
Can baldness be prevented?
Unfortunately no, not really. Everyone loses hair naturally over time, and as you age your hair will thin. Male pattern baldness is genetic though, and as such, can’t be prevented entirely.
There are other conditions which can cause hair loss, including the aforementioned alopecia areata, which can clear up on its own, and traction alopecia. This is caused by a constant pulling of your hair, for instance in a tight ponytail. All the more reason to avoid a top-knot, then.
Can you treat hair loss?
Hair loss treatments have made big steps forward over the years. From oral medications to topical lotions, hair transplants to semi-permanent wigs, there are options if you are losing your lid.
However, the most important question is: do you really care? Learning to accept hair loss and moving on is the simplest and most cost-effective way of dealing with baldness. You’re not in short supply of idols, either. The Rock, Jason Statham, Michael Jordan and perhaps now David Beckham have had no problem making a career without hair.
If you do decide to try and combat your hair loss, contact your doctor and ask for a referral to an expert.
Or, if you decide to shave it all off, here’s our guide to mastering a proper, at-home buzz-cut.