A question many of my cohorts and I get is: when did you start balding and decide to shave it off? Since this is not an overnight process, I want to run through the timeline a bald man goes through so you have a general understanding of how and when that stuff on your head may start to dissipate.
First is HOW you may start to lose hair. The term for hair loss is called alopecia and can range from little bits of hair falling out of your head to your whole body going hairless. The most common form of alopecia for men is known as male pattern baldness or MPB. This condition usually starts at the front of your scalp and can become severe around the temples. Balding can sometimes start on the crown of your head and become more evident before the front of your head begins to bald.
The WHEN of losing hair is hard to predict. For MPB, the mid to late 20s tend to be the target ages when you begin to lose hair. Hair loss does increase by age, resulting in 20% of men beginning to bald at age 20 and about 50% suffering from hair loss at age 50. Some men may lose small amounts and not go bald for 10-15 years or longer. Others may start losing hair fast and could be completely bald within 5 years. The whole process of actually going bald can take anywhere from 5-25 years.
SIGNS AND IDEAS
Looking for signs of MPB is important, but don’t overthink it. If you’re finding strands of hair here and there, that is totally normal due to the fact that the average person loses 100 hairs a day. However, a way to stay up to date on your hair loss is through using the Norwood Scale. This scale has 7 stages with the first being very minor or no recession of the hairline and no treatment needed and the last being the most advanced or severe form of hair loss with a band of hair in a horseshoe shape hanging on to the sides and back of the head. Since hair loss, in most cases, is correlated with age, the only way to delay it would be to manipulate time. Since we can’t do that yet, we have to resort to eating healthy and exercising regularly. The idea here is simple: Since the same genes that cause graying and thinning of hair also do the same for balding, living an all-around healthier lifestyle may help to reduce your balding.
Having an idea of how and when your hair is going to thin or fall out is important and can allow you to prepare properly. If you’re someone who is suffering from severe MPB and your hair is falling out at a quick rate, the answer may be to shave your head but make sure to consult with your barber or hairstylist before-hand. If you’re going through any stage in the balding process, it’s important to realize that there are thousands of other men who are going through the same thing as you and are looking for an answer. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others who are bald and ask how they dealt with the process!