So – you’re somewhere in your 20s, and your hair (or at least losing it) is the last thing you normally think about. But then… something happens.
Maybe your best friend is going bald. Maybe your comb looks like it’s grown fur after every time you’ve used it. Maybe you’re noticing bald spots on your scalp. Maybe your hair simply does not look as thick anymore, and you ask yourself: Why is my hair thinning in my 20s?
Lots of valid questions. Lots of good answers. But first, let’s quickly define hair loss.
Why is my hair thinning at 20?
Broadly speaking, there are 3 types of hair loss for males, one of which most guys experience at some stage during their life.
The first one is what’s considered normal hair loss. Losing up to 250 hairs per day is not unusual, and part of the regular stages of hair growth. So if there’s some hair in your shower after washing – don’t sweat it.
The second one is rare, and it’s statistically unlikely you’re affected: Irregular hair loss based on a medical condition, such as a hormonal imbalance or skin disease. Technically not a sign of balding, this type of hair loss sees hair fall out in chunks or in irregular patterns across the scalp. If this is you, consider seeking medical advice.
The third one is likely the one you’re worried about: Androgenetic Alopecia, commonly known as Male Pattern Baldness, affects a majority of men during their lifetime. This usually manifests with a receding hairline or thinning crown, and it’s a process that, once started, never naturally stops again.
How to tell if you’re a balding male
If you’re in your 20s, you likely haven’t spent much thought about going bald. But the fact is, one out of every five guys will start going bald in his 20s. And if Male Pattern Baldness does affect you, there’s a 50% chance you’ll first start seeing signs in your 20s. There no exact science to tell you if you’ll go bald, but once you do – you’ll know.
A good indicator is usually feedback from someone you haven’t seen in a while. If you look at yourself in the mirror every single day, you tend to overlook changes as slow as a receding hairline until it becomes really noticeable. If you see a friend going bald, talk to him about it – and ask your friends to do the same with you. There is absolutely no shame in it.
Once you do suspect you’re going bald, start taking regular pictures and consult the official Norwood Scale to track your progress: From Stage 1 (no balding at all) to Stage 9 (the classic monk), the scale gives you an indication of where you currently stand.
…but why me, I’m a male in my 20s!
Why am I balding at age 20, you may ask? Well, there is no single culprit as to why baldness picked you and not some other guys. The reasons can be manifold: Genetics can clearly play a role, and while it’s no guaranteed indicator, if you see every single male in your family going bald, chances are it’ll hit you too.
Other reasons are individual hormonal balances: Dihydrotestosterone, more commonly referenced as the abbreviated form DHT, is a hormone with powerful androgenetic properties. Some men have more, some men have less – and that’ll directly affect how likely you are to go bald.
Last but not least, a variety of medical conditions anywhere from colon cancer to diabetes have been linked with baldness. So even if every single guy in your family rocks a solid head of hair, and your DHT is rock bottom low – if you suffer from any disease connected to baldness, there’s little you can do, regardless of your age.
What you can do about going bald
You can crawl into a hole and feel sorry for yourself.
You can try to hide it with ever-more-weird hairstyles (combover, anyone?).
You can explore and fall for tons of myths the hair industry has come up with over the years.
Or…you can embrace it. Some of the biggest, baddest, most awesome dudes out there are bald. Guys feel better than ever after going bald. And the right pair of sunglasses just looks plain badass on a bald guy.
Still got doubts? Give it a try – see what you’d look like bald. You might just love it. We know we do.