Bald­ness – ex­posed

It’s no laugh­ing mat­ter when you start los­ing your crown­ing glory. With more than 25% of the male pop­u­la­tion los­ing their hair by the time they hit 30, male bald­ness is a per­va­sive prob­lem. We ex­plore the truth, myths and reme­dies for it

Destiny Man - - GROOMING -

Most men are afraid of com­mit­ment, but los­ing their hair is right up there on the list too. And, just as they do to avoid com­mit­ment, guys come up with many ex­cuses to hide it – ugly comb-overs, toupees, herbal creams that don’t work, ex­pen­sive hair re­place­ment grafts and more. But un­til they ac­cept that male alope­cia is some­thing they have to live with, run­ning away from the sit­u­a­tion will only make it more ob­vi­ous. Rather em­brace the sit­u­a­tion grace­fully.

HAIR TO­DAY, GONE TO­MOR­ROW

With hair be­ing a sym­bol of viril­ity and mas­culin­ity, los­ing it can be a trau­ma­tis­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, es­pe­cially if it hap­pens at a young age when you’re at the height of van­ity. It’s cold com­fort but an es­ti­mated 40% of South African men be­tween 20 and 65 years have male pat­tern bald­ness.

The naked truth is, when it comes to head hair, most peo­ple would do any­thing to keep it thick and full. Bald­ness has al­ways been as­so­ci­ated with old men, age­ing, eu­nuchs and monks – un­de­sir­able cat­e­gories to most peo­ple.

But the tide is slowly chang­ing thanks to the hunky ap­peal of many clean-shaven chiskop celebri­ties. Many women ac­tu­ally find shaven heads sexy (think Taye Diggs, Com­mon, Zi­dane, Vin Diesel, The Rock and even David Beck­ham, at one point).

But there are sev­eral fac­tors that cause hair loss – both hor­monal and ge­netic.

Want to know if you’ll lose your hair at some point? Just take a look at your mother’s fa­ther or even your own fa­ther. An­other fac­tor that plays a large part in male bald­ness is the very same hor­mone that de­ter­mines a man’s mas­culin­ity – testos­terone, specif­i­cally the hor­mone DHT, which causes men with high lev­els of it to lose their hair at a higher rate. Other fac­tors in­clude stress, trauma, ma­jor surgery, cer­tain ill­nesses and pulling your hair with ex­ces­sive force.

By the time they’re 30, 25% of men will be­gin to lose their hair. The most com­mon form of bald­ness is a pro­gres­sive hairthin­ning con­di­tion known as male pat­tern bald­ness. In this sit­u­a­tion, hair re­cedes from the sides of the fore­head (com­monly known as a re­ced­ing hair­line). Other forms in­clude trac­tion alope­cia (of­ten found in peo­ple with too-tight pony­tails or dread­locks) and spot bald­ness (los­ing hair in a par­tic­u­lar spot). At 60, most men will see more of their scalp than they ever wanted to.

THE BARE FACTS

Los­ing hair may be a phys­i­cal dilemma, but the im­pli­ca­tions are psy­cho­log­i­cal. Among younger men, es­pe­cially, this is a big is­sue. Many men be­come de­pressed and lose their self­con­fi­dence at the same rate that they’re los­ing their hair. They as­so­ciate bald­ing with the loss of their mas­culin­ity – and since most guys don’t talk to their friends or fam­ily about a prob­lem like this, they end up feel­ing help­less.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though. You can con­ceal your bald­ness – from the cheesy comb-over (although we don’t rec­om­mend it) to ex­pen­sive hair trans­plants (that can go wrong, if per­formed by some­one who isn’t pro­fes­sional). There are also nu­mer­ous prod­ucts promis­ing to re­store hair growth, but the sad truth is that most of these are use­less.

Per­haps the eas­i­est so­lu­tion to male bald­ness is to learn to live with it and un­der­stand that it’s not the end of the world – or your mas­culin­ity. Women will still be drawn to you, hair or no hair, the sit­u­a­tion isn’t as bleak as you think.

So em­brace your bald­ness and make it your crown­ing glory in­stead!

“The eas­i­est so­lu­tion to male bald­ness is to learn to live with it and un­der­stand that it’s not the end of the world – or your mas­culin­ity.”

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