The Real Reason Men Go Bald

Balding is a big topic — especially among men. Hair loss can happen at any age, and sometimes earlier for others, but what exactly is the reason for balding?

First off, you're definitely not alone if you're experiencing balding. "Half of the men in the world experience hair loss by age 50. About 70% of men will lose hair as they get older. And 25% of bald men see first signs of hair loss before age 21," the Cleveland Clinic reported. These statistics follow the research, with male pattern baldness resulting from the hormonal changes men undergo in adulthood, along with the genetic influence of more than one gene (via LiveScience).

Scientifically known as androgenetic alopecia, male pattern baldness deals with the genetic sensitivity to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), according to Healthline. Over time, DHT causes some hair follicles on the scalp to shrink, being replaced by shorter and thinner hairs. This predictable pattern is when the hair starts to thin at the temples and crown of the head, pushing the front hairline further back from the forehead.

Other reasons you may be losing your hair

As stated above, male pattern baldness is typically caused by a genetic inherited trait and its interaction with endocrine factors, meaning if your dad or uncle are bald, odds are you will experience it as well, according to Cleveland Clinic.

While 95% of male hair loss is caused by androgenetic alopecia (via the American Hair Loss Association), there are other possibilities. Such conditions include alopecia areata (when your body attacks healthy hair follicles) telogen effluvium (when a stressful event causes hair shedding), or an iron or protein deficiency, according to Healthline.

There are ways to slow down — but not fully prevent — baldness. Medications like Rogaine or Propecia are both popular options, and others like hair transplant surgery and laser treatments are also available. Be sure to consult with your doctor or dermatologist to find the best treatment option for you.