*This male pattern baldness post is a collaboration

Hair loss can be a hugely debilitating experience for men – and women – to go through. It can happen at various times in our lives due to stress or health reasons such weight loss or iron deficiency. But when it comes to male pattern baldness – it's a hereditary condition that affects men  from as early as their 20's. It can affect over half of men to varying degrees, with some losing patches of hair and others ending up bald.

It's recommended that you visit your GP if you suffer from hair loss to get professional advice regarding treatment. Certain products are not suitable for women, so it's important to make sure you are getting the correct treatment. Often those suffering from hair loss will eventually see the hair grow back. But with male pattern baldness this is not the case and men suffering from hair loss for this reason may wish to seek stronger treatment.

What is male pattern baldness?

Caused by a hereditary trait, it causes up to 95% of male baldness. It is believed to occur because of an excess of a male hormone that affects sensitive hair follicles. You can see the effects move from follicle to follicle which is what causes the "zone" effect where men may experience patches of baldness. This is clearest in those who suffer with a receding hairline or thinning around the crown.

It is a completely natural part of ageing and will not affect your overall health. However, it can affect the mental and emotional health of sufferers who may lose confidence or feel embarrassed at the loss.

How can you combat male pattern baldness?

Taking medication to slow/stop the loss

There are two types of medication available for those suffering with male pattern baldness – Finasteride and Minoxidil. Finasteride is effective in 90% of men suffering with baldness. It is a treatment that is only suitable for men, and requires one pill daily for 3-6 months in order to see the full effect of the treatment. The product is a non-branded version of Propecia which means it is available to buy online with a prescription for less than 30% of the cost of the branded product which makes it more accessible for customers. The product can cause some side effects such as erectile dysfunction and reduced libido during the course, but this should stop once you stop taking the product. Always check the full list of potential side effects before taking medication, and see your GP if you suffer with any.

Getting a hair transplant

These are becoming ever-more popular and accessible and I actually know a few men who have had this procedure. For those who suffer baldness or hair thinning early in life, it can be a great way to boost confidence and that youthful look. It can be an expensive procedure, and I'm told it is painful and takes up to six months for the hair to grow in. But if it gives you that much-needed confidence boost then it is worth every penny.

Tattooing to give the illusion of more hair

More men are turning towards this option as having shading tattooed on your head can help to give the illusion of a fuller head of hair. Whilst you won't have the volume, it can mimic the look of a buzz-cut or shaved style. While an uncomfortable procedure, it doesn't leave any scarring. But it can be expensive at £3,000+.

Go natural to slow hair loss

There are many methods you can try to slow hair loss without resorting to more drastic measures. These could include washing hair with warm water and not using hot water on the scalp, also drying gently to protect the hair. It's also important to get eight hours of sleep as this is when growth hormones levels are at their highest.

Styling your hair loss

If you don't want to take drastic steps to deal with your male pattern baldness, perhaps the best option for you is to embrace the bald life and to make it part of your look. After all - there are so many celebrities who rock the hairless look! Check out Samuel L Jackson, Bruce Willis, and Jude Law for inspo.

Do you suffer from male pattern baldness? What has helped you?

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