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Why are so many young men losing their hair?
It is estimated that around a quarter of men are showing signs of balding in their 20s. By the time they reach the age of 50, that figure rises to 85% of men. The main cause of hair loss in men is male pattern baldness / androgenetic alopecia. Dermatologists have been reported to say that they are seeing increasing numbers of younger men coming to see them and that they believe this is down to men becoming more self-conscious about their appearance and treatments like hair transplants are becoming less of a taboo topic. Androgenic alopecia is caused by androgens which are the male sex hormones such as testosterone. During puberty, testosterone is converted into another sex hormone known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT) by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. This continues throughout adulthood and it encourages hair growth on the body as it matures. Some men produce more DHT due to genetic factors and this causes miniaturisation in the hair follicles causing hair in the area to be shorter and thinner. Hair from the area is also lost too quickly for the hair growth cycle to effectively replace the follicle which then results in the appearance of a balding scalp. Hair at the front of the scalp and top of the head (crown) is much more sensitive to DHT in comparison to hair at the back of the head which is resistant to it.
A study published by the journal Nutrients suggested that young men who consume sugary drinks 7 times a week are three times more likely to develop male pattern baldness than those who do not consume them at all. Excessive sugar consumption can impair the body’s metabolism which as a result can affect the processes within hair follicles which are required for its repair and growth. Another study carried out in Turkey in 2021 concluded that students with moderate to severe androgenetic alopecia had a higher body mass (BMI) index and waist circumference than those who were only affected mildly. anil
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