In 90% of cases, though, male hair loss is caused by MPB (also known as androgenic alopecia). This is a result of your hormones and genes – and your follicles’ sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT is a male hormone that gives your male characteristics when young, but it impacts hair growth as you age.
DHT binds to hair follicles on your scalp, and causes them to shrink, weaken, and stop producing healthy hair. It also affects your hair growth cycle, meaning that your follicles are in their resting phase for longer and stay in the growth phase (or anagen phase) for a shorter time. MPB is treatable and even reversible.
There are other reasons why you can lose your hair – and, unfortunately, not all of them are treatable. Alopecia areata is one possibility, caused by autoimmune disease, in which hair falls out in clumps. Another cause is traction alopecia, where hair falls out due to tension at the root. This is usually the result of wearing a tight-fitting helmet for too long, or wearing hairstyles such as braids, cornrows, or hairpieces too tightly. It’s usually accompanied by itchiness and redness on the scalp.
Trichotillomania, or obsessive hair pulling, is another of the types of hair loss, caused by physically pulling out hair from the scalp or eyebrows. Meanwhile, telogen effluvium is the name of hair loss caused by stress. Other medical conditions and treatments – including fungal infection and chemotherapy – can also cause hair loss. Consult your GP or a dermatologist before treatment.