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Concerned with possible hair thinning with no alopecia signs - 32 yo male
08-30-2015, 11:24 AM
Post: #1
Concerned with possible hair thinning with no alopecia signs - 32 yo male

I am a 32 year old male and my whole life I've always had really thick hair that grew fairly quickly. About two months ago, after my last haircut, I was gelling my hair and noticed about 6 or 7 loose hairs on my palm. I was pretty freaked out, because I had never noticed that before. I sort of explained it away and then forgot about it.

About 3 weeks went by and my hair didn't feel like it is as long as it normally is that long after a haircut. I had my spouse check for any thin spots and asked what he thought and he thought it was fine. Well, for the past few weeks, I've noticed that every time I shower, I am seeing loose hair on my palms. From the time my hair gets wet to the time that it is dry, I'm noticing that I'm losing maybe 7-12 hairs. It's really freaking me out. I'm not sure if this is normal, if it always happens, and I'm just more sensitive to it. I don't know if this is one of the normal, crappy things that happens as we get older.

My husband has encouraged me to see a doctor, but I'm not sure of whom I would see, what I would say, or if there is anything they could do. It's making me really anxious, so I thought I would come here and see if anyone had any advice or any similar stories or suggestions. I'd really appreciate any feedback. Thanks!

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08-31-2015, 11:48 AM
Post: #2
RE: Concerned with possible hair thinning with no alopecia signs - 32 yo male
Welcome to the forum. I slightly changed your thread title so as to make this thread easier to be seen by others when searching for similar threads in the forum. Your case is an interesting one and I highly doubt that you are balding.

Your account has been upgraded so that you can post pictures. You can either embed them through a free image hosting site or you can upload them straight into your post. The best way to see what's occurring on your scalp is to see a couple of pictures, preferably from the front and the side. Make sure that the frontal hairline is clearly visible and do not use a lot of lighting (just take the picture during the day without any extra lighting as too much lighting can give a false positive).

Hair gel is notorious for getting one's own hand covered in hair strands when styling one's hair. Another notorious men's hair product that does this is a hairstyling pomade. The worst contender though is a men's hair conditioner. I take it that you don't use a hair conditioner since such a product will remove all the shed hair strands off your scalp.

The number of shed hair strands that you're reporting is well within a healthy range. Your scalp sheds around 100 hair strands per day (this number can be higher if you have a high hair density). Not just that but at any given time, you're carrying more than 100 shed hair strands on your scalp if you happen to have hair that is longer than two inches. Shed hair strands will lock into healthy growing hair strands, so any time that you style your hair with a hair gel or run your fingers through your hair with a hair conditioner, you can easily remove ten to twenty hair strands that were shed many days ago and not just during the same day.

You haven't mentioned anything about a receding hairline, so that's good news for you. The main sign of balding for men is a receding hairline that starts with the sides of the forehead's hairline receding past the ears (if seen from the side). Were you to have a receding hairline, you would more than likely have mentioned it in your post. However sometimes a receding hairline can creep out of nowhere without one noticing it until you start to compare pictures from a year ago.

As a visual aid for you, here's the typical progression of a receding hairline in the classic form of male pattern baldness:

[Image: WySY1EY.jpg]

While the pattern of male hair loss described above with the receding hairline is the most common, there does exist another type of male hair loss that is also permanent that doesn't display a receded hairline. This type of hair loss is called diffuse patterned alopecia and has the hair on the top of the head falling and thinning out all across the head while marginally affecting the forehead's hairline. A famous case of diffuse patterned alopecia is the hair loss of Rafa Nadal who started losing his hair about two years ago and which was first spotted by some of the experts in this forum. By 2015 Rafa Nadal has lost a lot of hair even though his frontal hairline remains untouched.

With regards to seeing a professional I suggest that you see a dermatologist or an andrologist. These two types of doctors are the best to visit if you're worried about balding. Skip family doctors as they are usually not very well versed in the range of treatments for male hair loss. If you see a dermatologist or an andrologist and you're confirmed that you have male pattern baldness, you will then be offered either minoxidil or finasteride.

Minoxidil is a fairly benign substance that does not require a prescription and which is among the very few compounds known to treat hair loss in men effectively. You don't need to see a doctor to jump on minoxidil although it is a standard recommendation in this forum to always recommend that you see a doctor if you are having some serious issues with your hair.

You can see this list of hair loss products for men which includes several minoxidil preparations, with the most popular being a product called Rogaine. You will find other minoxidil preparations in that list that are much cheaper and their effectiveness is the same. You use the minoxidil preparation by applying it on your scalp once you've showered and dried your hair and scalp. Minoxidil can take up to six months to deliver results and the end results can vary from simply slowing down any hair loss to actually re-growing some of the lost hair. Minoxidil is the first line of treatment for men who are losing their hair as minoxidil is pretty much harmless and requires no medical monitoring or prescribing whatsoever.

Finasteride is a doctor-prescribed medication that treats male hair loss through another format. Finasteride works on one of your body's hormones known as dihydrotestosterone (also known as DHT) which is responsible (in part) for losing your hair. Since DHT is a sex hormone and is involved in a lot of functions in the body, finasteride can have some serious side effects in some men.

I'm a barber and a good number of my barbershop customers are on finasteride. I would say about 1/10 of them have had some noticeable side effects. The most important thing with finasteride is to get yourself checked by a doctor and keep yourself under medical supervision so that you get some blood panels done every couple of months for the first year. Without a doubt you must see a dermatologist or an andrologist if you want to use finasteride. Do not do like some guys do and get your family doctor to prescribe it or buy the medication without a prescription as you are playing with fire. You really want to have an experienced doctor supervising your treatment if things go bad. Some of the side effects can include impotence and depression, so don't think of finasteride as a kid's medication.

Like I said earlier it would be a good idea if you could post a couple of pictures of your hairline to see what could be occurring on your scalp. It's very difficult to diagnose male pattern baldness with only a few pictures unless the MPB is very clear-cut. There are some hair loss experts in this forum who could give you some extra help and I can help with noticing anything that may seem odd in your case. But if this is truly worrying you, then a visit to a dermatologist or an andrologist is your best bet and by far.
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