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Non-male pattern balding? Losing hair but unsure about reason
10-10-2016, 03:49 PM (This post was last modified: 10-10-2016 03:53 PM by AntonD.)
Post: #1
Non-male pattern balding? Losing hair but unsure about reason
Is there such a thing as this? I've noticed I've been losing some hair gradually over the last few years, and I'm 28 now. The thing is, it's not the typical pattern males have at all. There's no horseshoe or V shape at all, and my hairline itself hasn't receded a bit, still being as low as it always was, and it generally looks good overall. It's just a sort of consistent loss all over.

My hair seems to have just become... sparser overall, and at a closer look I can see more space or gap between individual hairs than I used to have (I already have thick hair that was kind of widely spaced apart to begin with, with probably less follicles than some, but since it was so thick and rich it was okay and made up for it). There isn't any one area in particular that is affected more. Well, the top in general is where it's getting sparser, and due to the way I style my hair, it becomes more noticeable at the part and cowlick. The sides and back haven't been affected yet.

At first I thought I was imagining it, but now it even feels less full on the top of my head when running my hand through it. Interestingly, my actual individual hairs themselves haven't gotten any thinner. I wonder if this is linked to friction in any way, since I notice it most after showering and shampooing and drying my hair with a towel. I can actually feel myself pulling some hairs out as I run my hand through my hair sometimes. And I also tend to just rub and scratch my scalp a lot, not for any real reason or anything, like an itch, but just as a habit or tic.

Anyway, it's not really that bad, and (at least for now) hard to notice unless you really get up close and look for it, and if I style it the right way, it's fine. If there is a gap I can easily use that dark brown spray stuff to cover it up. But what I'm more worried about is the implications down the road, and if this will continue and get worse.

What's bewildering is no one else in my family has hair loss except a distant great uncle who was fat and had diabetes, and even he had when older. My dad is 72 now and even after undergoing chemo and losing a lot of hair, it still grew back and he has most of it, and with color. My maternal grandfather still had a full head of hair at his death at age 84, and it was still grey. Both of them were lifelong smokers. I'll admit I smoke occasionally but mostly just weed like once a week or so. Every now and then I'll have a cigarette when drinking socially or a cigarillo or cigar or hookah, or use a vape. But I don't think that should have that big of an impact on me. Could it be stress? I'll admit I've undergone a very large amount of stress over the last few years, and my sleeping habits haven't been great either. But could this really be responsible for it, and if so, is it reversible? I tried using rogaine on a patch that was showing a bit more near the part twice a day for a month and didn't see any change.

So has anyone else had experience with or heard of this kind of thing?
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10-11-2016, 08:35 AM
Post: #2
Diffuse patterned alopecia could be a reason for your progressive hair loss.
The best thing that you can do is post a picture of your scalp so that we can see what's going on there. Try to get a picture from the front, from the top (i.e. showing all of your scalp atop your head) and from the sides.

What I'm seeing from your description is that you may be losing hair due to a condition called telogen effluvium (caused by stress, among other factors) or you're suffering from diffuse patterned alopecia. Let's start with the first possible reason for your hair loss.

Hair loss from stress is generalized all over the scalp and includes the hair on the sides and back of the head. Are you losing your hair all across the scalp, including the sides and back of your head? Or are you losing your hair only across the top of your head?

It's important to highlight that you need to be under a hefty amount of chronic stress to start losing hair. Your body is capable of taking plenty of stress without a hint of trouble. Signs of high chronic stress include inability to sleep, inability to eat and/or uninterested in eating, constant anxiety, loss of muscle mass and dull-looking skin. This signs need to be occurring for more than six months before considering that a person may be under (too much) high chronic stress. Simply failing an exam, for example, isn't going to cause high chronic stress; you need to go through a lot to cause a high-chronic-stress scenario in your body. The death of a loved one, on the other hand, can cause high chronic stress.

Diffuse patterned alopecia is a rare form of androgenetic alopecia. Essentially, most men endure male pattern baldness, but a small number of men will endure diffuse patterned alopecia. The difference? Diffuse patterned (or un-patterned) alopecia occurs all across the top of the head without causing a receding hairline (unlike male pattern baldness). The problem? Diffuse patterned alopecia is irreversible and progressive; it's a different form of balding but it is caused by the same reasons that male pattern baldness is caused. It's irreversible and there's no cure to it.

This is how diffuse patterned alopecia looks like:

[Image: 89DEnGq.jpg]

This is how male pattern baldness looks like. Notice how with male pattern baldness, a male's hairline recedes in the early stages; the hairline in diffuse patterned alopecia does not recede.

[Image: WySY1EY.jpg]

A clear example of diffuse patterned alopecia is tennis player Rafa Nadal who has been losing his hair for years and his hair loss exemplifies the localized balding that occurs with diffuse pattern alopecia.

[Image: DB8f7ca.jpg]

[Image: qb7VP7Q.jpg]

Are the sides and back of your head also showing signs of hair loss? Or is it only localized across the top of your head? And have you been going though a lot of stress daily for the last six months? The answers to these two questions plus some pictures of your scalp will help to to see what is going on with your current hair loss.

I'm one of the admins of this forum. Any questions/issue? Contact me directly or any of the moderators. We welcome any feedback to improve our community.

You can also check out our forum's BEST HAIR PRODUCTS FOR MEN thread to read opinions and useful information on men's hair products.
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10-11-2016, 05:49 PM (This post was last modified: 10-11-2016 05:52 PM by AntonD.)
Post: #3
RE: Non-male pattern balding? Losing hair but unsure about reason
Sigh, after reading that, I was hoping it may be telogen effluvium, but as I looked at the pictures and description, I'm starting to lean more towards the diffuse pattern alopecia. Since, as I mentioned in my original post, the top is the part getting affected and not the sides and back.

My stress has been pretty bad, but maybe not consistently terrible to the point where I just can't eat on repeated occasions. I'll admit I have lost my appetite at times, but I can usually find room to eat at some point in the day. A lot of it has had to do with relationship issues but also job/career pressures. And in the last year my dad's been undergoing cancer treatment, but I try not to dwell on it too much. Some days its more acute but I'd describe it more as a long-term kind of stress.

As for a picture, at the moment I can't really find a good angle to take it that actually demonstrates any hair loss. It looks quite full and normal now, as it's longer, and I usually use a product that enhances the look. But when its cut very short on top, and especially if it's gelled in a certain way, the spaces between hairs begin to show more. I'm nowhere near the level of Nadal, but I unfortunately could see myself potentially looking like that maybe 10 years down the road or so if this trend continues. It's just weird since I don't know anyone else in my family who has this issue.

I've also noticed that the type of diffuse hair less you're talking about, while rather rare, tends to happen more often to people of Asian or occasionally Hispanic descent (I noticed the diagram/drawing you used seems to have that too). I'm actually pretty much completely European, but my hair sometimes superficially resembles the straight, thick Asian kind, especially when short. So is it just that certain types of hair are just more susceptible to this?

Also, you said there's no cure... so not even things like Rogaine would help?
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10-15-2016, 10:21 AM
Post: #4
Minoxidil is a great compound to treat male pattern baldness with a safe record.
Male pattern baldness has nothing to do with hair types nor does it have anything to do with a male's natural hair thickness or density. However, men beyond the age of 30 years who maintain a rounded juvenile have a high probability of not going bald and keeping their hair well into their nineties. Aside from that, male pattern baldness doesn't discern hair types or race.

Now that you mention your source of stress, it is plausible that the stress you've been under has led you to losing some hair. I have been on the same front as you and I can absolutely understand your situation. It ain't easy and I wish you and your father the best future possible. As I've said, it is plausible that your situation may have contributed to reversible hair loss, but a dermatologist is the best person to make a full diagnosis, especially if you cannot post pictures of your scalp here (we have several doctors and dermatologists on this forum, by the way).

If you still have plenty of hair (more than Rafa Nadal), then you can benefit greatly from minoxidil. Rogaine is a branded product containing minoxidil and we do, in fact, recommend several minoxidil-based brands (including Rogaine) in our hair loss products guide. Rogaine is the most expensive, and the minoxidil-containing alternatives that we recommend in our linked guide do work just as well. Essentially, all that you want is to get the minoxidil into your scalp and follicles; all recommended brands contain minoxidil and they all will work.

With the above said, it's important that you do not get your hopes too high with minoxidil. This is because minoxidil won't make you grow a full head of hair as you had, say, in your teens. Minoxidil is specially good at halting or slowing down the hair-loss and hair-thinning process in the vertex area (the back of the head's top, also known as the crown).

Minoxidil can even regrow some hair, but this will depend on how your follicles react to minoxidil: some men experience minor results will some other men will experience regrowth that will be very substantial. The one thing that we know (as in, the scientific community) is that minoxidil is a clinically-proven hair-loss product and that it needs time for the compound to yield beneficial results. This is why we always recommend that you buy at least a four-month supply of Rogaine or of other minoxidil-based products, as minoxidil can take four to six months to start yielding visual results.

Minoxidil-based products are OTC products, so you can always order your supply while waiting to see a dermatologist to fully diagnose your hair loss. Minoxidil can even work on non-MPB hair loss as minoxidil works via the follicle's circulatory system. It won't be very cheap, but it's the best hair-loss compound that you can use and buy right now.

So, to summarize, I recommend that you see dermatologist or andrologist (men's health doctor) and get a diagnosis on your hair loss. If you want to use minoxidil, then go ahead and get a good supply that lasts at least four months (preferably six months!), and take a look at the minoxidil-based products that we recommend on the aforementioned guide that I linked to earlier.

I strongly recommend that you see a dermatologist or andrologist as soon as possible. You want to attack your hair loss as soon as possible. The earlier that you tackle your hair loss, the better the outcome.

Feel free to let us know about what your doctor says, as you may be recommended a medication called finasteride, which is a doctor-prescribed medication that can have some serious side effects. On the other hand, minoxidil has no serious side effects and is a very-safe compound to use so as to tackle one's hair loss.

I'm one of the admins of this forum. Any questions/issue? Contact me directly or any of the moderators. We welcome any feedback to improve our community.

You can also check out our forum's BEST HAIR PRODUCTS FOR MEN thread to read opinions and useful information on men's hair products.
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10-18-2016, 06:28 PM (This post was last modified: 10-18-2016 06:35 PM by AntonD.)
Post: #5
RE: Non-male pattern balding? Losing hair but unsure about reason
Thanks for the advice man, I appreciate it. I will consider seeing a dermatologist when I can, although they can get a bit expensive since cosmetic things like that aren't usually covered by most insurance. The last derm I saw (in regards to acne) was primarily focused on money and seeing as many customers as possible, without really caring much about individual problems and often rushing through things or glossing over and dismissing certain concerns.

I'm thinking stress, along with occasional smoking and poor sleep, may have accelerated the loss, even though it may not be the main or sole contributor. If it is primarily genetic, it must be some latent gene that skipped a few generations. This does suck, since I otherwise happen to be rather decent looking overall. However, I just don't think I'm one of those people who'd look good with a bald head, based on the one time I had my head shaved after losing a bet in college, haha. Oh well.

I guess I'll try to give Minoxidil more of a chance. I must've used it for maybe two months until giving up, and even then I only applied it to the area of hair near the part where potential hair loss may show more due to styling. If you say it does take up to six months to see some results in regrowth or at least halting loss, then I'll give it a shot again. I've actually been using shampoos advertised to thicken hair, but haven't seen improvement with them. Even if the hairs are thick, the problem is they fall out.

Is an eventual hair transplant an option with this type of hair loss as it is with male pattern?

Last time I took the hair loss test thing mentioned in this forum I only got like 3 or 4 hairs after doing the combing, and that was last year. Now I notice around 9 or 10 hairs coming out when doing it. Guess I should start taking this more seriously. It's kind of bizarre and surreal to be honest. I never expected to have this issue in my lifetime. I will take the recommendations into consideration, though.

EDIT- one more quick question, after reading some of the other threads here- I do style my hair quite a lot with pomade or gel or mousse and tend to pull on it and comb it often to get it to stick up the way I want, sometimes roughly (and I only style the hair on the top/crown of my head, not sides and back). Could this be having any effect at all on possible hair loss?
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