Hair loss in men

Hair loss in men

It starts with a receding hairline; the forehead gets higher, and the hair on the back of the head gets thinner and thinner. Every second, a man suffers from more or less severe hair loss (alopecia). In addition to an unmistakable range of promising but mostly ineffective remedies, there are now also therapeutic approaches that promise success. What causes hair loss in men, and what to do if the hair falls out?

Hair loss in the hair growth cycle

Hair is not a lifelong companion; it only belongs to the hairstyle for about two to six years. It is constantly growing (1st phase) and visibly increasing during this time. And suddenly: stop (2nd phase). After this strenuous growth phase, the hair allows two to four months of rest and then falls out (phase 3). In this natural way, you lose 80 to 100 hairs a day.

A new hair forms in the same hair root and pushes through the scalp. But what if this natural hair cycle is disturbed and the hair becomes thinner and less?

This can manifest itself in various forms:

  • as hereditary hair loss
  • as diffuse hair loss
  • as circular hair loss


Hereditary hair loss

If the hair is thinning, especially on the forehead or on the crown of the head, this is a matter of disposition; the parents practically put the tendency to hair loss into the cradle of those affected. The male sex hormones (androgens) are crucial in male hair loss.

It is now known that hereditary hair loss is caused by an inherited sensitivity of the hair roots in some regions of the scalp to a testosterone breakdown product (dihydrotestosterone). Modern therapeutic approaches build on this, for example, the active ingredient alfatradiol, which inhibits the breakdown of testosterone on the scalp.

In the case of hereditary hair loss, the hair bulb reacts like a mimosa to the body’s hormones, which control hair growth. In the hair roots of the affected areas, there are many receptors for dihydrotestosterone (which damages hair growth). In addition, the enzyme that converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone is particularly active here.

Both factors lead to hair becoming shorter and thinner. Eventually, only fabulous and short hair will grow. This type of hair loss is called hereditary hair loss, also called hormonal hair loss or alopecia androgenetica. The receding hairline with the receding hairline is typical for men.

Diffuse hair loss

Is the hair loss distributed over the entire scalp and not specifically localized? Then, the medicine speaks of diffuse hair loss or alopecia diffusa. Although the hair bulb is intact, it is not sufficiently supplied with nutrients such as amino acids (e.g. cystine) and vitamins from the B group via the bloodstream.

This has consequences: the hair bulb will eventually stop working. The lifespan of the hair is shortened, and it falls out prematurely. The result is increased hair loss. This requires treatment if more than 100 hairs regularly fall out a day. Over-the-counter medicines are available in pharmacies to combat diffuse hair loss, which supply the hair roots with sulphur-containing amino acids and B vitamins.


Circular hair loss

Another form of hair loss is circular hair loss, also known as alopecia areata. This particular form of hair loss is characterized by circumscribed, sharply defined bald spots of different sizes. Alopecia areata is an inflammatory, mostly reversible hair loss.

The cause is unknown. Immunological processes (affecting the body’s defence mechanism) probably play a role in developing the disease. Hereditary factors are also crucial since the disease runs in about 25 per cent of families.

The therapy of circular hair loss belongs in the hands of a doctor. When choosing a doctor, ensure they have experience treating alopecia areata.

Numbers all about hair

  • Number of hairs on the head: approx. 100,000
  • monthly hair growth: 1 centimetre
  • total daily hair production: 30 meters
  • Hair life: two to six years
  • hair falling out daily: 80 to 100

Did you know that:

  • Men’s hair grows faster than women’s hair
  • hair grows faster in warm weather
  • Hair grows more slowly with age
  • cutting or shaving does not affect hair growth
  • Men’s hair is thicker than women’s hair
  • Hair colour and hair count decrease with age


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