5 Early Signs of Balding!
written by Matt Dominance
- What are the 5 early signs of genetic hair loss?
Balding Sign 1 - Check Your Daily Hair Shedding Rate
Excessive amount of hair lost on your pillow after you wake up/in your shower could be a sign of shortened hair follicle growth cycle.
Normally, we tend to lose 50-100 hairs per day as a result of natural replacement of the old hair with the new hair.
Telogen Effluvium together with Androgenetic alopecia are the most frequent hair loss conditions men experience. Both of them shorten the anagen phase (growth phase) of the hair follicle. Additionally, Androgenetic alopecia also progressively miniaturizes the hair follicle over time.
Hair shedding doesn´t mean permanent hair loss yet!
In order to monitor your hair shedding properly, make sure you always check your pillow and shower drain. Then compare the amount of hairs shed with the natural daily hair replacement rate – 50 – 100 hairs.
Using dark colored pillow if you have blonde hair or white pillow if you have dark hair can be the counting easier.
Balding Sign 2 - Check Your Balding Relatives
Balding family members can potentially tell you more about the severity of your current hair loss condition.
By looking at the hair of your dad, uncles, and grandpas you can get a better understanding of what to expect.
Do they have signs of balding? How does their hairline look? Is it dense or thinned out? Can you see any hair loss forming shape on their hairline or crown of the head?
Any thinned out areas or patchy spots on their scalp could suggest an underlying Androgenetic alopecia condition.
Make sure you also try to classify each of them on a Norwood scale. If you don´t know how this scalp works, look it up online and do the assessment on your relatives.
To put it simple, Norwood scale starts with NW1 (no balding), NW2 (first signs of receding hairline) and end with a NW7 stage – hair only left on sides and back of the scalp, like Dr. Phil has.
Balding Sign 3 - Itchy and flaky scalp
Itchiness and flaky scalp are signs of skin inflammation which can lead to additional hair loss until the inflammation is resolved.
Perifollicular inflammation – for example, can be easily spot around the hair follicle during scalp examination with a trichoscope.
Balding Sign 4 - Your hair takes longer to grow
Anagen phase is normally 2-7 years long. During this phase, hair follicle grows longer and longer.
A healthy hair follicle shouldn’t normally fall out sooner than that (unless it’s affected by progressive miniaturization – Androgenetic alopecia or suffers a sudden shock).
Individuals with genetic predisposition to balding have increased percentage of hair follicles, which suffer from shortened anagen phase.
This leads to having less hair actively growing on the scalp at any given time.
Telogen phase is normally 3 months long and during this time the hair follicle falls out and remains inactive.
This phase belongs to a natural process of replacing the old hair with the new hair.
Normally, the hair follicle switches from the telogen phase right back into the anagen phase, but there are cases when it doesn´t happen automatically.
In some cases the hair follicle can get “stuck” in the Kenogen phase which acts as a transition between the growing (anagen) and resting (telogen) phase.
Individuals with androgenetic alopecia condition can also suffer with prolonged kenogen phase and thus experience slow hair growth.
Balding Sign 5 - Hair becomes harder to style
Having trouble styling your hair can also mean that your hair may be naturally thin or it’s way too thick so no products can successfully hold it in place. It should only worry you if you used to style your hair without issues and now – because of hair thinning you can´t do so as effortlessly anymore.
The miniaturized hair will be thinner and softer and it won’t be able to sustain the same volume anymore. Using the same amount of hair products on it will make it look over-processed or over-styled.
Thinning hair is also more likely to fall out when people try to spike it up with hair styling paste or gel.
Hair thinning on the hairline or vertex exposes the scalp and that´s why many men decide to use hair fibers or concealers.