Hair loss and why men can’t do much about it

I am a keen observer and one of my recent observations is women losing hair, especially from the front. Men often suffer from male pattern baldness and men you cannot actually do much to reverse it, despite claims made by products and companies to regrow hair, not much can be done. But women losing hair in their 30s is something that made me research the internet spending hours scanning and reading reports and some conclusions I made that make sense, at least to me.

To start with, one of the biggest fears we have as we age is losing hair. ‘Aw snap! Look at my hair brush’, is a common expression we all have very often. Men tend to look at themselves in the mirror and freak out seeing a receding hairline but the fact is that in humans, men tend to lose their hair sooner and more frequently than women. Cashing on these fears, the hair-care industry is booming despite showing any significant results.

Did you know that human body also loses hair but it goes unnoticed. Maybe because the intensity is low and body hair does not appeal to us as hair on scalp does.

History and evolution

Monkeys are our ancestors and all mammals are covered in body hair unlike humans, who aren’t covered in fur for a number of reasons. The primary reason is that hair on our body makes it harder to cool the body. Human ancestors travelled long distances on foot in scorching sun and often needed to cool their bodies but were unable because we had excess body hair, which reduced with time. Sweating is the most effective form to cool down the body and fur present on the skin makes it hard to sweat. Therefore, humans evolved and started losing the fur over the course of generations.

It is not only the human species that lose hair, primates and other mammals also experience thinning of the hair.

Some theories by experts as stated by The Guardian:

In evolutionary terms, when ‘man’ became the hairless ape it coincided with the discovery of fire, which selected the less hairy cavemen as they were less flammable. So, it could be construed that as ‘man’ became older and generally slower in his reactions that his hair disappeared in order to prevent any hirsute horrors. Therefore, balding men have a genetic advantage that may now be redundant. Also, baldness may confer an aerodynamic advantage when swimming, chasing prey or potential mates. –C Jackson, Tseung Kwan O Hong Kong

A well-polished bald male head was often used by tribes of cavemen to blind predators. As a result every cavemen hunting group of 8 had one bald member, and thus thousands of years later 1 in 8 men experience early onset of baldness.

Females, by contrast, rate their hair highly because it is a way of attracting the attention of a potential mate. Therfore, baldness is much rarer in females than in males. It all comes down to how much energy the body is prepared to invest in any particular attribute. You may wish that it would invest more in your hair, but unfortunately the investment decisions were taken millenia ago and programmed into our DNA. All you can do now is grin and bear it. Or wear a wig. – Les Reid, Belfast UK

Apart from these theories, there is one observation that prevails, i.e. Vitamin D deficiency. Lack of Vitamin D leads to hair loss and a majority of us are deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is also vital for prevention of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other conditions.

Due to indoor office jobs and almost no exposure to sun, we are facing acute shortage of the sunshine vitamin. There are other factors like thyroid disorders, medications, stress etc. responsible for hair loss. Lack of iron is another cause that lies undetected as we do not go in for detailed medical tests at regular interval. Lack of iron also leads to dry hair, rough texture and scanty growth of hair.

Next time a hairdresser tries to woo you at a salon, tell him to get the basics right. You can have the hair you had as a child or a teenager with proper nutrition. Go in for shampoos that contain no suplhates, parabens, salts and dyes. And again, this information might be useful for women only and men, please put the blame on your ancestors, who thought hair aren’t important to look good and this fact is so deeply rooted in your DNA that you can’t do much about it except taking it in good stride.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s