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Article: Why is Hair Loss More Common in Men than Women?

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Why is Hair Loss More Common in Men than Women?

Why is Hair Loss More Common in Men than Women?

Have you ever wondered, "Why do men go bald and women don't?". Well, that's not entirely accurate. Nor is it correct to ask, "Why do only men go bald?".


However, "Why is baldness more common in males than females?" or "Why is baldness more common in males? Genetics? Lifestyle? Or something else?" are both valid questions.


This article will examine why men are more likely to deal with baldness than women.


In short, men are more likely to go bald because they produce more testosterone. 10% of testosterone is converted into DHT, which clogs up the hair follicles. 


Why do men produce more testosterone than women?

Generally speaking, men will produce more testosterone than women. A feminine man might be described as having "low testosterone".


But, few of us have ever questioned why men usually have higher levels of testosterone than women?


Testosterone is a sex hormone that increases libido. It's why men are, generally speaking, more sexually minded than women. Evolutionarily, it was beneficial for men to have a high sex drive, as it would enable us to reproduce as much as possible.


Testosterone also contributes to muscle mass, bone density, and overall strength- all traits that would enable us to survive, hunt, and protect when we lived in caves.


Is testosterone the answer to "Why do men lose hair?" Well, that's the short answer.


Dihydrotestosterone: What is DHT?

Despite how much testosterone a man might produce, only 10% of it is usable. 90% of the testosterone produced by the average man just travels in the blood, doing nothing.


All those traits we just described of a high-testosterone man are not caused by testosterone itself but by a chemical called Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT for short.


As the prefix "Dihydro" suggests, DHT is testosterone with two additional hydrogen atoms. An enzyme called "5 alpha-reductase" alters the chemical structure of the hormone to allow this.


Why does DHT cause hair loss?

DHT is why men are more likely to go bald than women. Although it's not unheard of in women, it's far more common in men.


We're sure you know already that hair sits in the follicles. But, sometimes, a man's hair follicles can be filled with DHT. Because the space where hair nutrients should be has DHT instead, the hair will grow to be weaker and thinner.


Eventually, the DHT fills up the follicle, and new hair cannot grow. A new hair follicle is unable to rise to replace it.


Common causes of hair loss

There are several causes of hair loss in men. Below is a list of just some of the reasons. Please note that although some of these may also be causes of hair loss in women, they are far more common in men.


Hereditary. If your dad went bald, and his dad went bald, chances are, you will also go bald.


Age. For reasons we'll go into more detail later, older men are more likely to lose their hair than younger men.


Alopecia. Although alopecia can be a catch-all term for hair loss, some specific types of alopecia are not caused by any other factors on this list.


Cancer treatment. When someone has cancer, they may undergo radiotherapy. A side-effect of this treatment is that hair can fall out.


Illnesses. Various illnesses can have hair loss as a side effect.


Hormonal imbalance. When the balance of hormones in your body is off, it can increase the chances of hair loss.

Hairstyles. Certain types of hairstyles that pull at the scalp can increase the chances of your hair falling out.


Why is hair loss more common in older men?

Although it's clear that men are more likely to go bald than women are, what's not clear yet is why older men are more likely to than younger men.


As with women, it's not unheard of for a young man to lose his hair. But, generally, it's far more common when men reach a certain age.


Every cell in the body started its life as a stem cell. Your stem cells change into whichever kinds of cells the body needs. This is why there is so much money going into "stem cell research".


However, over time, stem cells may develop genetic errors- their DNA is slightly different from how it used to be. More time means more chances for genetic mistakes.


Once they stop producing cells that tell hair to grow, they probably won't make the old "grow the hair" cells ever again.


Types of Alopecia

Alopecia tends to be used as a catch-all term for hair loss. But did you know that there are actually several different types of alopecia?


The type of alopecia you have will impact how your hair falls out, and whether it's all your hair or just the hair on your head.


Male pattern baldness is a common type. It starts on the sides and low back of the hair. With Male pattern baldness, the hairline will recede until bald. This type is usually genetic.


Another common type is Alopecia Areata when the hair goes out in patches.


And finally, at least on this list, we have Alopecia Barbae. This is a form of alopecia caused by the immune system attacking healthy cells.


Why do women sometimes go bald?

Of course, as we've mentioned several times, men are MORE likely to go bald than women. But, sometimes,women go bald too. Why, after all, we've spoken about, do some women go bald?


After menopause, a woman's body produces less oestrogen. This means the balance of oestrogen to testosterone will change. And more testosterone will mean more DHT.


She can also go bald due to diseases or medications, which older people are more likely to be impacted by than younger people.


This is why it's not accurate to ask, "Why do men go bald but women don't?". Sometimes they do, just not as often.


Summary 

And that, gentlemen, is why hair loss is more common in males.


We produce more testosterone than women, and 10% of that is converted into DHT. However, as great as DHT can be for us, it can also fill up our hair follicles and prevent hair from growing.

As you get older, the chances of hair loss increase.


Hopefully, now, you have a slightly better idea of why you see more bald men than bald women.

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