“I started losing my hair around 19. I clung to what little hair I had left for a while.”
“I was dying a little every day looking in the mirror.”
“Why would anyone want to be with someone that can't even keep their hair?”
These are just some of the feelings expressed by men on Reddit who are struggling to cope with premature baldness.
Another Redditor mentions how his premature baldness has taken a toll on his mental health, because of being considered ‘unattractive,’ in a country with an already skewed gender ratio.
"Going bald young is psychologically exhausting. No amount of validation seems to do it for me. Sometimes I go read old threads on askwomen that I’ve already read 10 times and get reminded that the general opinion is that being bald is unattractive, especially for young women... All of this combined with cultural stigma in my country ... with a very skewed gender ratio means any prospect of relations or even platonic girlfriend seems hopeless to me." - A Redditor
Premature balding has long affected men. But studies show Indian men are now being confronted by baldness as early as their 20s.
For a problem that affects so many men, cinema has often refrained from tackling it. Seldom does one see a balding hero romancing an actress!
All that may change, with Ayushman Khurana’s satirical black comedy Bala, which deals with the issue of premature balding.
But what exactly is premature balding, and how does it happen? FIT explains.
Premature balding is technically called androgenic alopecia, and usually leaves one with a receding hairline and gradual disappearance of hair from the crown and frontal scalp.
- Having a family history of baldness is a major cause of premature balding. According to WebMD, up to 95% of men with thinning hair can blame it safely on their genes. Because how sensitive your hair is to a hormone called DHT - which causes the thinning - is dependent on genetics.
- Stress and pollution.
- Balding can also be the side effect of certain medications.
- Lack of nutrients like protein or excess of Vitamin A, both can contribute to premature balding.
- Steroids used for building muscle can also have hair loss as a side effect.
- A global study examining the genetic material of more than 20,000 men conducted by the University of Bonn, has found that men of shorter stature may also have an increased risk of becoming bald prematurely.
Is there a Cure?
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for male-pattern baldness. However, some medications like Minoxidil can help in slowing the hair fall. Some men also opt to go for hair transplants.
Thinning Of Hope? No Way!
Prince William doesn’t mind being the butt of the Royal ‘heir’ jokes and instead of getting a hair transplant, has rather embraced the Windsor family’s inclination for male pattern baldness.
Similarly, Ben Kingsley and Jason Alexander have made great careers in the glamour world, despite their baldness.
But the most dramatic story remains of Patrick Stewart. He started losing his hair at 19, but when a friend’s husband burned his toupee, he embraced his hair and became a cinema legend WITH his balding head!
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