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Thinning up top? Why so many young men experience balding – ABC News

Ajay Williams
Plenty of women are attracted to bald men like Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson.
Source: Getty Images
Salvatore realised at a young age that he was different from other blokes at his high school.
“Literally, in my whole group of high school students, not one of them looked like they’d go bald. I was the only one,” Salvatore told Hack.
It hit his confidence hard.
"I did worry. At one stage I will have to cut all this hair off and I won’t be able to have fun with it."
“But yeah, it didn’t actually sink into me that I was gonna lose it all one day,” Salvatore said.
Although we associate hair loss with getting older, it’s actually super common for young men in their 20s. And that’s really scary for a lot of young men who are facing decades of toupees or comb-overs.
Professor Rodney Sinclair from the University Of Melbourne is an expert in dermatology, and he reckons signs of hair loss can start super young.
“We did a study…. where we try to calculate how much hair loss there is in the Australian population. And what we found was that it’s about 20 per cent of men in their 20s start to go bald,” Professor Sinclair told Hack.
Hair loss can range from mild thinning of the hair to total baldness.
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Experts like Professor Sinclair reckon there are a range of reasons why someone goes bald, but the biggest factor is genetics.
“Overwhelmingly, whether or not you go bald is going to be determined by your genes,” he said.
“For young men in particular, the most common cause of hair loss is genetic. It’s what we call androgenetic hair loss.”.
Those genes come from your mum’s side of the family.
So if you’re wondering whether or not you are going to go bald, go have a look at your mother’s father or mother’s brother.
But Professor Sinclair said other factors can play into how much hair you lose.
“There’s probably a little bit of modification from how much hormone you produce [through] dietary or lifestyle factors.”
If you’re starting to thin on top, don’t stress. There are ways to prevent or slow down hair loss.
Professor Sinclair said some over-the-counter treatments work really well.
“The treatments that are widely available are things like Regain, anyone can just walk into the pharmacy, and they can buy some Regain solution.”
"For about 30 per cent of people who use it, it will be pretty effective."
The drug Finasteride is another highly effective treatment at putting a handbrake on the hair loss process.
“If you’re trying to prevent hair loss… you can go to your GP and you can get a prescription for Finasteride,” Professor Sinclair said.
But make sure you talk it through properly with your GP, because it comes with some pretty serious side-effects.
“The downside with Finasteride is that it can actually have some bad effects on sexual function.”
If you’re starting to lose hair and still not too sure about it, think of Hollywood stars like Jason Statham, Vin Diesel and even Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Some of the sexiest people in the world are bald.
Caley has been with her bald partner for almost ten years, and you’re damn right she put a ring on it.
“Caelum is a very attractive guy. He’s got a bit of a Kelly Slater look going on. He likes to hear that from a few people,” Caley told Hack.
More and more men are starting to embrace their baldness because it’s more socially acceptable, too.
Source: Malcolm Lightbody, Unsplash
About one in five men start to lose their hair in their 20s, according to an expert.
Source: Malcolm Lightbody, Unsplash
“If you just go based on stigmas, and you might miss out on someone pretty awesome. [A bald man is] much cooler than someone with no personality and a great head of hair that’s probably going to go eventually,” Caley said.
Salvatore was pretty scared about balding at first, but he’s embraced his new look.
“I would not want that time in my life back. I’m happy and shaving my head every three to four days. I put a bit of moisturiser on it, seriously. I look pretty.”


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