For some guys going bald is no big deal. For others, the first sign of thinning hair or a receding hairline can shatter confidence and be a source of constant angst. Hair loss is extremely common and affects up to 30% of men by the age of 30 and 50% of men by the age of 50.
We’re often asked about the impact lifestyle factors have on hair loss.
Food and Alcohol
Fortunately, there is very little evidence that your diet has any effect on hair loss. That’s not to say eating healthily isn’t great for your skin and physique, it’s just not going to really impact the hair on your head.
Excess alcohol consumption, on the other hand, can definitely affect hair growth and hair health. People who drink more than the recommended number of standard drinks a day can suffer macro and micronutrient deficiencies and deranged hormonal profiles. All of this can lead to baldness!
Everyone knows that smoking is terrible for your heart and lungs. But it’s almost just as bad for your skin and hair!
Extensive research has now shown that smoking is directly linked to poor hair health and baldness. Multiple recent studies have shown that men who smoke are twice as likely to be bald and more than four times as likely to have grey hair! Ditching the smokes is definitely a sure-fire way to improve your hair almost immediately.
Hormones and Steroids
Garden variety male pattern baldness is hormonally driven. Lots of people, therefore, ask us if ‘testosterone boosting’ activity might accelerate hair loss. Don’t stress. Pumping weights and having sex will definitely not sufficiently boost testosterone levels to cause accelerated hair loss or balding. Those of you boasting that you’re bald because you ‘have more testosterone’ are unfortunately wrong as well. Sorry guys.
Having said all that, using anabolic steroids and certain peptides will almost certainly contribute to hair loss. Anabolic steroids (used to shred or look buff) are now the most commonly injected illicit drug in Australia.
The risks of recreational anabolic steroid use are frightening. They include early heart disease, malignancy, testicular atrophy and early death. If those aren’t enough to scare you off, they also cause gynecomastia (man boobs) and yes, you guessed it, hair loss!
Washing Your Hair Too Much or Wearing a Hat Causes Baldness
There is absolutely no correlation between washing your hair often or using lots of hair product and going bald. Going bald is not a mechanical process. Going bald is due to a mix of hormonal and genetic factors. Whilst you might notice some hair shedding when you wash your hair, you’re not pulling hair out, it’s shedding by itself.
Lots of guys are now using PrEP (or Truvada) which is an effective, but not foolproof, way of reducing the risk of getting HIV-1 infection. Prep is extremely effective when used together with other safe sex practices and we’re big fans.
Some guys notice some hair loss and thinning after starting PrEP which often poses a dilemma. Many have even considered stopping taking it for this reason. We certainly wouldn’t advise that. Safe and anxiety free sex is way more important than even a full head of hair.
We think PrEP is great and we would never let a bit of hair loss turn you off taking it. If you do experience hair loss after taking it, it’s worthwhile seeking other solutions to help ensure your head of hair stays put.
The bottom line is, going bald is normal. While there is still no cure for baldness, there are a variety of successful hair loss treatment options. You can speak with your local doctor or if you would prefer a discreet and convenient online doctor service, complete a 1-minute guided online medical questionnaire here.
The Hairmop Team