More than 70% of men worry about losing their hair, according to a recent survey.
It's not surprising that it is a such a worry because a full head of hair impacts positively on a man's self-confidence, love life and even his career prospects.
Male pattern baldness is a hereditary condition that is responsible for 95% of hair loss in men. It affects around half of men by the time they hit 50, and 40% of men will have experienced some hair loss by the age of 35.
Some men's hair will begin to disappear at the crown - for others, it goes at the front where it is more noticeable. Lots of men - think Prince William - lose it fast in both places.
If you fall into any of these camps, blame your parents - and forget the myth that the baldness gene is only on the mother's side. It runs through both sides of the family. Just look at the royals where Prince Philip (grandfather), Prince Charles (father) and Prince William (son) all suffer from male pattern baldness.
1 Get a hair transplant
This is the only long-term permanent solution. Men have two options - either a FUE (follicular unit extraction) procedure or the more traditional FUT (follicular unit transplantation) method, also known as strip surgery.
What is the difference?
FUE is the more modern technique, favoured by 80% of men who come to Crown Clinic for a hair transplant with our surgeon Asim Shahmalak. Donor hair for the transplant is obtained by removing grafts one-by-one from the back and sides of the scalp. FUE is more expensive than FUT because it is more labour intensive in obtaining the donor hair. The advantage over FUE is the scarring is minimal - patients get a few red pin pricks from the harvesting which disappear after a few days. The donor hair is then replanted in the balding areas of the scalp by Mr Shahmalak. The skill of the surgeon is crucial at this stage - how the hair is replanted ensures patients get a natural looking transplant. Crown Clinic FUE patients include model Calum Best, Martin Roberts from Homes Under The Hammer, Chris Steed from Gogglebox and football pundit Didi Hamann.
FUT is the more traditional method of transplantation. A strip of skin is surgically removed from the back or sides of the scalp and the donor grafts are extracted from this strap by technicians.The donor hair is replanted by the surgeon in the same way as FUE. Around 20% of patients at Crown Clinic still opt for FUT. TV doctor Christian Jessen has had two FUT transplants with Dr Shahmalak.
2 Clinically proven hair loss drugs
Patients can slow down or halt their hair loss by taking clinically proven hair loss drugs such as Finasteride, also known as Propecia. Dr Shahmalak prescribes these drugs to some patients and they are available from Crown Clinic. Often we use these drugs in conjunction with a hair transplant. Hair loss is a continual process so it is good to limit the further of loss of natural hair with drug treatments while filling in the balding areas with a transplant. Another clinically proven hair loss treatment is Minoxidil, also known as Regaine, which is sometimes applied as a mousse - you run through the hair like hair gel.
None of these treatments will grow any new hair for the patient. But they will help to prevent patients from losing any more of their natural hair.
3 Scalp Micropigmentation
This is a new treatment being offered at Crown Clinic where a patient can give the impression of having a fuller head of hair with hair tattooing on their scalp. it is an instantly effective, non-surgical hair loss solution which involves a detailed tattooing process. It suits men who like to wear their hair short or shaved.
4 Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy
This is another new treatment we have introduced at Crown Clinic.It is a simple, non-surgical procedure where a patient's own Platelet Rich Plasma from their blood is injected into the scalp to stimulate hair growth and provide fuller and healthier looking hair. The procedure takes approximately 60 minutes and provides reliable results with a very quick recovery period.
5 Stop smoking
There are lifestyle changes you can make to keep hold of more of your natural hair. A study by the National Taiwan University revealed that smoking hastens hair loss in men. Researchers discovered that men who smoke more than 20 cigarettes a day are more than twice as likely to have moderate or severe hair loss than men who have never smoked or have quit. Smoking may damage the blood vessels at the base of hair follicles, effectively starving your hair of nutrients.