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Assessing Hair Loss [update: see page 2]

BoredomBoredom Registered User
edited November 2006 in Help / Advice Forum
Kind of embarrassing. Seems I care more about my appearance than I thought I did.

I searched on the Internet but it seems a lot of sites copy and paste information from each other, and I couldn't find much reliable and detailed information.

I'm 21. While going down the elevator every day, I notice that there's a seam on the back/top of my scalp and upon further inspection, my hair is thinning there. My hairline is also affected, but only slightly.

As you can imagine, this made me go "ohshi-." The reason I'm posting here is that I've always been told that baldness was determined by the mother's side of the family, and my grandfather on her side had a full head of hair, so I wouldn't have to worry about this. But here I am. My dad is bald and I may end up being so too. Is this normal?


What I wanted to ask was: is there any way to predict if this is just partial thinning or if it will go all the way? Also, my beard pretty much sucks and is still not fully developed; is it possible for me to start balding while this is the case?

One thing I read was that the same hormone responsible for body hair development was the one that caused baldness on the scalp. So, how can this be reconciled with my underdeveloped facial hair?

Also of note: I'm told I've had a 'seam' there my whole life, though it was smaller.

Oh and, I really would not like to have to shave it all. People compliment me on my hair a lot. Any experience with treatments?

Boredom on
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Posts

  • blincolnblincoln Registered User
    edited October 2006
    The "mother's father" thing is a myth. My mother's father also had a full head of hair, and mine started thinning a few years ago.

    I tried Propecia and hated it. I tried Rogaine, and it didn't really work (it *might* have slowed it down a little bit, but I doubt it). I ended up shaving my head. I miss my hair sometimes, but I vastly prefer no hair over thinning hair, especially since when I had it, I dyed it bright colours, and guys with thinning dyed hair look really sad to me.

    Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds
    http://www.thelostworlds.net/
  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Step one: Get a gym membership and start lifting weights.

    Step two: Clip or shave off your hair.

    Step three: Realize that bald, muscular guys pick up loads of ass, because Bruce Willis and shit.

  • Teh ErickaTeh Ericka Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    My brother started having this problem at around 23. He uses a hair thickening shampoo called "Nioxin" that works really well for him... it made a noticeable difference. It's a little bit pricey, but I think the bottle advises you to only use it once or twice a week anyway, so it might end up being fairly economical. You can find it in almost any salon supply store.

  • Sibyl VaneSibyl Vane Registered User
    edited October 2006
    My bro started going gray at 15, and now at 21, is about 80% bald.


    Testosterone, which causes body hair, also causes hair loss. So alot of very hairy guys lose their head hair. Ouch.


    In my family's case, our maternal grandpa was also like 80% bald in his early 20s. My father has a fuller head of hair than my brother. That's not always the case, though.


    My advice, though....if you start going totally bald (there's really no way to tell how much this "thinning" will progress), SHAVE YOUR HEAD. I know you said you didn't want to, but at least a shaved head looks deliberate, not "hay guise look Im goin bald."



    but yeah. alot of guys lose their hair early. don't sweat it too much.

    Umbrella.jpg
  • A-RodA-Rod Registered User
    edited October 2006
    If you are taking a shower and washing your hair, and notice you have quite a bit on your hands after shampooing....its thinning. Been there, done that, enjoy it while you can, then embrace the inevitable....unless you get a hair transplant or something.

  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I lost my hair at starting at 17. Here's my advice

    FOR FUCKS SAKE NEVER DO A COMB OVER!

    Seriously though, The entire top of my head is bald, and the sides are really fluffy and stand out. (Think mad scientist, but with blond hair.) Even though this sounds horrable, I can style it. When I dress up I actually *sculpt* my hair on the sides to look fat bird wings. (Something like this but a little fatter. The tips flare out in the back. It looks pretty cool.)

    Depending, I'll also shave, I was blessed with a head that looks good bald.

    Hal1.jpg

  • BoredomBoredom Registered User
    edited October 2006
    A-Rod wrote:
    If you are taking a shower and washing your hair, and notice you have quite a bit on your hands after shampooing....its thinning. Been there, done that, enjoy it while you can, then embrace the inevitable....unless you get a hair transplant or something.

    This is interesting, because hair never comes out in my hands when I shampoo. I just have a seam on the back of my scalp that appears much larger than I remember it being. I hope I'm just insane and that this is all in my head, no pun intended.

    For reference, this is what I looked like 6 months ago straight out of the shower (crappy webcam with vampiric color quality):
    http://img226.imageshack.us/img226/6163/tempshot0136re2.jpg

    1. I do not look good bald and really do not want to shave my head. Is it a good idea to just wear a hat if I end up bald?

    2. I did not notice the seam when that pic was taken, though my hair was longer. Could this mean that the "seam" is stress-related, or short term? I'm under a lot of stress right now.

    3. Does the fact that there's no hair in my hands after shampooing also suggest that I am not actually going bald?

    4. I'm still wondering about that beard thing. My beard is totally underdeveloped and I think I have a few years to go before it develops fully. Is it possible for me to begin balding while this is the case, knowing that the hormone that gives you facial hair is also what makes you go bald.

    Oh and I'm sorry for the stupid questions, but I can't really go to a doctor for this, considering I've already been laughed out several clinics for what actually turned out to be a serious disease (I hate doctors). It would not go well if I just went there and pointed at the back of my head.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I've heard that Propecia and Rogaine do actually work, at least slowing down/stopping the loss in a majority of cases. However, they are both very expensive.

    I've got a hairline that goes through a period where it recedes about half a centimeter every 2-3 years, and has been doing this since I was about 17. It really sucks.

  • blincolnblincoln Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    I've heard that Propecia and Rogaine do actually work, at least slowing down/stopping the loss in a majority of cases. However, they are both very expensive.

    Rogaine works, but only in something like 30% of cases. The stats are on the box. Propecia works much better, but it also has the potential for nastier side-effects. And yes, they're both stupidly expensive.

    Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds
    http://www.thelostworlds.net/
  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2006
    If you really think you may have stress related hair loss, I'd recommend seeing a dermatologist over it. In my case, I had alopecia areata. Not exactly stress induced, but it does add quite a lot to any stress you may have. Luckily, if you have a mild case there is a treatment. There just isn't a "cure" yet.

  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Note that just because your hair is thinning, it doesn't necessarily mean you will go bald. At least, not immediately (and if you're lucky, not ever). Also note that just because your hair is thin, it doesn't mean you have to shave it all off. The key to getting thin hair to look decent is to keep it short. The longer it is, the more pronounced your thinning becomes. By keeping it nice and short, there is less emphasis on your hair and so the thinning is less noticeable. So before you do anything drastic, just try cutting it really short and see how that works.

  • Food?Food? Registered User
    edited October 2006
    So I have a lot of body hair, but the hair on my head is different than both my mother's and my father's hair (it's a lot like my grandma's, who coincidentally is the only one of my grandparents that didn't bald). My dad was also the only one of his brothers to bald. What are my odds?

    gr_smile2.gif
  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Food? wrote:
    So I have a lot of body hair, but the hair on my head is different than both my mother's and my father's hair (it's a lot like my grandma's, who coincidentally is the only one of my grandparents that didn't bald). My dad was also the only one of his brothers to bald. What are my odds?
    It's really a crapshoot. I mean, there are genetic factors that play a part, but there are many of them, and that along with a large number of non-genetic factors (hormone levels, nutrition, etc) makes it very difficult to make a prediction.

    Until you start seeing your hair thin out, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If it happens it happens, and there really isn't much you can do to stop it, so you might as well worry about other things you actually have some control over.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Big Dookie wrote:
    Food? wrote:
    So I have a lot of body hair, but the hair on my head is different than both my mother's and my father's hair (it's a lot like my grandma's, who coincidentally is the only one of my grandparents that didn't bald). My dad was also the only one of his brothers to bald. What are my odds?
    It's really a crapshoot. I mean, there are genetic factors that play a part, but there are many of them, and that along with a large number of non-genetic factors (hormone levels, nutrition, etc) makes it very difficult to make a prediction.

    Until you start seeing your hair thin out, I wouldn't worry about it too much. If it happens it happens, and there really isn't much you can do to stop it, so you might as well worry about other things you actually have some control over.
    Yeah, I forgot to address this in my last post, but there are different kinds of baldness, all caused by different factors. Genetics is related to it, and it is sex-linked (your mothers genetics do affect it quite a bit), but nothig is set in stone from genetics alone.

  • cheXziecheXzie Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Are you sure youre not talking about a hair part?

    cheXzie_sig_01.jpg
  • PussumPussum Registered User
    edited October 2006
    There is no shame in going bald. It is just a part of life. Don't stress to much over it. Ride it out a bit. You are not going to wake up one day with a pillow covered in hair and your head as bald as a baby's ass. Weigh your options, and most importantly go to a doctor and have him assess the situation. Myself, I suffer from excema and allopecia. The excema makes my scalp itch and because of my allopecia when I itch my scalp my hair starts to fall out. It is just something that I have gotten used to. It is hard, and very painful to deal with at first, but eventually you learn to cope. You will be fine. Just take step back, get your facts straight, and make an educated choice on what you are going to do about the problem.

    venomsigva5.png
  • taerictaeric Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2006
    Pussum wrote:
    There is no shame in going bald. It is just a part of life. Don't stress to much over it. Ride it out a bit. You are not going to wake up one day with a pillow covered in hair and your head as bald as a baby's ass. Weigh your options, and most importantly go to a doctor and have him assess the situation. Myself, I suffer from excema and allopecia. The excema makes my scalp itch and because of my allopecia when I itch my scalp my hair starts to fall out. It is just something that I have gotten used to. It is hard, and very painful to deal with at first, but eventually you learn to cope. You will be fine. Just take step back, get your facts straight, and make an educated choice on what you are going to do about the problem.

    As funny as it is to talk about "waking up missing all of your hair," that is very close to what happened to me. I'm assuming we have the same alopecia, does it not fall out rather rapidly for you? (By rapidly, I have lost up to a quarter of my hair in about 2 months before.My grandfather evidently had alopecia areata universalis and woke up one morning pretty much missing all of his hair. I guess I can only hope that doesn't happen to me. :)

  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2006
    I started losing hair at 17, but it really kicked in when I was 22-23 or so. I am not, to my knowldege, losing off the back of my head, but it's receding quite noticably from the front.

    So, I started shaving it down to the skin about a year and a half ago. I like it. Some people really like it.

  • Regina FongRegina Fong Allons-y, Alonso Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Doc wrote:
    I started losing hair at 17, but it really kicked in when I was 22-23 or so. I am not, to my knowldege, losing off the back of my head, but it's receding quite noticably from the front.

    So, I started shaving it down to the skin about a year and a half ago. I like it. Some people really like it.

    I think you're sexy. :winky:

  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2006
    I'm starting to go bald at age 22 myself.

    My suggestion is to never attempt a comb over. Also, after you get out of the shower/batch, combo your hair straight back and let it dry out. Hairspray is not an option.

  • CentipeedCentipeed Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I always have quite a bit of hair on my hands when I shampoo, but it's been happening ever since my hair grew long (I used to have it short). Can you guys put my mind at rest and tell me that hair CAN fall out so that it's on your hands when you shampoo, but so that you're NOT going bald?

    I write about games at Curiouser.org
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2006
    jeepguy wrote:
    Doc wrote:
    I started losing hair at 17, but it really kicked in when I was 22-23 or so. I am not, to my knowldege, losing off the back of my head, but it's receding quite noticably from the front.

    So, I started shaving it down to the skin about a year and a half ago. I like it. Some people really like it.

    I think you're sexy. :winky:

    We should party sometime.

    Not like that, but it'd be fun.

  • Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread King of the Forest Camphor TreeRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Bangor's just a ferryride away, too. :winky:

  • Ratman_tfRatman_tf Registered User
    edited October 2006
    So is shaved the new combover?

    :lol:

    "I reject your reality and substitute my own"
    - Adam Savage, 'Mythbusters'
  • A-RodA-Rod Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Hair does fall out and grow back, and yes longer hair usually does fall out easier. Dont stress out. I rememeber before i started using electric clippers, that everytime i would comb my hair or put it down with water, I would be getting hair in my hands. If its on a constant massive basis, then prepare to join the club 8) Ive been thinning for like 5 years now, and im still not at the point where theres no hair up top....its just noticably thin if i ever grew it out. So relax, you got time if you are really worried about it :D

  • blincolnblincoln Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Big Dookie wrote:
    The key to getting thin hair to look decent is to keep it short. The longer it is, the more pronounced your thinning becomes. By keeping it nice and short, there is less emphasis on your hair and so the thinning is less noticeable.

    While cutting it short looks *better*, it's still not a great idea. It will hide the thinning for a little while, but I would say it doesn't buy more than a year or so. All of the guys I've seen use this method did so as a more or less permanent thing, and they weren't fooling anyone.

    Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds
    http://www.thelostworlds.net/
  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    I must ask this but, what are you eating? Diet can play a part on hair loss, depending on what you eat and stuff, but it can also be stress that can attribute to it too. I would also recommend making a trip to the dermatologist, just to be sure.

    Steam- SteveBartz Xbox Live- SteveBartz PSN Name- SteveBartz
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Centipeed wrote:
    I always have quite a bit of hair on my hands when I shampoo, but it's been happening ever since my hair grew long (I used to have it short). Can you guys put my mind at rest and tell me that hair CAN fall out so that it's on your hands when you shampoo, but so that you're NOT going bald?
    The longer your hair is, the more you find falling out during a shower. Perfectly normal.

  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2006
    Ratman_tf wrote:
    So is shaved the new combover?

    :lol:

    Combovers never looked good. Ever. Shaving can.

  • Ratman_tfRatman_tf Registered User
    edited October 2006
    Doc wrote:
    Ratman_tf wrote:
    So is shaved the new combover?

    :lol:

    Combovers never looked good. Ever. Shaving can.

    Never said they did. But I see a lot of 30something baldies and my first thought is that I'm pretty sure they didn't shave a full head of hair...

    Then again maybe it's that I look crap bald and am thinning out pretty good up there, which limits my options pretty severely. :lol:

    "I reject your reality and substitute my own"
    - Adam Savage, 'Mythbusters'
  • Shifty_CalhounShifty_Calhoun Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Im balding but I dont feel self consious about it.

    I do get hair jelousy however. I see someone with a good head of hair or wacky hairstyle and think "man I wish I had hair like that".

  • BoredomBoredom Registered User
    edited October 2006
    cheXzie wrote:
    Are you sure youre not talking about a hair part?

    It is a hair part, but I don't part my hair that way. It's always been there, but now it's just much bigger than it used to be, which means my hair is thinning there. It's no longer a small spot, it has a line thing going on.

    So, yea, crapshoot indeed. I realize nobody can answer my questions, so now I'm wondering whether to suck it up and go to a dermatologist at the expense of being laughed at (I've encountered quite a few arrogant doctors in my time going to hospitals/clinics) or just wait it out and see how things go.

    I think my hormones are just messed up. My facial hair is just patchy and obviously still has a few years to go before it's fully developed, and I look much younger than my age. I also have quite a few bone structure problems. Should I just go to a GP and lump all of those problems up as 1 thing?

  • halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Ratman_tf wrote:
    So is shaved the new combover?

    :lol:

    Naa, go for the bird wing look!

  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    edited October 2006
    blincoln wrote:
    Big Dookie wrote:
    The key to getting thin hair to look decent is to keep it short. The longer it is, the more pronounced your thinning becomes. By keeping it nice and short, there is less emphasis on your hair and so the thinning is less noticeable.

    While cutting it short looks *better*, it's still not a great idea. It will hide the thinning for a little while, but I would say it doesn't buy more than a year or so. All of the guys I've seen use this method did so as a more or less permanent thing, and they weren't fooling anyone.
    Well, I'm not saying that cutting it short is meant to hide it. Let's face it, NOTHING is going to hide it. Not even shaving your head really hides it, because you can tell a difference in the scalp where hair grows from where hair doesn't grow.

    My point was that cutting it short is a viable alternative to shaving it completely, which really isn't a good option for some people. It still won't look great, no, but nothing really looks all that great when you're going bald.

    At least, unless you have a perfectly shaped skull like Doc. Then shaving it works pretty well.

  • PussumPussum Registered User
    edited October 2006
    To the guy that sees a lot of hair in the shower.

    It is normal when your hair gets longer to notice more and more hair in your hands when you are washing. The normal human head loses somewhere between 75-150 hairs a day. When your hair is short it falls out and drifts away cleanly from your head so you don't really notice it. When you have longer hair it usually gets pinned down and stuck. That is why you usually have a few hairs here and there that are sticking out farther than the rest of your hair and when you go to pull them out they just slide out like nothing. They get stuck. It is no big deal. If you start noticing huge clumps falling out you may have trouble. Otherwise everything is normal.

    venomsigva5.png
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited October 2006
    Ratman_tf wrote:
    Doc wrote:
    Ratman_tf wrote:
    So is shaved the new combover?

    :lol:

    Combovers never looked good. Ever. Shaving can.

    Never said they did. But I see a lot of 30something baldies and my first thought is that I'm pretty sure they didn't shave a full head of hair...

    Yeah, but you've got to look your best. I look a LOT different with no hair than I did with a full head of it, and I think it's an improvement. But I guess there's some bias in that. ;)

  • BartholamueBartholamue Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Thanatos wrote:
    Centipeed wrote:
    I always have quite a bit of hair on my hands when I shampoo, but it's been happening ever since my hair grew long (I used to have it short). Can you guys put my mind at rest and tell me that hair CAN fall out so that it's on your hands when you shampoo, but so that you're NOT going bald?
    The longer your hair is, the more you find falling out during a shower. Perfectly normal.
    Yeah, that's what has been happening to me too, but I just brush it aside, not thinking much of it.

    Steam- SteveBartz Xbox Live- SteveBartz PSN Name- SteveBartz
  • CasketCasket __BANNED USERS
    edited October 2006
    If my dad and his dad both never had problems losing hair (have a full head), and don't even have gray hairs, (and my mom and grandmother have all their hair) am I at risk for graying hair and then hair loss due to some recessive gene that is bound to show up?

    casketiisigih1.png
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited October 2006
    Casket wrote:
    If my dad and his dad both never had problems losing hair (have a full head), and don't even have gray hairs, (and my mom and grandmother have all their hair) am I at risk for graying hair and then hair loss due to some recessive gene that is bound to show up?
    Like most things, balding/graying is a combination of environment and genetics. If you don't have a family history, it's less likely to happen, but by no means guaranteed.

  • BoredomBoredom Registered User
    edited November 2006
    Hm, sorry to bump up this old thread, but I think this is rather important.

    Went to a dermatologist, and it turns out my hair loss was caused by Vitamin A overdose. He said that I shouldn't be going bald now.

    A warning: if you take multivitamins every day, check the back of the bottle. Most of the OTC ones aren't FDA approved and contain harmful amounts of certain things, so you could be ODing without knowing it.

    The ones I was taking contain too much Vitamin A (10,000 IU) and Wikipedia says that's the maximum tolerable level before it becomes toxic.

    At the moment I don't know if it's permanent or not; the doctor said I should wait a while and see if it'll regrow in that spot.

    Thought this might he helpful.

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