Are bald men sexier?

Dr Tont Chu


Web chats tv

You might think that losing your hair is only something that happens in middle age, but you’d be wrong. New research by Regaine has found that 39 per cent of men who lose their hair, start thinning out in their twenties. In fact, the twenties are the most common age for hair loss to begin and losing hair when so young can really dent a man’s self-esteem.



Paul wants to know: "Are there any hair loss treatments that are available from the pharmacy?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Paul, the only treatment you can buy in the pharmacy without prescription is Regaine. The only other scientifically proven treatment is on prescription only.



Sam wants to know: "Do you think that one day there will be a gene therapy that will banish baldness for ever?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Sam, possibly, but not in my lifetime. Unfortunately, as far as genetic diseases go, baldness probably rates fairly low and genetic research is very time consuming.



Kit wants to know: "Should I see my doctor before I start using hair loss treatment?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Kit. Yes. Mainly because there are several different types of hair loss and hair loss may be caused by a hormone or dietary deficiency. It's best to make sure that you have the correct diagnoses before pursuing treatment.



Ed wants to know: "Are the treatments for hair loss expensive?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Ed. All things are relative. Regaine costs about £30 a month and you can buy it in your local supermarket. If you are a smoker, give up the fags and you'll be able to afford it!



Josh wants to know: "Why is hair loss more prevalent in men than in women?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Josh. Androgenetic hair loss is the main type that men get. It's caused by the male hormone which doesn't mean you have too much but the hair responds by slowly ceasing to grow. In women, this is counteracted by female hormones but we still see it in about 40% of women prior to menopause and it can start as early as late teens.



Tim wants to know: "Is there a set age when hair loss can start in men?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Tim. Male pattern hair loss can start at any stage after puberty, I have a number of men in their late teens/early 20's with significant hair loss already. It's more common in older men and most men by the age of 50 show some evidence of it.



Amy wants to know: "Hi Dr Chu. I'm a 20 year old female. I've always had extremely fine hair which means that some parts of my scalp are clearly visible. It's always made me feel very self-conscious, is there anything I can do to thicken my hair?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Amy. Fully sympathise but nothing medical really helps. Genetically you have fine hair and we cannot change that. There are a number of products that can coat the hair and make it appear thicker, best to speak to your hairdresser about this.



Chris wants to know: "Is hair loss on men usually hereditary?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Chris. The direct answer is yes, but it is impossible to accurately predict it. Some men have fathers that will loose hair late in life but they loose hair early in life. Also just because there is a family history of hair loss it does not mean that you will necessarily suffer from it yourself. You need to look at both sides of the family, mothers and fathers to get some idea of your total risk.



Linda wants to know: "What is alopecia?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Linda. Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss and encompasses both genetic transient and permanent hair loss.



Philip wants to know: "I'm 16 and I want to know if there are any signs before hair loss and what simple methods can be done to prevent it?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Philip. Everyone looses about 100 hairs a day. These are then replaced by new hairs which grow from resting hair roots. The first signs of male pattern hair loss tend to be increased numbers of hairs being lost and hairs that re-grow being finer and smaller.



Justin wants to know: "I am a 32 year old male. I have been using Regaine for 8 years. It was effective for the first 2, but after that my hair loss resumed, and now there is a big difference. Is this normal? And should I continue to use it?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Justin. You did not say whether you were using standard 2% Regaine or the 5% Regaine. If you're using 2% try increasing to the 5%. Make sure that you are using it correctly twice daily and following the instructions on the packaging. If you're using the 5%, it's possible the Regaine is not able to totally control the hairloss, but if you are not using Regaine, the hairloss would probably be much more severe. It's safe to use the product long term and it will cause no problems if you continue to use it.



Carl wants to know: "Can my hair loss come with weakness/ fatigue? " 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Carl. An important growth factor for hair is iron and if your body becomes depleted this will affect your hair growth and may also cause a general feeling of weakness and fatigue due to anaemia. Also, hair can fall if you have an internal medical problem. Best to see your GP and sort out the weakness and fatigue and see if there's a cause for it.



Shane wants to know: "Hi Dr Chu, if I'm using Regaine will hair start to grow on other parts of my body or my hands?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Shane. Only if you use it on other parts of your body. When it was first launched, a lot of men on the west coast of America used it on their chest, because a hairy chest was seen to be the in thing. Trends have changed and smooth bodies are what people want so I wouldn't suggest using it anywhere else!



Tom wants to know: "How long do you need to use Regaine for and are the results permanent?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Tom. Regaine can be used long term and if it works for you there's no reason to stop using it. If you do stop it then the hair will not instantly fall out over night but will resume it's gradual fall. Regaine really gives you a window where you can keep your hair until you decide to stop or you decide you don't mind losing your hair.



ali wants to know: "Is it true that you lecture at Imperial College?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Ali. Yes, I run the dermatology curriculum at Imperial College School of Medicine.



Brian wants to know: "Will vigorous brushing of the hair cause permanent hair loss?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Brian. No. Hair grows in a cycle, where the active growing component called anagen can last for several years. Hair then goes into a resting phase called catagen where the hair becomes detached but is still in the hair follicle. The final phase is telogen where the hair migrates to the surface and is shed. If you brush your hair vigorously you can detach dead hairs in catagen before they would normally be shed but this will have no effect on overall hair loss.



Jake wants to know: "What is normal hair loss?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Jake. As I explained to Brian, hair grows in a cycle and each day about a 100 hairs fall out. If you have long hair this is more obvious.



Devorah wants to know: "Hi. I'm a 17 year old girl and my hair has been thinning for the past two years. I have done blood tests which were negative. My nails though are fine. I do though have some sores on my scalp. I'm not sure if there is anything that can be done but if there is I would like to know. Thanx a lot" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Devorah. There are blood tests and blood tests and if you haven't had the correct ones a possible cause may not have been identified. The commonest cause in hair loss in young women is iron deficiency because women loose blood every month with their period and unless you eat red meat and liver you may not replace the iron you loose. The blood test should measure your iron stores not the blood iron level.



Frank wants to know: "Are there any vitamins of supplements that I can take to strengthen and improve the condition of my hair?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Frank. Depends on what your diet's like. If you have a good mixed diet this will provide all the vitamins and minerals your hair needs and taking extra will just be flushed down the lavatory. If you eat a lot of bad food, you may become low in iron or zinc which may have an impact on hair growth so a multi vitamin with extra iron and zinc might help.



Amalie wants to know: "Dr Chu, is it true that we actually shed hair more at different times of the year. And if so, why?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Amalie. Yes. Both hair and nails tend to grow more quickly at warmer times of the year and hair loss can conversely increase in Autumn and winter. Most people don't notice this as the difference is not major and you would have to wear a shower cap and count every hair lost over a 24 hour period to really detect this.



podgee wants to know: "Hello I used to use Regaine and I became conscious of a feeling of pressure headaches which I still have, despite stopping use. Does Regaine affect blood pressure locally?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Podgee. Regaine contains the drug moxonidine which is used in tablet form for the treatment of high blood pressure. Headaches are generally a feature of high rather than low blood pressure so I cannot see that the Regaine would have caused your headaches.



JM wants to know: "I used regaine for one year and at 1st the results seemed to come then it appears nothing more happened, fine hair appeard at the front of my head. Should I try another treatment instead?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi JM. Important to make sure that you're using the Regaine properly and the 5%. It's easy to become complacent after a time of using it and perhaps miss treatments or even days. If you're using it correctly and it's the 5%, you could try additional measures such as low dose Finesteride. When I use this drug I always use it in combination with Regaine.



Tony wants to know: "How long does it take to see results from any treatment program?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Tony. Normally the first thing you notice is a reduction in hair fall which you notice after one to two months of treatment. The hair needs to be stimulated to grow from the resting hair roots so I normally look for evidence of fine hair growth after about three months. With time, some of the fine hair growth will thicken into normal hair.



Sandy wants to know: "Can women go completely bald?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Sandy. Yes, but not with male pattern type of hair loss. There is a form of hair loss called alopecia areata in which all the hair on the head can be lost. In male pattern hair loss there is usually diffuse loss over the whole of the crown but it is very unusual for women to go completely bald.



Kevin wants to know: "When should I consider surgery to treat hair loss?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Kevin. There's no absolute answer to this. Hair transplant is a good option for some people with hair loss but it should be undertaken when the extent of the hair loss can be properly assessed. I've seen patients that have had this too early and they've been left with a patch of hair surrounded by a bald moat. We're not very good at hair transplantation in the UK and they're much more advanced in the USA so patients that require it are usually advised a trip to the States.



Liam wants to know: "What effect does age have on the hair?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Liam. Hair is most dense in childhood and most people loose a certain amount of hair after puberty regardless of whether they develop male pattern hair loss or not. As you age, hair becomes thinner and it loses it's colour due to loss of pigment cells in the hair root. Usually in the 60's or 70's hair will appear much finer and usually grey even in people who have not lost significant hair.



Jack wants to know: "Why do you think there is such a stigma associated with baldness?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Jack. If you look in all the glossies, the standard good looking man or woman has wonderful hair. From an evolutionary point of view, we don't need hair apart from sun protection of the scalp - hair is one of the best sunscreens we've identified. If society promoted 'bald is beautiful' successfully then the stigma would disappear.



David wants to know: "I am too embarrassed to see my GP about my hair loss. Is there anywhere else that I can find information or seek help without having to talk to anyone face to face? 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi David. The one thing you should avoid are the hair clinics that advertise in the back of newspapers as these clinics often do not provide proper treatment and are only interested in financial gain. There is a charity for hair loss where you can get advice online at



Bob wants to know: "Dear Dr Chu Could you recommend any gel or hair styling product that could be used after applying regaine? Thanks for your help. Bob" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Bob. Once the Regaine has dried into the scalp you can use any sort of gel or styling product without problems.



Tara wants to know: "Are treatments effective for women as well, you have only really been talking about men?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Tara. Yes. I've used both Regaine 2% and Finesteride in women with good success. Particularly in older women I've found Regaine to be extremely good at maintaining hair density long term.



iain wants to know: "What is the worst treatment you have heard of being used for hair loss?" 

Dr Tony Chu said:


Hi Iain. The worst I've come across is somebody who was relatively bald and not unhappy but answered an advertisement about artificial hair transplants. He spent a large amount of money and had nylon fibres implanted into his scalp. When some of them fell out the clinic replaced them. When I saw him his scalp was a mess with the majority of fibres had been shed but some were still present, over the top of the crown there was a scab like nodule which when I analysed it was part of his skull. The fibres had been implanted too deep, left dreadful scarring and those remaining had to be surgically removed. When he tried to sue the company it had gone into liquidation. Warning, never answer advertisements about hair loss!






Thanks everyone for all your questions.

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