Hi Dr. Rassman.
I was hoping to get your honest opinion.
I’m a 23 year old male, in the best health of my life. I work out 6 days a week, and have a healthy diet. But my hair troubles me a lot.
I have a normal hairline, but thin hair, resembling a Norwood 5. My father was bald (norwood 7), and growing up, i kind of expected to go bald eventually. My dad started to lose his hair around 35-40. I have an elder brother who’s 30, and has a full head of hair.
I first noticed the slightest amount of thinning shortly after my 19th birthday. I was in college, and everybody (boys and girls) complained of losing hair, so i thought nothing of it. But the thinning proceeded, till about 2 years ago, when i suffered from a severe stomach infection. unfortunately my university was in a small town in india, so proper treatement wasn’t available. I somehow managed to finish the semester, and return home for treatement. I was diagnosed with systemic edema of the alimentary canal, and had gastritis, oesophagitis, deodenitis, etc. I also had a H. pylori infection. Till then, i was experiencing massive hair loss. I was shedding like a dog on a couch. My pillow and bed used to be literally covered with hair. Thing is, some days into my treatement, my hair stopped falling off. My haemoglobin is slightly low, which my gastroenterologist supposes is due to retarded iron absorbtion due to my stomach condition. However, 10 months later, my haemoglobin is still 12.8, and MCV of 51, and MCH of 51. Not much of a change since then.
I thought my hair would grow back once i got better, but this has turned out not to be the case. Personally, I’m confused as to what i’m suffering from. Is it androgenic, since my hairline is intact? I do have norwood 5 style loss, but it is thinning, not totally gone.
I think 23 is too young for my level of baldness. Maybe at 40, but not 23. I have been seeing a homeopath about this matter for the last 8 months, and haven’t noticed any difference. I’m not even sure if minoxidil will help me.
What do i do?
It sounds like you had a series of health problems and you also have genetic male pattern loss. Heath problems (just from stress) can accelerate the genetic balding pattern. When the hair is lost from genetic causes in men, it rarely comes back, even if the health problems are ‘fixed’. This is not always the case with women’s genetic hair loss. The key is to go on the drug Propecia (finasteride), as that is your best option to stop hair loss and delay it’s restart. Some men at your age may get regrowth of the hair. There is no down side to this treatment. In the United States it requires a prescription.