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Am I Balding? How To Tell The Early Signs

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I have seen an influx of these questions on the forum. Sometimes forum members will create 4-5 threads asking the same question with the same pictures. While, I know the thought of going bald can induce panic, what were your guys's early signs? Let's start a discussion, so anyone who posts this question can refer to this thread and either calm their fears, or confirm their suspicions and proactively treat it. 

Am I Balding? How To Tell The Signs of Hair Loss

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Four signs for me. Hopefully this helps!

1. I initially started noticing my hairline was thinner than before, especially under artificial light. If you imagine that my hairline before was like a thick wall of hair where you couldn't see anything past it, suddenly the first 2cm became see-through. This was not noticeable to most people as my hair was still relatively thick, but you know your hair better than everyone else.

2. Lost density at the temples. I only started to notice this from photos taken of me where an M shape had started to develop. Even though I had long/medium curly hair, it was noticeable. 

3. Crazy shedding. Now this isn't a sign for everyone but it retrospect this was one for me. Usual guidance is that people shed 100 hairs on average a day. I was shedding more than that, at least it felt like that. In the shower, whilst working on my computer, on my bed pillow...  Personally, I don't think this was the start of my hair loss but it made it worse as my hair never returned to how it was prior to the shedding phases. These phases stopped when I started taking finasteride. 

4. Loss of density in my crown. I remember out of curiosity checking my crown with a mirror and I noticed a  small gap in my hair. I'd never noticed it before. It could be hidden by moving around my hair (luckily it is thick enough to do that), but it was undeniably there. I think this was the confirmation for me that I was losing my hair in a traditional Norwood pattern. The density in my crown has gotten better since starting finasteride.

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If you think you're balding then you probably are. Half the battle is acknowledging what you are seeing in the mirror and accepting it. So many guys are in denial (ex. I'm too young to be balding, my balding won't be that bad/it will stop on its own) and let it get worse for years and years w/o any treatment. So many guys could even avoid this painfully expensive and stressful hair transplant route if they hopped on Fin the moment they notice hairloss. 

If you have a suspicion you are balding, go to a hair doctor or dermatologist to get an official confirmation (and to rule out a more serious condition) and get on meds asap. 

Edited by SadMan2021
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If you're going to lose any hair it starts when your hormones kick into gear during puberty. The more aggressive the hair loss the sooner you'll first notice the accumulating loss. For some very unfortunate guys its in their teens/early 20s, others with less aggressive loss won't notice until later in their 30s 40s etc. That being said, regardless of how aggressive your loss is, wait until you are through puberty and into your 20s before you go to your doctor to get on finasteride. Puberty is too important of a foundational period for your adult body formation to be messing with your hormones when they are in overdrive.

I first noticed my loss after growing my hair back out after keeping it buzzed during military service and realizing I couldn't style it quite like I used to.  Knowing how bad the hair loss was on my mothers side of the family I didn't waste time getting on the meds and re-fortifying my front with hair transplants. It will cost you more in the long run, aggressively addressing your loss with smaller transplants, but depending on how much hair loss bothers you, and how others around you are prone to tease you, that higher financial cost can be worth the lower mental stress. Especially for younger guys that still have some growing up and perspective to gain.

Ultimately you should start and maintain a photo record as soon as possible, same lighting, same angles. Its more objective and accurate than family and friends who see you every day, making them less able to notice changes like this well. And even when they do notice, some may still not tell you the truth because they care about you and don't want you to worry about something that naturally happens to most of us anyway. 

Derek from MPMD posted this intro video to some of his later hair videos last year, has some good information and perspective.  



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I think It can be useful to know the stages of balding:

Stage 1: Hair loss at the top of the head (vertex) or at the hairline is barely or unnoticeable

Stage 2: Some hairline recession is starting to become noticeable around the temples — sometimes referred to as an adult or mature hairline.

Stage 3: Hair loss starts to become very noticeable at the temples, creating a cul-de-sac look.

Stage 4: Hairline has significantly receded, hair at vertex begins to thin and disappear. The middle part of the hair still separates both areas of hair loss

Stage 5: Balding at the vertex and receding hairline have progressed even further than in Stage 4. Stretch of hair across the middle of the scalp becomes narrower

Stage 6: Both areas of noticeable hair loss have now joined. The middle part that used to separate the areas is now completely gone or barely there.

Stage 7: Male-pattern baldness in its most severe form of hair loss in which hair only at the sides of the head remains

This video may help too:

Also you can read this article about male hair loss and treatment options:



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I first noticed loss of hair volume, visually speaking, so I thought it was time to replace my hair dryer but that did not do anything.

Then I noticed tons of hair on my pillow case every morning and tons of hair in my hands when shampooing, so I started switching shampoo brands to no avail.

Then the shock became when I started seeing my scalp and my hair was thinning out especially in the frontal zone, losing my hairline...all traumatic!


Independent Patient Advocate

I am not a physician and not employed by any doctor/clinic. My opinions are not medical advice, but are my own views which you read at your own risk.

Supporting Physicians: Dr. Robert Dorin: The Hairloss Doctors in New York, NY

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