While losing your hair as a young man is undoubtedly stressful, it’s a surprisingly common occurrence throughout the Western world.
In Australia, for example, studies have shown that approximately 20% of men are in their 20s when they start to lose their hair.
Similarly, two-thirds of men stateside will have noticed some degree of appreciable hair loss by the age of 35, while significant baldness impacts 85% of males over the age of 50.
This is usually caused by male pattern baldness, which is a natural and irreversible process that can begin when you’re in your teens. But how can you embrace being bald in your 20s while maintaining a keen sense of style?
So, It’s Normal to Lose Hair in Your 20s?
As the research in Australia shows, approximately 20% of men are in their 20s when the process of male pattern baldness begins.
In the UK, a recent study carried out by the NHS has revealed that some 25% of males who have hereditary male pattern baldness will start to lose their hair before they turn 21.
While your hair may start to thin around this age, however, male pattern baldness is often a gradual process that progresses through up to seven different stages.
The first of these often involves largely unnoticeable hair thinning around the temples and then the crown, before the visible hair line begins to recede slightly and create the infamous ‘M’ shape at the front of the scalp.
From here, your hairline will continue to recede deeper and widen, before bald spots become increasingly evident and large patches of hair are lost at the back of your head.
There’s a couple of key takeaways here. Firstly, even if you do start to lose hair in your 20s, this may not be immediately visible to either yourself or others.
Secondly, you’ll most likely notice serious thinning before significant hair loss becomes apparent, while this will be most obvious around the temples and crown initially.
You should also note that it’s perfectly normal to lose anywhere between 50 and 100 hairs each day, and this is in no way indicative of the onset of male pattern balding.
Can You Reverse Balding?
If you’re in your 20s and have begun to notice excessive hair loss, your first reaction may well be one of shock or panic.
This is perfectly nature, as is the desire to reverse this process and seek out treatments that have been expressly designed to tackle premature baldness.
However, you should know that male pattern baldness cannot be cured or reversed, as this remains a natural and unstoppable process that continue until it has reached its final stage.
Of course, there are some treatments that may be able to slow down the progression of male pattern baldness in instances where you notice this issue early, and this works primarily by stimulating regrowth in the affected areas of your growth.
However, the efficacy of such treatments is restricted, while they cannot be used to halt the progression of male pattern baldness indefinitely.
This is why developing the right outlook and mindset is so important, as you’ll need to embrace your natural hair loss and consider this as an empowering experience that enables you to create a bold, new and exciting style.
While male pattern baldness is ultimately irreversible, there are instances of temporary baldness that can be tackled. However, these are caused by a myriad of different factors, including continued stress, shock or the fallout from a traumatic event.
This phenomenon is referred to ‘telogen effluvium’, while symptoms such as hair loss generally resolve once the underlying trigger has been successfully treated.
The question that remains, of course, is how can you tell the difference between telogen effluvium and male pattern baldness?
Well, the former usually comes on much more quickly and tends to affect clumps of hair on top of the scalp. As we’ve already touched on, male pattern baldness progresses relatively slower and impacts the temples and the crown first.
How Do You Cope with Balding?
When it comes to coping with premature balding, the first thing to keep in mind that this is likely to have a negative emotional impact.
In fact, it can be argued that hair loss (or indeed anytime of sudden or unexpected loss) can incite the well-known stages of grief; namely denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
You should expect to go through some or all of these mental states as you experience male pattern baldness, particularly as you begin to lose you hair at an early age.
Denial is much easier when hair loss is negligible and the condition is in its first stage, of course, while bargaining will most likely to see you seek out any number of ineffective and costly treatments that fail to deliver on their promises.
Ultimately, these feelings are part of the necessary psychological process of dealing with loss in general, so it’s important not to repress or ignore them.
This way, you’ll advance to the stage of acceptance much quicker, and cultivate a mindset that enables you to embrace baldness and see this is an opportunity rather than a hindrance.
When it comes to male baldness, this is really the only viable long-term option, other than attempting to hide your thinning scalp or spend extortionate sums of cash delaying the inevitable.
Now for the Important Part – How to Go Bald in Style
Once you have embraced your new follicle reality, the question that remains is how can you go bald in style?
Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to make the most of your bold new look, including the following:
1. Get Fit
Let’s start with the facts; being bald isn’t a particularly good look in instances where you’re overweight or carry excess fat around your face.
Conversely, it creates a lean and athletic appearance when you combine a shaved head with a toned and fit body, even if you lack the rugged good looks of a Jason Statham or Bruce Willis.
One potential reason for this is that shaving your scalp creates something of an optical illusion. More specifically, it effectively reduces the mass of your head and causes it to look smaller, which automatically makes your upper body appear larger and considerably broader.
This can create a frame that’s perceived to be bulkier and more toned, which is just one of the reasons why bodybuilders are known to shave their heads prior to competitions.
Of course, you can optimise the impact of this illusion by actually hitting the gym and the weights, while getting in some much-needed cardio-vascular exercise and optimising your diet to ensure that you remain at the ideal weight.
2. Grow Some Facial Hair
While many attribute the rising popularity of beards to their universal status as an emblem of manliness (especially at a time when masculinity is confused), it has also coincided with the increased acceptance and trendiness of baldness.
Certainly, growing some facial hair is an excellent way of adding balance and definition to your new look, and there are a couple of reasons for this.
From an aesthetic perspective, it’s fair to say that having a clean-shaven scalp and face can create the appearance of an egg, creating a scenario where too much skin is visible as you go about your daily business.
So, growing facial hair restores a semblance of balance, while breaking up the bare areas of skin on your neck and scalp.
What’s more, cultivating a beard draws the eyes of others away from your newly shorn scalp, giving them something else to comment on and easing the transition from having a hair style to completely or partially bald.
Of course, we understand that not all of you can grow thick, even or fulsome beards. However, there’s nothing stopping you from cultivating stubble or a goatee beard, or any other style of facial hair that suits your own unique growing patterns.
Your choice of beard should also ideally suit your face shape, whether you need to add definition to a rounded visage or soften the angles of a chiseled and masculine jaw.
And if you are one of those lucky gents who can grow a thick and full beard? We’d say go for it, allowing between two and four months on average for you to grow a thick beard that you can sculpt and style accordingly.
3. Adjust Your Wardrobe
We’ve already touched on the need to restore a visual balance when you lose your hair and subsequently shave your scalp, and another way to do this is through the intelligent use of clothes and accessories.
From a clothing perspective, you’ll need to eschew any baggy and lose fitting garments (especially tops) in favour of tailored and slim fit alternatives.
Remember, you’ll want to create a muscular and chiseled upper body when you lose your hair, and wearing better fitting clothes can help to enhance or replicate this aesthetic.
You’ll also need to dress in a way that compensates for the additional skin that’s on show once your hair has gone. That’s right, you may appear to people who know you as naked without hair framing your face, and this is something we could all do without.
Ultimately, the best way to negate this is to reduce the amount of visible skin above the neck. So, just as you might choose to grow some facial hair, we’d also recommend stocking your wardrobe with collared and polo shirts, turtlenecks and V-neck T-shirts.
Collared jackets and pea coats also make for handy garments if your recently bald, as they’re able to successfully frame your appearance from the head down.
But what about accessories? Well, hats offer by both aesthetic and practical value when your first shave your head, by easing your transition and providing a much-needed shield against the harmful rays of the sun.
Baseball caps work from a framing and visual perspective, while also helping to keep the sun out of your eyes (although we’d also recommend that you invest in a neat and stylish pair of sunglasses).
Of course, you’ll ultimately have to cultivate a sense of style that suits your wider tastes and preferences. However, we’d definitely recommend growing a beard (if you can) and focusing on better-fitting clothes as basic rules.
How to Take Care of Your Bald Head
While regularly shaving your scalp may require you to invest in a high-quality wet or electric razor, this can also cause the skin on the top of hour head to become irritated at times.
So, it’s crucial that you strive to take care of your skin and moisturise it regularly once you go bald. This rule should extend to your face too, particularly if you look to cultivate a thick, fulsome and smooth beard.
Moisturising your scalp also minimises the risk of developing dandruff. Yes, that’s right, you can even develop dandruff on a bald scalp, particularly if the skin continues to dry through the process of regular shaving.
Fortunately, we sell a number of products here at MANTL that can help you in this respect. For example, our ‘Age Defense Moisturiser’ has been specifically designed for bald and balding men, with the combination of Vitamin B3 and Willow Herb Extract helping to creating a smoothing and hydrating effect.
This will also help to maintain the appearance of the scalp, by balancing the skin and combating the presence of fine lines.
You can also make use of our ‘Daily SPF’ moisturiser. This is particularly important during the spring and summer, when your newly shorn scalp is exposed to continual sunlight and may be vulnerable to the risk of skin damage.
This can be both damaging for your health (think of skin cancer, for example) and create an unpleasing aesthetic, so our SPF moisturiser can be used to minimise such risks.
This is also hydrating and has been Dermatologist-tested, and it can really take care of your skin when you start to shave your scalp.
The Last Word
Losing your hair can be a stressful process at any age, but particularly when you’re in your 20s and not expecting to experience the symptoms of male pattern baldness.
However you choose to process this, the fact remains that male pattern baldness is an irreversible process, and embracing this reality is the only sustainable way of moving forward with your life.
Embracing your newfound baldness can also be empowering, however, especially if you use it to inspire a brand-new look and commence a bold new chapter in your life.