The reasons you’re losing hair are many and varied, but is modern life making things worse for men? So, what’s the culprit? Body+Soul investigates.

Words by Elle Halliwell at


Experts say more blokes are thinning before their time – and genetics aren’t solely to blame.

It could be an aerodynamic advantage or a way to reduce flammable hazards while handling explosives, but scroll through Netflix’s action category and you’ll soon notice a trend among weapon-wielding stars: a chrome dome.

From Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Statham to Bruce Willis and Vin Diesel, Hollywood’s action heroes are proof a luscious mane does not maketh the man (or, more pointedly, landeth the million-dollar film role).

LA casting directors clearly know their audiences. Research shows bald men are perceived as more confident, attractive and dominant than their follicularly endowed peers, with studies from the University of Pennsylvania finding they were also seen as stronger and taller than their hairy counterparts. (Excellent news if you’re a British prince.)

Pattern balding is, for the majority of men, an inevitable part of ageing – whether you’re a commoner or royalty – with up to 90 per cent experiencing genetic hair loss by age 80.

As Statham et al prove, thinning is nothing to be ashamed of, but for the increasing number of teens and 20-somethings shopping for regrowth solutions, it can be traumatic.


The Expert says

Anthony Pearce, a specialist integrative medicine trichologist, sees boys as young as 16 in his clinic. “The parents are blaming themselves, and their son is having an emotional breakdown because he’s already starting to lose his hair,” he says.

Trichologists around the globe report this scenario is becoming more common, with studies now affirming men are going bald sooner – and that genes aren’t wholly to blame.

Genetics do play a major part, notes Chelcey Salinger from the Australian Trichology Centre, but male hormones, inflammation and oxidative stress are also factors. “The link between genetic hair loss, hypertension, high blood glucose levels and coronary heart disease is now well established,” says Salinger, adding that the major contributor factor is “inflammation caused by the intake of refined sugars”.

A 2023 study by Beijing’s Tsinghua University of 1000 men aged 18 to 45 showed those whose diets were high in sugary fizzy drinks were more than three times more likely to present with pattern loss than those who abstained. “Fructose increases free radicals which, in turn, causes the inflammation,” explains Salinger, which can lead to reduced hair growth. Oh.

With inadequate sleep and exposure to environmental toxins also contributors, swapping Saturday night pub crawls and vape sessions for Sunday morning runs may also keep hairlines from marching backwards. “Lifestyle can affect melatonin and growth hormone levels, which impact hair health,” adds Pearce.


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