Going bald is, for many men and even some women, one of life's cruel inevitabilities of growing older. Some may even find they start losing their hair as early as during their teen years.
As many as three in ten 30-year-olds and around half of 50-year-olds may find they have lost some - if not all - of their hair. Therefore, if you notice you are going bald, what are your options?
Once you have gone completely - even partially - bald, it will be very hard to reverse the process. If you are going to invest in therapies, it is better to start taking action sooner rather than later. Prevention is always better than attempting to cure something - and the same could not be truer of baldness.
How do you know when you should act? Well, going bald can start as early as when puberty has hit. It seems to possibly be passed down through the mother's genes so perhaps take a look at your mum's parents or other members of her side of the family. If most of them have lost their hair, it may be worth chatting to a professional about options available to you to avoid losing yours too.
Taking drugs to avoid going bald can be costly, as they will stop working when you stop taking them. It is a long-term investment and a commitment to parting with a considerable amount of cash - possibly indefinitely. However, this is a price that many people may be more than willing to pay to safeguard their locks.
It is worth bearing in mind that going bald is not solely down to genetics - diet can play a role too. Therefore, it may be worth talking to your GP about your dietary habits to see if anything you are doing could be affecting your hair growth. For example, crash dieting has been known to cause some people's hair to fall out - people who may be erroneously putting it down to unavoidable genetic causes.
Chatting things through with a medical professional may help you to ascertain if there is another factor that needs addressing that could be causing your Barnet to thin out.
The majority of people will admit that there is nothing more sexy than confidence. If you are self-conscious about your looks due to going bald, it is worth remembering that wearing your own skin with a smile on your face and owning your appearance will come across as far more appealing than someone who is desperately trying to cover parts of their body they are insecure about - which, it is likely, nobody else has even noticed!
Some of the most swooned-over men in the media are owning their lack of locks - for example, Sean Connery, Jason Statham, Vin Diesel and Bruce Willis. Women with shaved heads have also been splashed all over fashion magazines as an edgy look embraced by some of the most influential fashion houses in the world.
A popular choice when people start going bald is to take the lot off, to mask that some patches of hair are not growing like others. However, Alex Glover, master barber at Murdock, told the Guardian: "If you're going a bit thin, or you've got a receding hairline, I'd continue to ask your hairdresser's advice." Don't reach for the clippers unless you're absolutely sure you're ready to say goodbye to all your hair and embrace being completely bald.