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Can we finally reverse balding with these new experimental treatments?

Male pattern baldness could soon be a thing of the past, with new hair loss treatments beginning to show tantalising results

By Joshua Howgego

26 September 2023


baytunc/Getty Images

I’LL level with you: a part of me didn’t want to write this story. When I first realised that I was losing my hair, I found it important to mention it often in conversation. I was so embarrassed about it that I was trying some sort of reverse psychology. But I soon realised that if there was one thing less attractive than my balding head, it was how much I was talking about it. I am joking, of course: there is nothing wrong with being bald. Still, for me, the prospect is terrifying. My hair is a big part of my identity, so to lose it is crushing.

I’m not alone. By the age of 50, between 30 and 50 per cent of men have begun to experience male pattern baldness. Despite there being plenty of handsome hairless men out there – I’m looking at you, Thierry Henry – studies suggest that people tend to perceive bald men as less attractive and less friendly. And we don’t need science to tell us that this can be deeply upsetting.

So although I have dialled down the discussion of my growing bald patch, I have been quietly digging into the science of hair loss – and what I found is worth shouting about. It is common knowledge that some treatments can slow hair loss. What is less known is that as we are coming to understand the reasons why male pattern baldness causes people to lose their hair, we are finding new strategies to restore it. There may soon be a way to not just slow balding, but reverse it.

In a field…

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