Sudden and rapid hair loss. Telogen effluvium\Male Pattern Baldness or both? 32 year old male (Photo)

Previously no signs of thinning or balding. In June this year had a serious very bad disc herniation. Spent 2 months confined to bed with terrible sciatic pain. Lots of pain meds including Epidural spinal injection. Injury recovered I started taking a herbal vitality supplement from August to improve energy \ libido which was also supposed to raise testosterone. Late September noticed huge hair shedding and within a week or 2 large bald spot emerged on front right of hair line and around crown.

Doctor Answers 6

Several Possible Explanations...

According to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, as many as 40% of all men start to notice some degree of hair loss or thinning by the time they are 35, and judging solely from the pictures that you included, your hair loss does appear to be following a relatively standard progression. All of this suggests that genetic pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, could possibly be the issue. However, actual circular bald patches may also indicate alopecia areata. A more thorough examination would be required in order to make a definitive diagnosis as there are a number of important factors to consider.

The hair’s natural growth cycle, from the growth (or anagen) phase to the shedding (or telogen) phase, generally takes about three to five months. At any given time, about 15% of the follicles are shedding their hair, which means that a healthy scalp loses anywhere from 50 to 100 hairs per day. During times of physiological stress, which can include anything from traumatic injury or surgery to drastic dietary changes that starves the body of necessary proteins, the body may trigger a disproportionately large number of hairs to move into the telogen phase all at once, a process called telogen effluvium.  About 3 months later, this hair begins to fall out as it would normally, but in significantly larger amounts than usual, resulting in diffuse thinning over the entire scalp.  To someone experiencing this sudden hair loss, it may seem as though hair is falling out in clumps for no particular reason whatsoever, but it can certainly be a result of a physiological stress that occurred months earlier.

If your hair loss is the result of telogen effluvium, it is most likely only temporary. However, there are a variety of treatment methods that can help prevent hair loss from progressing and which may be preferable to undergoing a full hair transplant procedure. I would definitely recommend that you schedule a consultation with a board certified dermatologist who has experience treating hair loss. They should be able to fully diagnose the cause of your hair loss so that you can get the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

Atlanta Dermatologic Surgeon

Rapid Hair loss

Given your male sex and age, androgenic alopecia is still the most likely diagnosis.  However, other conditions are possible given the history you present.  You should have a full medical evaluation by an expert physician who treats hair loss.  

Ryan Welter, MD
Boston Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Getting to the root cause of hair loss and hair loss treatment with prp and progesterone

I suggest seeing an expert to evaluate the cause of your hair loss and consider the best treatment options. There are great non-invasive options like PRP/progesterone and/or hair transplantation. See an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 190 reviews

Sudden and rapid hair loss. Telogen effluvium\Male Pattern Baldness or both? 32 year old male


Thank you for your question.

Loss of hair is a natural process when it is between the limits that the body can restore them. When the capacity of the body to restore the hair loss is beaten by the excessive hair loss then we can name this situation something that should be treated. Women started to experience balding even more in the last 2 decades. It is getting more and more common also in women population. However it is also good to know that this problem is also treatable when it is present in women.

To obtain alive hair follicles implanted in higher rates, the latest technique being used is not the only manner, it is also affected by compliance of implantation area that we found a better way to improve as a result of our researches, The Organic Hair Transplantation. By this new and unique Organic Hair Transplantation Technique, before the extraction and implantation processes; we regenerate the implantation area with injection of stem cell enriched fat tissue. Regeneration of cells in target area before FUE transplantation with the support of stromal stem cells results in higher rate of alive thicker hair follicles.

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Rapid thinning in a 32 year old male

rapid thinning in a 32 year old male is most likely genetic hair loss. get your hair checked out with a pull test and also have a HAIRCHECK instrument see if there is regional loss which would point to genetic balding

William Rassman, MD
Los Angeles Hair Restoration Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

TE/MPB or both?

Thanks for sharing. First and foremost, you need to be evaluated by a dermatologist. You need blood tests and you need an up close dermatoscopic examination. I would broaden the list of possibilities here to include TE as well as alopecia areata. The majority of what is happening here likely has nothing to do with MPB.

But please see a dermatologist. 

Jeff Donovan, MD, PhD
Vancouver Dermatologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.