My... my hair? But that's my meal ticket! *cries*
June 13, 2006 7:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm losing hair over one of my temples. WTF?

I've always been on the lookout for male pattern baldness, as it has cropped up in my family before. A few months ago, I started noticing that my hair was thinning... but only above my left temple, which doesn't fit the "pattern" as far as I know.

I've been dealing with dry skin/scalp lately, perhaps due to increased stress (?), so I'm wondering if that's what's causing it. Or can the pattern of male pattern baldness be lopsided at the outset?
posted by brundlefly to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
need more info. is it a bald and circular patch or just a receding hairline?
posted by brandz at 8:25 PM on June 13, 2006

posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 8:43 PM on June 13, 2006

Anything specifically noticeable on the scalp below?

I second the possibility you might have something like a tic. When I was a child I actually did this to one spot on my head without really noticing. See if you're pulling out hairs.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:02 PM on June 13, 2006

Response by poster: brandz: It's not a receding hairline so much as a particular area that is thinning. I don't think it's noticeable to othersas of yet, as it's covered by surrounding hair, but if I hold both sides of my hair back the left side is thinner. Fewer hairs. I can see a lot more of my scalp. It is not circular (vaguely triangular, thanks to the still evident hair line).

MonkeySaltedNuts & TheOnlyCoolTim: The skin on my head is generally dry, for some reason, including the scalp below. Again, I think it may be stress-related. I've recently relocated... started a new job... etc. Since then, I've developed an itchy/dandruffy scalp... pretty bad... plus very dry facial skin. Maybe it has something to do with the change in climate (New Orelans -> Berkeley, CA). It's a lot dryer here.

So, now I'm wondering. I know I haven't been pulling at actual hairs. But I am right handed, so maybe I'm more likely to reach across and scratch the left side of my head? Can scratching decrease hair growth?
posted by brundlefly at 10:25 PM on June 13, 2006

Do you wear headphones, headset, something in habitual contact with your right temple? I carry my wallet in my shorts' pocket and I noticed it has rubbed off a patch of hair on my thigh. Could be similar to your case?
posted by aeighty at 10:43 PM on June 13, 2006

Response by poster: I wear large headphones while editing video, but again the hair's taking a holiday on one side only. These headphones would affect both sides equally, if at all. Other than that, I use the earbuds that came with my ipod, which wouldn't affect anything, I don't think.
posted by brundlefly at 10:56 PM on June 13, 2006

My wireless phone headset rubs around the temple. Have one of those?
posted by muddylemon at 11:02 PM on June 13, 2006

Response by poster: Nope. Just the actual phone, and I use that on the other side.
posted by brundlefly at 11:31 PM on June 13, 2006

MPB can definitely progress asymmetrically. Mine is much more pronounced on the right side, which fortunately is opposite where I part my hair.

I spent a fair amount of time trying to convince myself it was something else, but if you're a guy then the odds are overwhelmingly that it's MPB. Sorry.

OTOH, it's more easily controllable than ever. So don't wait until you're mangy to face up to the un-face-up-to-able.
posted by bjrubble at 1:04 AM on June 14, 2006

Yup, it's entirely possible that you're just losing hair on the left side first, and the right side will eventually follow. You could talk to your doctor about it, and try Rogaine (or something else, I don't really keep up on these things because I'm WELL past the "trying to keep my hair" stage) to keep it from getting worse.
posted by antifuse at 2:45 AM on June 14, 2006

Or it could be the beginning of alopecia. You could have that looked at if it continues to thin.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 4:37 AM on June 14, 2006

I have a bald spot around my left temple that is alopecia related. It's about the size of a quarter. No hair grows in that spot. A few years ago a hairdresser told me it was probably the result of stress and vitamin deficiency. I've fixed up my diet and I still have a lot of stress, but it's still there. I have a thick head of hair on my head and no thinning anywhere else but that little spot.
I ignore it. I can get it treated with minoxodil or retin-a or somesuch but I can't be bothered. There are worse things to worry about. Once I found out it wasn't a flesh eating virus, I got over it. :)
posted by disclaimer at 4:49 AM on June 14, 2006

This is a stupid idea but . . . do you maybe sleep on that side?
posted by jaimystery at 6:07 AM on June 14, 2006

Response by poster: Well, shoot. The idea that MPB is always symetrical gave me some comfort. Oh, well. The alopecia thing does sound somewhat likely, though. Stress? Check. Shitty diet? Check. I guess time will tell...
posted by brundlefly at 1:05 PM on June 14, 2006

Response by poster: jaimystery: I toss and turn a lot, not favoring any one side as far as I can tell.
posted by brundlefly at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2006

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