Last week, a new study from Germany concluded that short men are more likely to go bald prematurely (i.e., at an earlier age). This was very surprising to me since I never noticed any strong correlation between height and scalp hair quantity in real life. The same study also alluded to the fact that “white men in particular lose their hair prematurely”, which I have observed and mentioned on this blog before. The above study was widely covered by the global media.
On the other hand, one correlation that I have definitely noticed is that men who are obese seem to on average have a significantly lesser chance of balding in comparison to men who are of average weight or are slightly overweight or are slightly underweight. For the sake of simplicity, assume that the definition of an obese man (of average height) is someone who is at least 50 lbs overweight.
On hair loss forums, people often talk about changing their diet to a more healthier one in order to see if it improves their scalp hair. However, if anything, I have seen highly obese people with a terrible junk food and soda filled diet having better hair than those with more regular diets. I hope I am wrong about that observation.
Moreover, when people lose a lot of weight, one of the more frequent complaints that I have read online seems to be the side effect of hair loss. This might be a temporary side effect in most cases.
Obesity’s Impact on Testosterone and Estrogen Levels
If the above inverse correlation between weight and scalp hair quantity is true, the main reason is probably because very fat men tend to have lower levels of testosterone. This would mean they most likely also have lower levels of dihydrotesterone (DHT), the main culprit in male pattern hair loss. An important study from 2008 found that higher waist circumferences were associated with lower testosterone levels.
Update: I had to delete the poll in 2018 due to some plugin issues. The results of the poll are summarized below.
In your daily life, have you noticed that obese men are less likely to go bald in comparison to non-obese men?
Total responses = 1,380.
Yes = 362 (26.2%).
No = 595 (43.1%).
Not Sure = 423 (30.7%).