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As hair loss rises, bald males in Asia grapple with cultural stigmas

Written by Oscar Holland, CNNHong Kong

Despite his father having an “m-shaped” hairline, Alex Han from northeast China never thought he’d experience hair loss in his 20s.

While studies have suggested almost all Caucasian men will eventually face some degree of male pattern baldness — and around half can expect to lose their hair by middle age — Asian men, and East Asians in particular, have historically experienced the lowest incidence of hair loss in the world.

A 2010 study from six Chinese cities found that fewer than 3% of men aged 18-29, and just over 13% of those in their 30s, experienced male pattern baldness. Earlier research from South Korea suggested that only 14.1% of the entire male population was affected, while Japanese men were found to develop male pattern baldness approximately a decade later than their European counterparts.

But as Han, now 34, later discovered, genetics isn’t everything. Stress, poor diet, lack of sleep and smoking can all contribute to hair loss….