How To Stop Hair Loss in Men


Hair loss is one of the prevalent problems worldwide. The hairs on our head have a life cycle that involves growing, resting, and shedding. There are approximately 100,000 hair follicles on the average person’s scalp and hair follicles do not form again after birth. It is common to lose between 50 and 100 hairs in a day but as you age, follicles can stop producing new hair.

Hair loss affects everyone differently. There are several reasons that cause hair loss and hair loss can also present itself in many ways. Sometimes it affects people only temporarily, sometimes its permanent. There are many options out there for you to consider if you’re noticing your hair thinning or hairline receding, if hair loss is persistent you may want to consult a hair loss doctor as there could be an underlying health issue you’re not aware of. Such as, stress, scalp infections, thyroid issues, alopecia, or just aging.

How to spot hair loss in Men

Losing hair can happen suddenly or gradually over time, sometimes it creeps up on you and you won't even realize. Here are some indicators to spot if you’re concerned about hair loss
Thinning on the crown

This is very common as you age. Hair will recede from the forehead in the shape of a M. You may notice sparseness of the hairline around your temples. If you part your hair you may notice your part widening.

Bald spots

Patchy bald spots can develop in certain cases. This typically only affects the scalp, you may notice smooth, coin-sized bald spots around your head, beard or eyebrows. Sometimes people experience itchiness and pain around the regions of hair loss

Loosening of the hair

We typically see this is typically when a person goes through physical or emotional shock/trauma. Hairs will loosen from combing, washing, or sometimes even gently pulling on the hair will lead to it falling out. This usually leads to overall thinness.

Causes of hair loss

Sometimes shedding is temporary and can respond well to minor changes in diet, certain treatments, or lifestyle changes. If hair loss is more permanent or won’t stop, there may be an underlying condition that needs treating. Hair loss is typically associated with one or more of the following factors:

Genetics (heredity)

Male pattern baldness or Androgenic Alopecia is the most prevalent cause of male hair loss and is a hereditary condition. This can cause the hairline to recede and thinning at the crown. at least 50% of men over the age of 50 will experience Male pattern baldness to some extent.

Hormonal Changes and medical conditions

Hormonal fluctuations can cause hair loss, both temporarily and permanently. Certain medical treatments can cause hair loss, such as chemotherapy. Ringworm can also cause scaling across the scalp and hinder growth as well as promote breakage. Alopecia can cause hair loss in patches and a disorder called trichotillomania where it involves repetitive, unavoidable tendencies to pull hair from areas of the body. Medications used to treat heart problems, arthritis, cancer, depression and high blood pressure may also have adverse side effects that affect our hair. 

Stress

As mentioned before, emotional and physical shock can cause hair to thin and this can go on for months but, this type of hair loss is typically temporary. Shock can be triggered by a number of things such as loss of a loved one, your job or insufficient cash flow to pay mortgage, etc

Particular ways to style your hair or treatment

Certain hairstyles pull the hair on your scalp really tight such as pigtails, high ponytails. Cornrows can also lead to hair loss, properly known as traction alopecia. This can exacerbate hair loss around the hairline and crown of the head. There are treatments that can cause hair follicles to be inflamed and permanent damage to the hair.

How to prevent hair loss in men

Reasons for hair loss that are hereditary are not preventable but there are steps you can take to help slow down the process and prevent other hair loss causes
  • You should avoid excessive heat styling using flat irons, curling irons and hot rollers. Avoid hair styles that are taut on the head and avoid chemical hair treatments like brazillian blow outs 
  • Avoid compulsively touching, pulling, twirling, rubbing your hair
  • Regular washes with mild shampoo can help curb hair loss by keeping the area clean. Risks of infection and inflammation are much lower and can offset the chance of dandruff. When our hair is clean it's also more voluminous which is helpful in creating the illusion of fuller hair. 
  • Avoid brushing your hair when it’s wet as it is the most fragile when wet
  • Make sure to read about the adverse side effects of medications, find alternatives if possible
  • Sweat can clog our pores and weaken the roots. This can lead to hair loss. Protect your hair and scalp from the sunlight and other UV rays. Sweat on the scalp can be quite damaging, be sure to cleanse thoroughly.
  • Consider stopping smoking as studies have shown a link between smoking and baldness
  • Cooling caps are available if you are receiving chemotherapy. This can help offset hair loss during therapy. 
  • Diet plays a role as well, a 2018 study revealed that people who consumed raw vegetables and fresh herbs more than three times a week were less likely to get androgenic alopecia (male pattern baldness) and slow the process of baldness. It is also important to eat a diet rich in protein as a study noted participants who were experiencing hair loss also had several nutritional deficiencies, including amino acids which serve as a building block for protein. Our hair follicles are made of keratin which is a protein.
  • It is also important to stay hydrated for the growth of healthy hair. One-quarter of our hair shaft consists of water
  • Alcohol reduces hair growth so if you’re seeing signs of hair loss, consider lessening your alcohol intake
  • Stress can cause hair loss as well, so it is important to de-stress. Participate in relaxing activities, such as walking, meditating, reading, watching a movie, or simply catching up on some sleep.

Medication/Treatment for hair loss

There is no need to stress as medical treatments aren’t necessary if there is no serious underlying cause for the hair loss but there are treatments available if you are dissatisfied with how you look. There are also various treatments you can easily do yourself to help encourage hair growth and delay hair loss.
  • You could simply ask your hairdresser or barber for a cut that hides bald patches, signs of hair thinning
  • There are endless styles of wigs or hairpieces that can help cover all hair loss issues, experiment with your new look or opt for something closer to your existing hair for a natural look
  • There are supplements available in the market that aid hair growth. Studies have determined that vitamins A, B, C, D, zinc, and iron are important for overall hair health.
  • Vitamin H or B7, also known as biotin is essential to the hair life cycle as well
  • Saw palmetto is a herb that can help the body maintain levels of testosterone. A study showed that taking saw palmetto helped improve hair growth
  • You could rub coconut oil into your roots as a study suggested it can help prevent hair damage and UV light exposure. Coconut oil will help build protein in the hair, protecting it from a breakage at the root and strand. Massaging the scalp can also help induce better blood circulation which will aid in the regrowth
  • You can also rub olive oil into your hair if you have a dry scalp/dry hair

There are medications used to treat hereditary baldness such as:

  • Rogaine or Minoxidil is an over the counter medication that is known to help with hair loss and is effective on most users. It is a liquid or foam you apply to your scalp every day. Side effects may include dryness, burning, irritation, acne, rapid heart rate, fluctuation in weight, swollen face, hands and feet, chest pain, and labored respiration. Minoxidil needs consistent use for a minimum of 4 months to produce results and hair loss will happen again once you stop taking the medication
  • Finasteride- also known as Propecia or Proscar. This oral medication is known to slow hair loss in some people. It blocks the production of the male hormone responsible for hair loss. Finasteride produces better results than Minoxidil but effects will reverse once the medication is stopped. There are also side effects with this medication that includes, depression, itching, hives, breast tenderness, breast growth, pain in testicles and difficulty getting an erection
  • Hair transplant – the most expensive treatment and also the most invasive of all the options available for hair loss. It is effective for hair loss as it works by removing tiny patches of skin that contain several hairs from the back or side of your scalp. They will replant the hair follicles into your bald spots and over time, the hair will grow out of those bald patches, following its the natural cycle. Some people may need more than one surgery to get their desired effect, but hereditary hair loss will eventually catch up despite many hair surgeries. This procedure is expensive and can be painful with long recovery time. 
  • Laser therapy- Low-level lasers can help improve hair density. This is also called red light therapy and works by stimulating epidermal stem cells.
  • Platelet-rich plasma – Injecting platelet-rich plasma into the scalp can help stimulate growth in areas impacted by hair loss/
Consider making an appointment with a professional doctor if you feel home remedies are not doing anything for you as you may have an underlying health issue affecting your hair growth. It is also important to bear in mind, that any treatment you decide to use may take anywhere between 6 months to a year to show signs of improvement. 
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