Dealing with hair loss can be a very upsetting and frustrating experience, especially for younger men. The emotional and physical changes can be hard to cope with and accept.
Some men are unable to move onto acceptance. They start wearing baseball caps where ever they go. And they stubbornly keep the same hairstyle that they had when they had a full head of hair, even though it’s now making their thinning hair look even worse.
Hair loss is something that affects hundreds of millions of men worldwide. For that very reason, we thought it’d be a good idea to provide you with a guide on how to deal with hair loss. By reading this guide and learning about hair loss, the options and treatments available, and accepting the facts of your situation, you can learn to deal with the condition and enjoy your life.
Causes of Hair Loss
By understanding the causes of hair loss in men you can take steps to prevent the condition or reduce its severity. Below we’ve outlined the common causes of hair loss.
There are a number of medical conditions that can cause hair loss, including:
Alopecia areata – This disease occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys hair follicles, causing smooth, roundish patches of hair loss.
Hypothyroidism – The thyroid, a small gland located in the neck, helps regulate hormone levels in your body. If the gland isn’t working properly, hair loss may occur.
Scalp infections – There are a number of infections that can cause hair loss. The most common is called ringworm. Scientifically known as tinea capitis, ringworm is caused by a fungus called dermatophytes that flourishes in warm, moist conditions. Although it usually only affects children, it can affect any man that has poor hygiene.
Other skin conditions – Diseases that can cause scaring such as lichen pianus and some types of lupus can result in permanent hair loss where the scars occur.
There are a number of drugs that can cause hair loss. These include the following:
- Anti-thyroid medications
- Hormonal therapies
Other Causes of Hair Loss
Hair loss can also result from:
Stress – There are two types of stress that can have strange effects on the body; physical stress (surgery, injury etc) and psychological stress (death in the family, money problems etc). When you suffer from severe stress, your body goes into a state of shock, overwhelming it with various metabolites and hormones. This can cause telogen effluvium. Although it’s understood how severe stress can cause hair loss, its long term affects are still unclear.
Trichotillomania – This is the name given to the mental illness that causes people to have the irresistible urge to pull out their hair, whether it’s from the scalp, their eyebrows or other parts of the body. Over a period of time a bald spot will appear but will typically re-grow if the habit is stopped. However, excessive trichotillomania may lead to permanent hair loss and scaring.
Certain hairstyles – Traction hair loss can occur if the hair is pulled too tightly into hairstyles such as dreadlocks or cornrows.
Male pattern baldness – The most common cause of hair loss is a hereditary condition called male pattern baldness. Medically known as androgentic alopecia, certain sex hormones trigger a particular pattern of permanent hair loss. Recent studies have identified a gene that shows men are more at risk for hair loss if their father is bald. But you can also inherit this gene from your mom’s side of the family. So, basically if you have anyone that’s bald in your family tree, there’s a good chance you’ll go bald too.
Hair Loss Remedies
So you’re going bald. What do you do? Well, if going bald really bothers you, you can always try one of the following treatments.
Rogaine – Rogaine (minoxidil) is a topical medication you put on your head that promotes hair growth and keeps the hair you have left from falling out. You can buy it over the counter at most drug stores or online. The main disadvantage is that once you stop using Rogaine on a regular basis, your hair loss will continue once more. Therefore if you decide to use Rogaine, you’ll have to invest a small fortune over the duration of your life to keep your hair.
Propecia – Propecia (finasteride) is a drug that helps prevent the change of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT). The drug can be effective treatment for male pattern baldness on the front and centre of the head, but appears to be less effective for hair loss near the temples. Consult your doctor before taking any medication for possible complications or side-effects.
Alpecin – Alpecin is a caffeine shampoo that strengthens weakened hair roots and counteracts premature hair loss, increases hair root productivity and enhances the speed of hair growth. You can buy Alpecin at your local drug store or online. Alpecin caffeine shampoo stimulates hair growth directly at the roots and the process is extremely apparent even after being left on for as little as 120 seconds.
Hair Transplants – Hair transplantation is a permanent treatment. A doctor will relocate bald resistant hair follicles from the back of your head to the balding areas on the top of your head. Because the hair follicles on the back of your head are resistant to hair loss, in theory you’ll never have to worry about going bald again. However, you need to be careful with hair transplants. Although they’ve come a long way, if they’re done poorly, it’ll look unnatural. Also, hair transplants are very expensive. If you have the money and you’re thinking about getting a hair transplant; make sure you check that the surgeon is qualified, board-certified and experienced.
Toupee – If you have a medical condition or you’re allergic to certain hair treatment drugs, then wearing a wig or weave is an option. You can buy realistic looking wigs these days that are made from human hair. However, wearing a wig can be risky, especially if it looks unnatural or the wind catches it.
Accepting That You’re Losing Hair
According to recent studies, nearly half of all men are losing their hair and half of those are under the age of 30. So, you’re not alone. The best way to deal with hair loss is to accept the fact that you’re balding and embrace it. It’s cheaper and involves less work than the above options. If you’ve noticed that you hairline is starting to recede, remember that millions of men go bald, they still have successful careers and they still attract woman.Try not to get too hung up on how much hair you have on your head. If you don’t make a big song and dance about your hair, no one else will either.
Hairstyles for Balding Men
You need to keep your hair short. Short hair minimizes the appearance of balding and gives your hair more lift which makes it look like you have more hair. Below are some short hairstyles that you can fashion with confidence.
Buzz Cut – The buzz cut is a great look if you’re hair is starting to thin on your crown or near your hairline. The buzz cut gives you a clean, edgy look that works in any professional or social environment.
Short Caesar Cut – A stylish way to conceal a receding hairline and a thinning top. The bangs are cut with a horizontal fringe styled forward.
Shaggy Layers – If you’re starting to thin all over, but you’re not ready for a very short hair cut, the ideal hairstyle consists of light shaggy layers. Ask your barber to cut your hair in uneven layers. When styling your hair kind of scuffle your hair around.
Short and Tapered All Over – If you’ve noticed that you’re starting to recede and your forehead has started to become more prominent but you still have plenty of hair, ask your barber to cut it short on top and tapered on the sides. Leave it long enough on top so that you can comb a part on the side of your head.
Grow facial hair – A lot of men that are thinning on top fashion some sort of facial hair. It directs the attention away from your balding head.
Shaved head – For men who have very large bald spots, the completely bald look is a good option. First of all, you free yourself from having to ever style your hair again. It also makes a statement. It shows the world that you’ve accepted your hair loss and that you’ve got enough confidence to go completely bald.
Other Hair Loss Tips
Never ever attempt the comb-over – No matter what style you go with, avoid the comb-over at all costs. It just looks stupid and very unattractive.
Avoid heavy styling products – Styling products such as gels, pastes, putties hold your hair in place. If you use too much styling product, your hair will clump together revealing bald patches. Use tiny amounts of product to keep bald spots covered up.
Dry your hair carefully – Vigorously rubbing your hair with a towel after a shower can seriously damage your hair. By applying vigorous force you can break and destroy finer hairs. Use a soft towel to pat your hair and then use a hair dryer whilst brushing through lightly.
If you’re not sure what to do about your hair loss, ask your barber for advice next time you go for a haircut. There’s no need to be embarrassed about it. He’s seen it all before!