Hair loss is a problem that most men will deal with at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent hair loss. Genetics play a major role, meaning that you may be more likely to lose your hair if your family has a strong history of hair loss. However, there are a number of treatments and lifestyle changes that can help to slow hair loss and encourage hair growth.
The most important thing is to act quickly once you notice hair loss beginning. The more hair that's lost, the harder it is to restore the original density. Once a part of your scalp is completely bald, hair is unlikely to regrow on that spot. So, even if you just have a little fuzz, take good care of it!
Men often spend minimal time on daily hair maintenance, but there are some basic hair health routines that can help to reduce hair loss. Washing your hair with lukewarm water instead of hot water can minimise agitation of the hair follicles. Reduce breakage by gently patting your hair dry, rather than rubbing it vigorously. If your hair tends to be coarse and dry, only wash it every other day and use a moisture-rich conditioner. Avoid gels with alcohol and other products that dry out hair. Use suncream on any bald patches on your scalp to prevent sun damage and further balding.
There are two drugs available on the UK market with proven impact on hair loss: over the counter Regaine (minoxidil) and prescription Propecia (finasteride). Propecia has been proven to be more effective than Regaine, working in more than 80% of men who take it. It is the only prescription medication clinically proven to treat male pattern baldness. Propecia's active ingredient is finasteride, which works to lower the amount of the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in your bloodstream. This prevents further hair loss and encourages hair growth.
Eating a balanced healthy diet is good for your entire body, including your hair and scalp. Your hair needs specific nutrients to promote growth and retain elasticity and length. Your scalp needs specific nutrients to ensure adequate oil and hormone production.
These are some of the most important nutrients for hair and what foods provide them:
While multivitamins can't make up for an unhealthy diet, they can fill in some nutritional gaps, particularly for harder-to-get minerals like zinc and magnesium.
It's no surprise that your overall health impacts your hair's health. The healthier you are in general, the healthier your hair will be. Ensure that you're getting enough sleep, so your growth hormones can have plenty of time to be active in your scalp. Reduce the amount of stress in your life, as intense stress can cause hair loss. If you smoke, try to quit, as smoking has been shown to increase hair loss. Certain illnesses, such as thyroid disease or autoimmune diseases, may also occasionally cause hair loss. Check with your GP to ensure that none of these are affecting you.
Male pattern baldness can occur in men as young as 19 or 20.