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How to Prevent Balding—Four Ways to Stop Hair Loss
Struggling with hair loss? In this post, we break down the best treatments for hair loss and how to cope with male pattern baldness.
Unless you’ve been blessed with some amazing hair genes, you’ve probably worried about hair loss at some point in your life. Given that both facial hair and head hair have long been tied to perceptions of masculinity, losing hair can be downright traumatizing for many guys.
If you’re not quite ready to embrace the bald or you just want to be proactive about future hair loss, there are things you can do to slow down and perhaps even stop balding. But before we get into it, you may want to temper your expectations. While some guys have successfully managed to stop hair loss and even have it grow back, other cases are impossible to fix.
With that in mind, here are a few things you should know about hair loss:
- Treating hair loss is complicated and not every guy will respond to popular hair restoration treatments.
- Minoxidil (commonly known as Rogaine) remains one of the most popular treatments for hair loss.
- Living a healthy lifestyle can slow down premature balding and hair loss.
#1—Rule Out Medical Conditions
There are several medical conditions that are known to cause hair loss. Thus, your best chance of stopping hair loss may be to treat the underlying condition.
The best way to figure out what could potentially be causing your hair loss is by seeing your doctor. He or she will go over your family history, ask about medications you’re taking and may run a few tests to get to the bottom of your hair loss.
If your hair is brittle and thinning, an underactive thyroid (aka, hypothyroidism) may be to blame. This butterfly-shaped gland is responsible for producing hormones that can influence various parts of the body, such as the health of hair follicles.
Other underlying health conditions that may result in hair loss include the following:
- Skin conditions
- Scalp infections
- Certain medications
- Traumatic life events
- Autoimmune diseases
- Vitamin deficiencies
#2—Try the New and Improved Rogaine
If you’ve ever worried about going bald or have previously struggled to grow facial hair, you may be familiar with Rogaine (aka, minoxidil). One of the most well-known hair restoration medications, Rogaine has been shown to help guys with male pattern baldness (known medically as androgenetic alopecia).
Specifically, a new and improved minoxidil formulation has shown promise in the treatment of androgenetic alopecia (AGA). In a 2019 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, researchers compared a new minoxidil formula with a comparator minoxidil product and found that the new formula was both safe and effective for guys with AGA (see claim: “DC0120 was as safe and effective as a similar marketed minoxidil product for stimulating hair growth in men with AGA.”)
As with any hair restoration product, Rogaine may not work for everyone. It can also cause redness and irritation of the scalp, among other unwanted side effects.
#3—Live a Healthy Lifestyle
While it’s true that hair loss is often caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors, eating a healthy diet and forming good habits can potentially help you keep hair on your head for longer. Some cases of hair loss may be the result of nutrient deficiencies—specifically, low levels of Niacin (Vitamin B3) and Biotin (Vitamin B7).
Premature balding has also been associated with bad habits such as smoking. In a 2007 study published in JAMA Network, researchers found that guys who smoked had an increased risk of hereditary male baldness (see claim: “…smokers were at increased risk of having moderate or severe AGA…”)
Besides, living a healthy lifestyle can increase your sense of well-being, make you feel happier and improve the appearance of your skin to boot. If this trade-off sounds worth it to you (and it should), start by seeing a nutritionist and becoming a regular at the gym.
#4—Splurge on a Hair Transplant
It goes without saying that most guys don’t want to suffer the embarrassment of getting a hair transplant. However, if your hair is seriously knocking down your confidence and negatively impacting your career, it may be worth considering.
Hair transplants are a permanent solution to hair loss and have an extremely high success rate. Plus, they aren’t as scary as they sound. It’s just a matter of relocating hair you already have on your head to fill in bald patches.
At the very least, it doesn’t hurt to start the conversation with your doctor. He or she can refer you to a reputable surgeon who has experience with hair restoration techniques.
Making Peace with Your Genetics
Everyone will lose some hair eventually. If you’re a younger guy with male pattern baldness or alopecia, you may have an uphill battle to face in terms of stopping hair loss.
So, why fight it at all? Hanging onto your thinning hair isn’t a good look. Besides, guys like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham are rocking the chrome dome and making it look badass in the process. Consider taking your cue from these guys and embracing the bald.