Male hair loss can affect men as young as their 20s. According to the American Hair Loss Association, more than 85% of men will have significantly thinning hair at some point in their lives. While some men flaunt their bald head, others would prefer to keep their locks. The key to halting male hair loss is to understand how it works and how to treat it. Keep reading to learn the causes of hair thinning in men and what you can do about it.
The most common type of male hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia, otherwise known as male pattern baldness. It occurs when men have an inherited sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgenic hormone.
In most men, about 5% of testosterone is converted to DHT by an enzyme called 5-alpha reductase. However, for men with DHT sensitivity, DHT acts like a toxin on the hair follicles along the hairline and crown. This inhibits the follicles’ ability to absorb vitamins, minerals and key nutrients, leading to miniaturization of the hair follicles and shortening the growing (anagen) phase of the hair growth cycle. Hair follicles near the ears and at the back of the head are less affected by DHT, so one of the symptoms of male hair loss is the horseshoe-shaped pattern of hair loss around the crown.
Additionally, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania identified an abnormal amount of a lipid called prostaglandin D2 in the bald scalp of men with male pattern baldness. This discovery has not necessarily led to new remedies for male pattern baldness, but it does hint that androgenic alopecia may have causes other than DHT sensitivity.
Another interesting but little understood fact about male hair loss is that DHT-sensitive hair follicles must be exposed to DHT for a prolonged period of time before the miniaturization process is complete.
Although male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) is a serious and often permanent type of male hair loss, some male hair loss is temporary. At the first sign of thinning, shedding or aging hair, take note of your underlying environmental and health factors. Take early action to prevent this kind of hair loss.
Stress can cause the adrenal gland to produce more adrenaline, which can increase levels of testosterone and DHT. For some men, everyday stress can turn into a vicious circle: stress affects the hair growth cycle, which in turn causes more stress, and makes hair loss worse.
A number of prescription medications can cause hair loss, as can serious illnesses. Before beginning any hair loss treatment, consult your doctor to determine the underlying medical causes of your hair loss.
A diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals is key to healthy hair growth. Hair follicles are nonessential tissues in the body and so are often among the last tissues to receive nutrients from the foods you eat. If you doubt you are getting enough Vitamin C, Zinc, and other nutrients in your diet, consider taking clinically researched Viviscal’s hair growth supplements to nourish thinning hair and help reduce further hair loss.*
Cigarette smoking has been shown to affect hair growth. Smoking can lead to poor blood circulation, which inhibits the blood flow to the hair follicles on the scalp. This can affect the follicles’ ability to absorb key nutrients and stay vital and healthy.
With male hair loss, prevention is key. While you can’t control your genetics, you can control some other risk factors for male hair loss with the following steps:
Because male hair loss is progressive, it’s wise to take action as soon as you notice thinning at the temples or crown. Here’s what you can do to slow down or halt male hair loss.
A healthy scalp creates the right environment for healthy hair growth. The most suitable shampoos for balding men are ones that are gentle enough for everyday use. Scrub the scalp well to exfoliate the scalp to remove dirt, debris, and sebum, to help maintain a healthy scalp.
To make male hair loss less noticeable, try a hair thickening or densifying serum for men that can also help maintain a healthy scalp. Try one containing naturally derived ingredients that makes hair look thicker, such as Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Densifying Elixir.
A good scalp massage can also help promote healthy hair growth by increasing blood flow to the scalp. Try a five-minute scalp massage every morning to invigorate the scalp and create the optimal environment for healthy hair growth.
When looking for how to reduce hair fall in men, keep in mind that less is more when styling your hair. Steer very clear of the age-old combover and reduce the amount of styling products you use. The less you comb or style your hair, the less damage you’ll cause, and your hair will look thicker.
Instead, turn to your barber for the answer. Try a short, cropped haircut that is longer on top and shorter on the sides to draw the eye away from thinning hair.
At the first signs of thinning around the temples, take action immediately to nourish thinning hair with a combination of vitamins, minerals and marine proteins. When our diets are lacking the right nutrients, thinning hair and brittle nails are among the first results. Hair and nails are considered non-essential body parts and so generally receive nutrients last. A clinically researched hair growth† supplement for men delivers the right combination of nutrients to the hair follicle to combat these effects and promote thicker, fuller hair.*
As a last resort, there is of course topical minoxidil drugs or hair restoration surgery. However, some studies show that minoxidil treatments may not be as effective in the long-term and 2% topical minoxidil solution significantly regrows hair only in about one-third of men who take it. In addition, although minoxidil regrows hair, it is a long-term commitment. When you stop taking minoxidil, the hair you’ve regrown will fall out again.
Hair transplant surgery is a permanent hair growth solution. But it is expensive, often not covered by health insurance and, as with any surgery, there is a risk of complications. If you go the surgery route, it’s best to invest in a top surgeon to achieve the most lasting and natural-looking results.
Even if male hair loss is in your family, you’re not necessarily destined to losing all your hair. By following a hair-healthy routine and supplementing your diet, you can help to slow down or even stop male hair loss.
†Existing hair growth