If you’re going bald, it’s time to stop pretending like nothing is happening and finally do something about it. The only question is, what do you do?
Understanding Male Pattern Baldness
Perhaps you’ve seen the statistics before. By the age of 35, two in every three men will have some degree of hair loss. And by age 50, 85 percent of men will have significantly thinning hair. (Shockingly, a quarter of all men experience balding before reaching their 21st birthday.) And do you know what the most common cause is?
In 95 percent of all cases, male pattern baldness (or androgenetic alopecia) is the cause. Thus, if you’re going bald, male pattern baldness is almost certainly to be blamed. But what is it? And what does it mean for your scalp’s future?
Genetics are often to blame for male pattern baldness. If you have a history of baldness in your family, it’s likely that you’ll experience hair loss as well. Doctors and researchers have found that this condition is closely connected to male sex hormones known as androgens (which regulate hair growth).
As Healthline explains, “Each hair on your head has a growth cycle. With male pattern baldness, this growth cycle begins to weaken and the hair follicle shrinks, producing shorter and finer strands of hair. Eventually, the growth cycle for each hair ends and no new hair grows in its place.”
Male pattern baldness tends to affect the crown of the head, as well as the temples. In some men, it leads to a receding hairline that takes on the shape of an “M.” Thankfully, hair loss does not usually come with any other unwanted side effects. This leaves men with a choice: Fight back or embrace a new reality.
How to Combat Hair Loss
Hair loss isn’t always permanent. And you’ll be happy to learn that future hair loss can often be prevented. And, with the right steps, you can stimulate hair regrowth. Here are some different options you have available:
- Try medication. There are two primary medications for hair loss. They’re typically used independently, though they can be used together if your doctor recommends it. The first is minoxidil (better known as Rogaine). This topical medication is applied to the scalp and slows down hair loss. The other option is finasteride (Propecia). This oral medication slows hair loss and encourages regrowth.
- Care for your hair. Take care of your hair. Most people assume they’re already doing this, but are surprised to learn that their hair care routines are actually causing unnecessary damage. It may be time to evaluate your own routines. Tips: Don’t overwash it, avoid harsh chemicals, and go easy when brushing or combing. Anything you can do to protect your hair will help in the long run.
- Consider treatments. There are a variety of treatment options available, ranging from non-invasive options like low level laser therapy all the way to hair transplants. If you have extensive hair loss and/or want to be extremely proactive, you may choose to go in this direction.
- Improve your diet. Did you know that proper diet and nutrition can actually slow the rate of hair loss and/or help you regrow hair in areas where you’re thinning and balding? (The efficacy ultimately depends on the underlying causes of your hair loss.) For best results, cut out as much processed foods as possible and aim for the proper balance of fresh foods like eggs, berries, fatty fish, spinach, lean meat, beans, soybeans, shrimp, sweet potatoes, oysters, sweet peppers, avocados, seeds, and nuts.
- Throw in some supplements. Even a well balanced diet can leave you deficient in key areas. To ensure you’re properly fueled for optimum hair growth, consider supplements like biotin, ginseng, saw palmetto, and a good multivitamin.
- Beat the stress. Did you know that some hair loss is caused by stress? (And at the very least, most hair loss is made worse by stress.) Thankfully, there are some strategies for combatting stress-induced hair loss. Try yoga, mediation, and scalp massages. (The latter not only relieves stress, but it also increases circulation to the scalp.)
Every man is different. You might be willing to try all of the above methods, or you may prefer a more conservative approach. It’s all up to you. Research your options and consult with your doctor to determine the best possible game plan.
How to Embrace Baldness
There’s nothing wrong with being bald. There are plenty of guys who rock that look – including Bruce Willis, Dwayne Johnson, and even John Travolta. So if you want to accept your hair loss and go full-on bald – you have all the permission you need. Here are some tips for embracing it to the fullest:
- Don’t go halfway. If you’re going to go bald, don’t do it halfway. Embrace it to the fullest! In other words, the cul-de-sac look has to go. Shave your head and be done with it.
- Grow facial hair. One way to add some color and dimension to your head is to grow facial hair. Whether it’s a beard, mustache, or both, facial hair will give you a defined look.
- Get fit. Bald guys tend to look the best when they’re muscular and fit. If you’re going to embrace your baldness, you should also up your fitness regimen.
At the end of the day, you need to be confident in your look. Don’t self-deprecate or constantly make jokes about your baldness (unless that’s your sense of humor to begin with). Embrace your new look and make no apologies. You’ll find that very few people (if any) will have anything negative to say.
Don’t Let Hair Loss Hold You Back
The choice is yours. You can choose to combat hair loss via medication, supplements, or treatment options (such as LLLT). Or you have the option to embrace it and usher in a new look. Either way, the goal is to be as healthy and confident as possible – whichever path you take.