It is common for men to start losing their hair in their early twenties. The Guardian’s report on hair loss notes that male pattern baldness tends to begin in men between the ages of 20 to 25. 50% of men are significantly affected by male pattern baldness by age 50. And in modern society, where having a youthful appearance plays a big role in dating, employment, and social prospects, hair loss can be a major problem.
Fortunately, there are many options men can consider when addressing hair loss. Lifestyle changes, such as adjusting diet and reducing stress, can slow the onset of male pattern baldness before it worsens. Those already affected by major thinning or balding can consider solutions like minoxidil and hair transplants. Below, we’ll go over what men can do to combat hair loss.
Shedding hair is a normal part of the human hair growth cycle. However, among younger people, hair is usually supposed to grow back. At the end of each hair growth cycle, the stem cells inside the hair follicles should divide and create new cells from which new hairs grow.
However, when you’re stressed, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Studies by Dr Ya-Chieh Hsu of Harvard University recently discovered that cortisol inhibits your body from activating the hair follicle stem cells, preventing regeneration. As a result, individuals with high stress lose more hair than they grow. To avoid hair loss, do activities that help you regulate your body’s cortisol levels, such as exercise, meditation, and yoga.
According to the ‘26 Best Foods for Hair Growth’ written by the nutrition publication Eat This, Not That, you can promote hair growth by consuming specific nutrients. Biotin, a type of B vitamin, stimulates keratin production and encourages hair growth. On the other hand, vitamin E can reduce oxidative stress, which is a bodily imbalance that is often associated with alopecia. Other helpful nutrients include iron, vitamin C, vitamin D, and omega-3. The best foods for hair growth include almond butter, which is rich in vitamin E and protein; eggs, which contain biotin; and salmon, which contains omega-3.
Those who want to go beyond prevention can look into minoxidil. This topical foam solution can help hair grow on balding or thinning spots on the head. A SymptomFind guide explains that minoxidil is most effective for hair loss caused by male-patterned baldness. However, minoxidil doesn’t work for everyone. Sometimes, it will merely prevent hair loss rather than restore hair. In about one in three users, minoxidil has no effect at all.
If hair growth treatments are ineffective, consider getting a hair transplant. A hair transplant is a surgical procedure that moves existing hairs to balding or thinning areas, which can create the appearance of natural hair growth. The two most common methods for transplanting hair are follicular unit strip surgery (FUSS) and follicular unit extraction (FUE).
In FUSS, your surgeon will carve a 6-10 inch strip of skin out of your scalp, then sew the wound closed. Your surgeon will then divide the removed strip into small follicular units, each containing one or more hair follicles. Then the grafted skin will be inserted into balding areas. On the other hand, FUE takes smaller units of follicles from donor areas.
As we explained in our article about actor Matthew McConaughey’s hair transplant, it’s important to have realistic expectations following hair transplant procedures. To ensure the best results, look for a surgeon who communicates effectively and can walk you through what to expect from the process.
Hair loss is a normal part of aging. However, thanks to solutions like proper diets, medication, and hair transplants, today’s men can avoid, delay, or treat balding.