You know what sucks? Losing your hair. You know what makes it worse? That it happens slowly over time. Little by little, day by day, you’re forced to watch your hairline recede, knowing that someday it will be gone, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Or is there?Hair loss is primarily caused by a steroid hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. Ironically, DHT is the hormone that initially is responsible for growing hair in men, but over time it binds to hair follicles causing them to shrink, weaken, and die. Fortunately there are plenty of things you can do to help keep your hair where you want it. Let’s take a look at some of the Dos and Don’ts of hair loss prevention.
Giving your body the proper nutrients has so many benefits. Besides the obvious one (keeping you alive), it also has a huge impact on the health of your hair. And since your hair is made of protein, eating foods that have a high protein content can be extra helpful. Try sticking to things like chicken, steak, tofu, or eggs, while avoiding things like trans fats, sugar, and excessive caffeine. These latter items have actually been found to increase inflammation and boost the amount of DHT in your body.
Vitamin D stimulates the growth of your hair follicles, so when you don’t have enough, you can start seeing the effects. Deficiencies in vitamin D have also been linked to alopecia, which is an autoimmune disease causing patchy hair loss all over the body. Vitamin D levels can be easily increased by either taking over-the-counter supplements, eating Vitamin D rich foods like salmon or other fatty fish, or simply getting some more sun! Exposing your skin to anywhere from 10-30 minutes of midday sun a few times a week should be all you need to keep your vitamin D levels where they need to be.
Honestly, you can eat all the protein and take all the vitamins you want, but if male pattern baldness is in your natural genes, then eventually it’s going to catch up with you. Fortunately, we humans know that the best way to fight nature is with science. To this end there are now a number of hair loss treatments on the market. We’ve all heard of Rogaine and Propecia, but if you would like to pay a less outrageous price, you can try something called Finasteride. Finasteride is a generic form of Propecia that prevents continued hair loss by stopping the spread of DHT. There are even a few up and coming men’s health brands that make Finasteride available online! So no doctor’s appointments necessary.
Stress can cause hair loss. So getting stressed about losing your hair will only make things worse! Experiencing too much stress, or trauma can cause a condition called Telogen Effluvium where your hair follicles enter a ‘resting phase’ and stop growing. This condition is temporary and can be reversed if you’re able to lower your stress levels. Exercise, meditation, yoga, and making time for yourself are all simple and effective ways to combat stress.
Sometimes when a man is losing his hair, he can become precious about the hair he has left. This is totally understandable, but can lead to some bad decisions. Like deciding to not wash your hair because you think it will cause more if it to fall out. Taking care of your hair is the only way to keep it healthy, and that includes keeping it clean. However, drying your hair too vigorously can cause damage to any weak hairs you may have. If this is a concern for you, make sure you’re being gentle when you’re toweling off, or just let it air-dry.
So you’re losing hair on top of your head. It only makes sense to grow the rest of your hair out longer to compensate right? No! This is a terrible strategy that never fools anybody. Longer hair surrounding a bald spot isn’t distracting people. It’s actually calling more attention to the hair that isn’t there. As much as it may be difficult to let go of what you have, keeping your hair short allows the thinning areas to better blend in with the thicker areas.