Hair Loss: It Happens to Almost Everyone
The American Hair Loss Association’s research shows that, “by the age of thirty-five, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss, and by the age of fifty, approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair.”
As part of their ongoing series of Real Life Tested Campaigns, Dove Men+Care compiled and released a new report, the Dove Men+Care Hair Fall Study, outlining the physical and environmental stressors contributing to hair loss in men.
We sat down with Dr. Glynis Ablon, a board certified dermatologist who collaborated with Dove on this groundbreaking new study. As the founder of the Ablon Skin Institute and Research Center and associate professor of dermatology at UCLA, we reached out to Dr. Ablon for her proven expertise in men’s hair loss to learn more about its causes and what steps men can take to prevent hair loss.
Types of Hair Loss
Ablon makes clear, “There are two types of hair loss. The first is scarring alopecia, also known as androgenic alopecia. This is the type of hair loss usually associated with male pattern baldness and genetics and is, more often than not, permanent. However, if caught early enough, this type of hair loss can be prevented with the right products in combination with supplements and a change in diet.
The second type is non-scarring alopecia. This type of hair loss is caused by environmental and emotional stressors. This is typically where people start to notice that there’s just much more hair on the hairbrush in the mornings or noticing a slightly receding hairline. But, they aren’t seeing the permanent type of hair loss associated with the first type. This hair loss is much easier to recover from.”
92% of dermatologists agree that physical stress on hair or environmental factors contribute to hair loss in men.
The leading stressors indicated by dermatologists include:
- Aggressive grooming or combing
- Ultraviolet rays
So what can men do to reduce these stressors and save their coiffure?
When it comes to hair fall, according to Ablon, it’s better to prevent. “Prevention can take the form of using the right products, but it also comes down to reducing the environmental stressors that cause hair loss,“ she says.
Combs are a major culprit. They tend to tug on the hair, damaging and weakening the strands with each stroke. Ablon suggests ditching the comb and instead using a wet brush that “brushes through without tangling or pulling.”
When it comes to shampoo and conditioner, Ablon recommends a 2-in-1 product like Dove Men+Care’s new Fortifying 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner combo. With only one step involved, the physical stress of actually washing and conditioning your hair is minimized as much as possible. “Things that work well in less time are often better,” Ablon says, “simplicity becomes a very useful tool.”
Dove Men+Care’s Fortifying Shampoo contains caffeine to stimulate hair growth and work as an anti-inflammatory agent. Ablon explains, “Wherever there is inflammation there is damage and cellular degeneration, leading to hair loss. Dove’s Fortifying formula also contains calcium, which fills in the shaft of the hair and protects the cuticle. Ablon went on to liken damaged hair to “a tree with all the branches and limbs sticking out in all directions.” Using a fortifying shampoo with calcium smooths that “tree” to “the bare trunk” leaving healthy, resilient hair behind.
As for washing frequency, Ablon recommends every two to three days unless you have extremely oily hair. Any more than that and you’re doing more bad than good. “And you can always use a dry shampoo in-between washes,” Ablon continues, because “the act of washing can make hair fall worse.”
Ablon also contends that a change in diet can counter hair loss: “High glycemic foods are inflammatory. Inflammation causes cellular degeneration. Reducing high glycemic foods from your diet will reduce inflammation and, in turn, hair fall. Adding deep sea fish protein, biotin, zinc, and nuts can help strengthen and fortify your hair and, indeed, your skin. “
According to Dr. Ablon, 21% of hair loss is due to emotional stress. What efforts can men take to reduce those factors?
The answer is simple: exercise, meditation, medication, and acupuncture. Ablon warns however, “If exercising, make sure that you’re using the preventative products to reduce the physical traction on the scalp caused be helmets or hats. Loose hats are always the better option than one that hugs and rubs the scalp.”
And what about men who are suffering from severe hair loss?
In the past it seems the only option was to just go for it and shave it completely. Ablon is clear that men today no longer have to suffer in silence or resort to such drastic measures. “See a dermatologist,” she says. “Now that there are so many more options and so much more education out there, why not help yourself if you can?”
Here are Five Products that will Help You Prevent Hair Loss
Dove Men+Care 2-in-1 Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner, $10.98
Wet Brush Detangler for Men, $11.99
Biotin Supplement, 120 Softgels, $14.95
Dr. Tobias’ Omega 3 Fish Oil, 180 Capsules, $28.97
Batiste Dry shampoo, $9.16