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Hair loss treatment: Best options for men with thinning hair

If you suffer from thinning hair, consider one of these treatment options

Man looking at hair loss
The Manual Graphics

One of a man’s main source of confidence is having luscious locks, but that confidence gradually decreases when their hair starts thinning or their hairline begins receding. According to the American Hair Loss Association, almost two-thirds of American men will see “appreciable” hair loss by the age of 35.

Some men simply accept their fates and start experimenting with gravity-defying styling techniques, or as is more common lately, shave their heads and embrace the bald look. Others take more aggressive measures, seeking out weaves, plugs, or (just say no) toupees. And some search for the best hair loss treatment for men and run into pseudoscience, potentially false hope, and diet advice (which can be good). It’s frustrating. Unsurprisingly, numerous studies have linked hair loss to lowered self-esteem and lowered quality of life for men.

If you are just starting to notice your mane looks a little less thick than it usually is, save your tears. With a head start, you may be able to have an appreciable effect on nature’s assault. In fact, men’s hair growth treatments are at the forefront of the blurring lines between grooming or self-care and modern health care. Here are a few options to consider in the ongoing battle against hair loss.

Nutrafol for men
Nutrafol

Best hair growth product overall: Nutrafol for Men

Hair growth supplements can be a dubious market, but Nutrafol for Men is the real deal. The brand’s secret sauce is a formula of natural ingredients that stave off DHT, the dreaded hormone that speeds up hair loss. Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank is one of many dermatologists we’ve spoken to who recommend Nutrafol for guys with visibly thinning hair (which usually begins at 30). Of course, results may vary, and swallowing four capsules daily ad infinitum sounds like a hassle, but increased hair thickening after three months of use is noticeable.

Minoxidil treatments

Hair goes through several phases, including anagen, when it’s actually growing; catagen, when things slow down a bit; telogen, a resting phase when it shrinks and detaches from the follicle; and exogen, when it falls out from your scalp to be replaced by a new hair. Minoxidil “reactivates” hair follicles in the anagen phase, stimulating regrowth by relaxing the blood vessels in our scalp, making it easier for blood to flow to the hair follicles. In fact, initial use may cause old hairs to fall out in large numbers, seeming as though you are losing more hair than normal. Don’t panic. In three to five months, you should be able to see moderate to dense hair regrowth.

Because minoxidil is a vasodilator (meaning it widens blood vessels), you want to check with a doctor if you or your family have a history of heart disease. According to Drugs.com, there can be some side effects, so call your doctor if you experience severe scalp irritation, unwanted facial hair growth, chest pain, fast heartbeats, swelling in your hands or feet, rapid weight gain, light-headedness, headache, dizziness, confusion, or flushing.

Hims Minoxidil
Hims

Hims minoxidil

Hims is a topical, liquid product that you apply with a dropper for precise deployment. Once or twice a day, place a few drops on the area of your scalp where hair looks thinner. Let dry for two to four hours. It’s great if you want maximum control over where the product is applied.

Hims follows a subscription model: A 2-ounce bottle is shipped to you once a month for $15. You may also consider a “Complete Hair Loss Kit,” for $44, which includes minoxidil, an extra-strength shampoo, vitamin gummies with Biotin, and finasteride (see below) pills.

The company also offers both over-the-counter and prescription treatments for skin, as well as for sexual health issues like erectile dysfunction, cold sores, and genital herpes, as well as supplements for sleep, immunity boosters, and collagen for skin and hair. Hims even offers online therapy and anonymous support groups. It also recently launched COVID-19 testing with a saliva-based screening that typically provides results in three to five days.

Rogaine Minoxidil
Rogaine

Rogaine minoxidil

Rogaine, perhaps the grand-daddy of all hair growth treatments, was invented in 1986. It also incorporates minoxidil (in something the company calls Tricho-Prime technology) but is delivered as an easy-to-apply foam. Twice a day, dispense foam onto clean, dry fingers, then massage into your scalp where hair is thinning. Allow it to absorb and air dry completely before blow-drying or styling. Rogaine suggests using the product as soon as you notice your hair is thinning.

The product includes botanical extracts and emollients to maintain a healthy, conditioned scalp, as well as alpha-hydroxy acid to promote natural skin exfoliation, keeping hair follicles open and the scalp primed for treatment.

While you can subscribe to the product from the brand’s website (a one-month supply is $28), it’s also readily available at drugstore chains like Walgreens or CVS.

Finasteride treatments

Although minoxidil was originally developed to treat hypertension, you won’t need a prescription to get it as a hair growth treatment. On the other hand, finasteride—which you may know by Propecia, Merck’s version of the drug, does require one, so you’ll need to meet with a doctor to get it. Luckily, several places now offer easy virtual appointments, so you won’t have to go out of your way or sit in a waiting room.

The drug is said to increase the volume and health of your hair in three to six months by preventing testosterone from breaking down into dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a hormone that actually damages hair follicles.

XYON Topical Finasteride Gel with SiloxysSystem held by dermatologist.
XYON

XYON topical finasteride with SiloxysSystem gel

Offering both over-the-counter and prescription-based treatments, connects you with a dermatologist in order to be assessed for the right solution. XYON’s Topical Finasteride gel goes right on the scalp to combat male pattern baldness at the source. This helps reduce excess levels of DHT at the scalp, one of the leading causes of male pattern baldness.

The SiloxysSystem delivery technology was designed to prevent the active ingredients from making their way into the circulatory system, reducing the risk of side effects. It’s effective and reliable, and you only need to apply a small amount at a time — your dosage will be provided by the prescribing dermatologist. If you’ve noticed hair loss, you’ll be pleased to know that it promotes hair regrowth of the follicles, leading to the return of your natural, beloved hair.

The sleek packaging and easy-to-use applicator are just a bonus but are also examples of how convenient XYON’s solution is. Moreover, XYON offers a Topical Dutasteride with SiloxysSystem gel — a dermatologist will help you choose. With the safety of patients and customers as a leading concern, XYON’s precision delivery technology and medical oversight are among the ways XYON looks out for you and your hair.

To find out what will work best for you, you can complete a free consultation, and it’s all done online. Start by answering a few questions, upload a photo of your head and hair, and then check out. A dermatologist will review the information and let you know how to proceed. For a limited time, The Manual readers will receive $50 off new RX subscriptions and 20% off OTC shampoo and conditioner purchases with coupon code THEMANUAL — just use the code at checkout.

Roman Propecia (Finasteride)
Ro

Roman propecia (finasteride)

One of Roman’s physicians will set you up with a generic prescription that can be delivered with “discrete” two-day shipping. Just take one pill every day and call us when you have a thick head of hair. A Roman subscription to the product is $60 for a 90-day supply, but your first order is just $20. The company provides free, unlimited doctor follow-up visits. Similar to Hims, Roman offers one-stop-shopping for sexual health, hair, and skin, allergies, and supplements, as well as smoking cessation and weight management solutions.

More hair loss treatments

There are many, many hair growth options out there. Here are two more that we like, but if you just want to throw in the towel, consider Mantl, a company that supports men who have accepted their baldness with products like cleansers, moisturizers, sunblock, and no-shine sheets.

Keeps Minoxidil
Keeps

Keeps minoxidil

Similar to Hims and Roman, Keeps offers finasteride with a doctor consult ($25/month), minoxidil in a dropper form ($10/mo.), or minoxidil foam-like Rogaine. ($15/mo).

Capillus cap
Capillus

Capillus laser hair regrowth therapy cap

Our sci-fi (if expensive at nearly $1,000) solution, the Capillus cap, is said to rejuvenate hair by stimulating follicles with laser light technology. Eight-two medical-grade lasers emit red laser light waves to boost circulation and encourage the restoration of damaged follicles. The product claims results in as little as 12 weeks with daily six-minute treatments.

(Editor’s note: This may seem like a more desperate solution, but I do know someone who used a similar product and has been very pleased with the results.) After all, what have you got to lose?

Ways to prevent and reverse hair loss

In addition to one of the above hair loss treatments, there may be other things you can do for yourself to help prevent or possibly reverse hair loss or hair thinning. Consider making these changes.

Be kinder to the hair you have

Go easy when towel drying after a shower and consider ditching the man bun. Even wearing a baseball cap worn too tight can cut off circulation to your scalp and hinder new hair growth. Remember that harmful UV rays are no friends to follicles, either.

Check the ingredients in your hair products

your shampoo, pomade, and styling creams. Harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances won’t help the situation. Look for gentle products that contain natural ingredients like tea tree oil, which are easier on your hair and scalp.

Clean up your diet

Better nutrition can help slow hair loss. Avoid the usual suspects, such as dairy, sugar, and booze. Instead, seek foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, tuna, white fish, egg yolks, and walnuts to balance your hormones and bring down inflammation. You can also supplement your diet with fish oil, B-complex, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

Consider natural remedies

Some essential oils like rosemary and peppermint are claimed to promote hair growth, but research is limited. Do a patch test before applying them directly to the scalp. Biotin and other B vitamins are important for hair health, but consult a doctor before taking any supplements to avoid potential interactions with medication.

John Jones
John Jones is a Jersey City, New Jersey-based writer who enjoys covering design in all its forms, from fashion to…
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