American Ninja Warrior fans have made a hero of Kevin Bull, the ninja that gives an almost literally statuesque appearance with his completely hairless physique that’s due to Alopecia Universalis, an autoimmune disease. Bull’s case is more extreme than most “bald eagles,” but he makes it look good, and has used his celebrity as a way to help people — particularly kids — deal with hair loss. The American Hair Loss Association estimates that about 66 percent of us guys will experience some version of male pattern baldness (which is significantly less life-altering than alopecia but distressing all the same). And before the women in your life make too much fun of your receding hairline, remind them that 40 percent of all hair loss cases are women!
Unlike Bull’s condition, most hair loss is genetic, and we lay most of the blame on our mothers…er, rather dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a steroid and hormone that attacks hair follicles and alters the normal growth cycle. Hair follicles shrink, growth becomes thin and short, and eventually stops growing altogether. Stuck with the genetic Sword of Damocles taking a shave off your scalp? Well, the thing is, you could be making matters worse: chronic internal stress and environmental stresses (pollution, cigarette smoke…wearing your man bun too tight) can all contribute to increased hair loss. What’s a dude to do if we’re not quite willing to accept fate?
Simple Steps to Prevent and Reverse Hair Loss
- Start by being kinder to the hair you have. Go easy when towel drying after a shower and consider ditching the man bun (it’s time anyway). 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 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 with fish oil, B-complex, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin D.
You always can spring for hair transplant surgery, but it won’t come cheap. Before giving, spending a fortune on hair plugs, or shaving down completely, try one of these new hair-growth formulations to slow shedding.
This system is tailored to meet you at any stage of your hair loss journey, with categories like Reverse, Promote, and Prevent. For younger guys with a history of hair loss, Prevent can help battle premature baldness. Promote will nourish hair from root to tip and increase growth and Reverse targets thinning hair caused by aging or genetics. Each stage contains a shampoo, conditioner, and activator. Use it properly, and expect to see less hair loss in 30 days, regrowth of short fine hairs in thinning areas in 60 days, and thicker, more manageable hair after 120 days.
Seeking help doesn’t have to be a major deal. Steve Gutentag and Demetri Karagas, co-founders of Keeps, have simplified and dignified the process as a result of their own experiences with thinning hair. It’s now easier and more affordable to get a prescription for Minoxidil (generic Rogaine) and Finasteride (generic Propecia). From the privacy of your own home (or wherever you’re connecting to the internet), you’ll connect to a medical doctor that will determine and prescribe the best course of treatment for your particular hair loss. Both drugs work to repopulate your hair growth and are FDA-approved. Keeps can help you keep (get it?) your hair without the embarrassing (or costly) trip to the doctor’s office. The first month’s subscription is discounted; then you’re charged a flat fee every three months.
We get it. When a doctor prescribes a drug with a promise to help your hairline, you’re all in. But before filling the script, it’s important that you understand all that comes with it. The most common drugs on the market attack the DHT in your entire body, not just the overabundance on your scalp that causes baldness. Side effects include impotence, lack of sex drive, trouble having an orgasm, abnormal ejaculation, and swelling in your breasts.
It’s definitely worth considering an alternative natural route. Sayar Care’s Retain targets just the DHT on your scalp to keep your follicles alive with an all-natural mix of essential oils. Rosemary blocks DHT; thyme encourages blood flow and improves circulation; and cedar, lavender, and peppermint stimulate hair growth. The carrier oils deliver as well. There’s grapeseed oil to carry vitamin E, linoleic acid to promote hair growth, argan oil to nourish new hair, and jojoba oil to balance sebum and reopen hair follicles.
Hims tackles all sorts of male problems, from hair loss to aging skin to…ahem…(whispering) erectile dysfunction. You’ll get an online medical consultation with a doctor to approve any prescriptions, but once approved, a hair kit including Finasteride pills, shampoo, Minoxidil drops, and gummy biotin vitamins is yours to try. In fact the first month is free, so you’ll only pay five bucks for the medical fee. The pills prevent testosterone from breaking down into DHT, Minoxidil relaxes blood vessels to ease blood flow to your scalp, the shampoo is also a DHT-blocker, and the vitamin B7, biotin, is a natural supplement proven to strengthen hair and nails and promote healthy skin. You’ll be lookin’ good all over your body!
Ready to bring a little sci-fi into your hair loss problem? Feel the force of iGrow’s low level light therapy, using lasers to promote cellular rejuvenation within hair follicles. The company claims to have increased hair count by 35 percent. It comes with a six month money back guarantee, and, if it works for you, there’s no need to have a subscription or refill prescriptions. Added bonus? You can plug in the attached headphones and jam out to your favorite hair metal playlist during every treatment.
If none of these products are for you because you’re cool with losing your hair and want to embrace it, here’s how to rock that chrome dome without shame.
- Dry Scalp? Try the Best Dandruff Shampoo for Men and Eliminate White Flakes
- Shorten Your Shower Time with the Best 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioners
- The Best Pre-Shave Oils to Prevent Pesky Skin Irritation and Razor Burn
- 8 Best Beard Grooming Kits for the Modern Beardsman
- Attractive at Any Age: Skincare for Men in Their 20s, 30s, 40s, and Beyond