Let's face it, none of us wants to lose our hair, but statistically, 40% of men have noticeable hair loss by age 35.
For most of us, losing our hair is simply part of our genetic code. Hair loss occurs because of an inherited genetic predisposition combined with a certain level of male hormones. It can affect both men and women - in fact, 85% of men and 50% of women will experience some kind of noticeable hair loss by age 50.
However, male pattern baldness is the most common form of hair loss in the world. So while it may be a confidence killer to find stray hairs on your pillow or a thinning patch on the top of your head, you're definitely not alone.
Some say the most effective way to fight male hair loss is simply finding the best way to live with it. While there are products on the market that can help with preventing male baldness, there are not yet any that truly make a cosmetic difference to hair regrowth.
Living gracefully with hair loss is easier said than done, though. The psychological impact of hair loss can be devastating, and your self-esteem can really take a hit.
So while we advocate for working with what you've got, there are some proactive ways in which you can fight male hair loss and preserve your self-confidence.
1. Eat the right foods
There's a wealth of evidence to suggest that eating certain foods can thicken your hair back up. A study published by the The International Society of Dermatology examined the zinc levels in 312 men and women experiencing hair loss. They all had significantly lower zinc levels than the control subjects, leading the researchers to conclude that zinc seems to be a super nutrient when it comes to preventing and treating hair loss.
Eat plenty of zinc-rich foods to give your hair the best chance possible to stay full. Oysters are the richest food source of zinc around in addition to being a powerful aphrodisiac, and you can also nosh on walnuts, spinach, eggs, peas, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, wheat germ and oats.
Salmon has been known to boost hair health with its hearty profile of omega-3 fatty acids, and flaxseeds also feed the oil gland around hair follicles. Thinning strands can be caused by an iron deficiency so pile your plate with spinach, and make sure you pair it with a protein so that your body can produce enough keratin, a key structural component of hair.
Other foods that may help produce full, healthy hair include:
- Strawberries: The sweet red fruit is loaded with Vitamin C, which helps your body make protein.
- Pumpkin oil: In this study, researchers gave men with hair loss 400mg per day of pumpkin seed oil, and they experienced a 40% increase in hair growth. Pumpkin oil can be tricky to find, so buy it as a supplement, or substitute it with rosemary or coconut oil instead.
- Carrots and sweet potatoes: Both orange veggies are packed with Vitamin A, which is proven to improve hair growth.
- Eggs: Eggs are full of biotin, a B vitamin that promotes hair growth and overall scalp health.
- Seaweed: The high levels of iodine in seaweed can help men avoid conditions related to iodine deficiency, such as hypothyroidism and goiter, that can cause hair loss and thinning.
2. Get enough sleep
Yep, it may sound like a strange recommendation, but as well as paying attention to your nutritional intake, you should be maintaining good sleep hygiene if you want to combat male pattern baldness.
Getting in 7-8 hours of sleep a night helps your body regulate hormones - and hormones are the little buggers that help to repair and regenerate hair. A lack of sleep can also contribute to elevated stress levels, which are famously known to affect hair loss.
It's a bitter truth that those who live in constant fear of losing their hair may actually contribute to their own hair loss by lying awake fretting about it, so recognise that sleep and hair loss go hand-in-hand, and make it a priority to get enough shut-eye. Only then can your body’s immune function, hormone secretion, and physical and mental stamina be fully up to the task of fighting male pattern baldness.
3. Avoid over-washing hair
If you shampoo your hair more than three times a week, you may strip it of its natural oils and unintentionally accelerate your male hair loss journey. While the urge to shampoo regularly is natural - thinning or fine hair tends to get greasy very easily - there's now a vast range of dry shampoos on the market that can help you keep your hair looking clean without overdoing it on the shampoo front.
The clever formulation of the Toppik Root Volumizing Spray instantly adds body and volume to limp and dull hair without leaving excess residue behind, and it can be applied in between washes to absorb excess oils. We also make our own specialised shampoo and conditioner at Toppik that is free from the harmful chemicals that are sadly present in the majority of commercial shampoos.
It's important to know that hot water can dehydrate strands, leading to dry, brittle hair that's more likely to fall out than ever. If you tend to take super hot showers, be aware that the excess steam will throw your scalp's pores into overdrive, which can damage the root and lead to additional shedding.
Try taking the temperature down a few degrees to save your strands, and always rinse hair with the coolest temperature of water possible. When you step out of the shower, blot your hair with a towel - never vigorously rub it dry.
4. Experiment with topical treatments
A hardworking topical hair regrowth product is an essential weapon to have in your arsenal if you're fighting male hair loss, particularly in the early days when you might only just be beginning to see signs that your hair is thinning or receding.
But there's no denying that there are a lot on the market, so here are the main two that we think are worth experimenting with:
- Nanoxidil: A new form of Minoxidil, which was formulated specifically to treat hair loss, Nanoxidil increases blood circulation in the scalp and maximises the stimulation of hair growth. It was created because although most people who tried Minoxidil had good results, it is not suitable for everyone.
Just like Minoxidil, Nanoxidil is applied as a lotion and has been clinically tested for safety and effectiveness in both men and women. In a two-month trial, 95% of participants using Nanoxidil said they noticed a significant decrease in hair loss and 75% observed their hair was growing faster.
That makes it worth a try in our books! Ask your doctor which product is best for you.
- Aminexil: This well-known hair loss treatment has been available for some years. However, the treatment has not yet been FDA-approved due to insufficient data on its effects. That said, it probably deserves to be on your radar as it can be used as a treatment for male hair loss either on its own or in a combined topical therapeutic method using minoxidil, fluridil or a preparation containing RTH16.
Aminexil is designed to be applied topically for more than a month. It works by reducing fibrosis - a key cause of hair loss. It creates thicker hair by preventing collagen formation around the hair follicle itself, which increases its chances of survival, and by hardening the hair follicles.
While Aminexcil may not be FDA-approved, a report released by L’Oreal states that the treatment has been tested for ten years in various hospitals and clinics with positive results on premature male baldness.
5. Try hair-growth drugs
Drug therapy for the treatment of hair loss is nothing to feel ashamed about. There are currently two products on the market that have been proven in clinical trials to be beneficial for men experiencing hereditary hair loss. These are Rogaine (minoxodil - see above) and Propecia (finasteride).
Rogaine (minoxodil) was originally prescribed in tablet form but now is administered in a liquid form of varying strengths from 2% to 5%. It technically belongs in the 'topical treatment' category above and may be an inferior option to Nanoxidil, so we'll discuss Propecia (finasteride) instead. Propecia is the first treatment of its kind that deals with the actual cause of male hair loss in those with a genetic predisposition towards male pattern baldness.
To turn scientific for a moment, the male body produces testosterone, which is reduced by an enzyme (5 alpha-reductase) to form dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This DHT attacks the hair follicles that are genetically predetermined to wither and die under its effects.
So Propecia is a suppressant of the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme and leads to a lower amount of testosterone being converted into DHT. Lower DHT levels in men's bodies mean that DHT-sensitive hairs are then able to defy their natural destiny and continue to grow and renew themselves after falling out.
The results from the trials of Propecia have been quite impressive in one-year clinic trials:
- 48% of men taking Propecia had improved hair growth
- 38% maintained their present status
- 14% noticed some deterioration of hair quality
Compared with those who had no treatment:
- 7% of men who took no action had improved hair growth
- 35% maintained their present status
- 58% noticed some deterioration of hair quality
6. Explore natural alternatives
If the idea of taking hair regrowth drugs and dealing with a range of scary-sounding side effects is not for you, you can also look at naturally occurring plant extracts as a more natural alternative treatment to Nanoxidil or Propecia, such as saw palmetto.
Extracted from a low-growing plant that resembles a palm tree, saw palmetto has been used in traditional, eclectic and alternative medicine for many years to treat a variety of conditions. It has the power to slow the production of the 5 alpha-reductase enzyme, so taking it is a strong step towards reducing hair loss and fighting male pattern baldness.
Its active ingredients include fatty acids, plant sterols and flavonoids. A study conducted at the Clinical Research and Development Network in Colorado found that Saw Palmetto not only helped keep testosterone levels balanced in male participants but generated an increase in hair density.
This mighty herb comes in supplement and extract form, and you can even purchase dried saw palmetto berries in some health food and vitamin stores. Whether you take it as a capsule, tablet, tincture, tea or extract, make sure that the label indicates that your product's contents are standardised and contained 85% or more fatty acids and sterols.
7. Fill your bathroom cabinet
One of the hardest things about hair loss for men is dealing with the resulting lack of confidence and how it can trigger a serious lack of self-esteem. As much as we don't like to admit to it, our hair (or lack thereof) defines how good we feel about ourselves and how attractive we feel to other people - after all, there's a reason why having a 'bad hair day' is a universal experience understood everyone.
In fact, the psychological experience of male hair loss can be so intense that it can lead us to feel depressed, anxious or paranoid about being out in public, and even make us question our gender identity.
Staying on top of it doesn’t have one simple solution, but part of fighting male hair loss is working with what you have. Try to think positively and get back to looking like yourself by using hair thickening products such as our 100% natural keratin hair fibres or highly concentrated leave-in hair treatment.
Many people mistrust hair fibres because they don't know exactly how they work, or fear they will get caught using them, but that couldn't be further from the case.
- Toppik hair fibres are made of pure keratin protein, which is the same material that your hair is made of.
- You simply shake Toppik Hair Fibres liberally over desired areas then style your hair as normal to use them. The fibres are charged with static electricity and instantly form a magnetic attraction to your thinning hairs.
- Toppik hair fibres merge and blend with your existing hair, eliminating the signs of male baldness. Don’t worry about the fibres falling into your surrounding hair - they will simply disappear!
- Toppik hair fibres never run or stain. They are completely wind, rain and sweat proof.
- Normal hair growth is not impeded by the use of Toppik hair fibres. They're also fine to use as a complement to the topical or hair loss drug treatments listed above.
- Toppik hair fibres contain no harmful chemicals or additives whatsoever.
- Whenever we ship Toppik products out to our customers, we use a discreet postage pack. The sender is sneakily listed as 'CHS', so you don't have to worry that your whole workplace or household will know!
- Our hair fibres come in nine colours for an undetectable match. We even offer free shipping, so you've got nothing to lose by trying them as we offer a no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
Remember, the number one thing that will help you fight against male hair loss is being confident and honest with yourself about the situation, and open to investigating different hair loss treatment options.
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Your attitude towards hair loss is crucial to dealing with it positively and putting the problem into perspective.