By the time a man reaches the age of thirty years old, he may already start to lose the thick hair he had as a teenager and throughout his twenties. According to Doctor Adam Penstein, chief dermatologist at North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System in New York, a man’s genes play a significant role in determining how much hair he will lose during his lifetime; however, there are certain things a man can do to slow down this process. Some treatment options claim to prevent hair loss and even gain back some of what has been lost. Here are some tips for keeping a full head of hair for as long as possible.
10. Lotions And Foam Medications
The generic cream and foam drug minoxidil is available for men who do not like taking pills but still want to recover some of their lost hair. According to Doctor Penstein, there are little side effects other than having to apply it topically twice a day, and no prescription is needed. Minoxidil works by enlarging hair follicles and stimulating hair growth. The medication can take up to four months before it starts working; however, as many as seven in ten men reported at least some hair regrowth when they used minoxidil as directed.
9. Prescription Pills
Finasteride is a prescription pill that works by blocking the enzyme that converts dihydrotestosterone or DHT from testosterone, which has been linked to male pattern baldness. Dihydrotestosterone may cause premature hair loss in men who have inherited the male baldness gene by shrinking hair follicles until new hair can no longer grow. Up to ninety percent of men who take finasteride will slow down hair loss and may even grow back some lost hair. Using finasteride and minoxidil together may provide the best results. Sticking to the treatment plan is vital as they sometimes take several months to work.
Saw palmetto extracts combat baldness by balancing testosterone levels, which are needed for proper hair growth. A study conducted by the Clinical Research and Development Network in Colorado found that applying saw palmetto topically increased hair density in men. Supplementing with forty to eight milligrams of Ginko Biloba three times daily may also slow down or prevent baldness. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Ginko Biloba encourages antioxidants and blood flow to discourage hair thinning.
7. Lower Stress
According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, daily stress can affect hair health along with the rest of the entire body. There are three ways in which stress can affect hair health. Telogen effluvium occurs when stress pushes a significant amount of hair follicles into a resting phase where hair may start falling out within a few months. Trichotillomania occurs from an irresistible urge to pull hair out from the scalp due to high levels of stress. Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks hair follicles, causing baldness.
6. Eat Healthy
Hair loss may be due to vitamin deficiency. According to board certified dermatologist Doctor Whitney Bowe, “One of the first ways I can tell how healthy someone, and if they’re eating nutritiously, is by looking at their hair.” Iron deficiency is commonly associated with hair loss. Grass-fed beef, lentils, spinach, and other dark leafy greens are an excellent source of iron. Omega three fatty acids found in wild caught fish may also help. Focus on foods high in vitamins C and E such as kiwi, broccoli, papaya, red pepper, sweet potato, nuts and seeds, and kale. Biotin and zinc are also needed to help promote healthy hair growth.
5. Avoid Foods That Cause Thinning Hair
Eating highly inflammatory foods such as dairy, gluten, corn, soy, food additives and colorings, and preservatives have been shown to be counterproductive to hair growth. Stay away from foods containing trans fatty acids such as vegetable, corn and soybean oil, as well as processed foods, refined sugar, alcohol, and caffeine. Too much caffeine has been shown to reduce levels of hormones needed to support hair growth. It can also lead to dehydration, which impacts hair health. Replace as many processed or packaged foods for fresh vegetables and fruits whenever possible to send hair a boost of vitamins needed to grow.
Along with eating a diet high in plant-based sources of antioxidants, consider supplementing with additional vitamins to help promote hair growth. If a person has been eating poorly for a long time, they may not be properly absorbing all the vitamins and minerals they need from diet alone. Adding a whole food, plant-based multivitamin to the diet can help make up for any deficiencies. Other supplements that may help are wild caught fish oils, vitamin C, B-vitamins, and L-lysine.
3. Shampoos And Conditioners
Another great way to get vitamins and minerals to follicles in the scalp is by using a vitamin enriched shampoo or conditioner. Find a shampoo that includes the B vitamin biotin, which has been shown to treat weak hair and nails. Breaking open a biotin vitamin capsule and adding it to regular shampoo may also help. Taking a cooler shower may also help promote hair growth as hot water may cause the hair to become dehydrated and break off.
2. Essential Oils
According to a 2015 study, rosemary essential oil may enhance hair thickness and growth due to its cellular metabolism support that stimulates hair growth. One study even found that rosemary oil works as well as the topical foam or lotion minoxidil at regrowing hair. A 2011 study found that spikenard essential oil may also promote hair growth and slow down the graying process. Adding a few drops of each to regular shampooing along with a biotin vitamin complex is a good way to support hair growth. Or rub a few drops of each to the head after a shower and leave in.
1. Rule Out Medications
The side effects of many medications include hair loss. In addition to carrying genes that make them more likely to go bald, many men can slow down the process by talking to their doctor about other medical treatment for conditions that require prescription drugs. Many medications that treat Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis cause hair loss. Gout medications, blood thinners, female and male hormone treatments, and some anti-depressants or anti-psychotic medications may also cause hair loss.