By the time most men reach the age of 30, there’s already some balding and hair thinning happening. By their 40s and 50s, it’s usually well underway. But what, if anything, can be done to halt the process?
What’s Really Happening?
Hair loss can be caused by any number of factors – including genetics, medication, or even acute infections. But regardless of the cause, it’s helpful to understand what’s happening.
First off, you should know that hair loss is normal. Every person’s scalp undergoes a natural growth cycle, which occurs in stages:
- During the anagen stage, hair is actively growing. This hair lasts somewhere between two to eight years.
- Next comes the catagen stage, which is the transitional period between growth and shedding. This is a short stage, often lasting just a few weeks.
- Then there’s the telogen stage, where the hair is expelled from the follicle. After shedding, the follicle remains dormant for roughly 90 days before new hair sprouts and the anagen stage begins anew.
“It might be normal for some people to shed 150 hairs a day,” Harvard.edu mentions. “But for someone else that might be extreme. Most people have a sense of how much hair is normal for them to lose. If you suddenly notice more hair than usual falling out, you’re shedding clumps of hair, or your hair seems to be visibly thinning, it may be a sign that something is amiss.”
If you feel like you’re losing hair at an accelerated rate, it’s important to act quickly and do something about it as soon as possible.
4 Tips to Help You Fight Back
Every situation is unique, but emphasizing the following tips will help put you in a position to have a healthier and thicker head of hair.
Improve Diet and Nutrition
Proper hair growth is highly dependent on a healthy and balanced diet. Without the proper nutrition, you’ll be more apt to lose hair at an accelerated rate.
For best results, consume a diet that’s high in vitamin B, vitamin D, biotin, zinc, and selenium. Good food options include eggs, berries, spinach, sweet potatoes, fatty fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, shrimp, oysters, beans, lean meat, and sweet peppers.
It’s also important to be mindful of foods that negatively impact hair growth and quality. In addition to consuming the aforementioned foods, do your best to avoid anything with high concentrations of sugar, starch, refined grains, mercury (like swordfish or mackerel), and alcohol.
You should always start by improving your diet. But in many cases, it takes more than proper nutrition to regrow hair. In these cases, low level laser therapy (LLLT) is an excellent option worth considering.
LLLT works by stimulating ‘the re-entrance of the anagen phase in hair follicles that are currently in the telogen phase.” In other words, it encourages hair to regrow at a faster rate, which leads to thicker and healthier hair. Best of all, LLLT is FDA-approved for in-home use.
Use Safe Medications
There are only a few medications that are approved for hair loss treatment in the United States. The two most common are minoxidil and finasteride.
Minoxidil, also known as Rogaine, is an over-the-counter prescription medication that works for both men and women. And while it can take up to six months to see results, the treatment is designed to promote hair regrowth.
Finasteride, which is typically sold under the brand name Propecia, helps treat hair loss in men. Not only does it help hair regrow, but it can also slow down balding.
In some situations, your doctor may approve the combined use of both minoxidil and finasteride.
Reduce Your Risk Factors
Hair loss can be caused by any number of factors. And while family history and genetics are one of the most common, there are plenty of other factors in play. Certain drugs used to treat depression, arthritis, heart issues, and high blood pressure, for example, can lead to accelerated hair loss. And as previously discussed, poor nutritional balance and/or deficiencies may lead to an increased propensity for balding. By addressing the factors that you can control, you may be able to slow the progression.
Knowing When to Embrace Balding
There are a variety of tactics you can use to fight hair loss and enjoy healthier, thicker hair for years to come. But for many people, there eventually comes a point where you need to embrace balding. And when this time comes, there are plenty of ways to continue to have confidence in your appearance. From how you dress to your facial hair, tactics such as these will help you look and feel your best!