Male hair loss is very common and is experienced by around 50% of men by the time they reach the age of 50. Despite the most common reason for thinning hair being hereditary, many men still want to keep control and slow the process if they can. We have some tips to help.
1. Wash it off
Many men are concerned that the process of washing their hair and lathering shampoo will speed the thinning process by actually washing the hair away; in fact, regular, gentle washing can make the hair look thicker and healthier, as dirty, greasy hair is heavy and flat and consequently any gaps are more easily visible.
Think about how you wash your hair. Use a frequent use shampoo and watch the temperature of the water.
If this is too hot, you risk drying out the scalp and exacerbating conditions such as dandruff.
Caffeine shampoos can stimulate growth directly at the root of the hair and can work is as little as two minutes.
2. Big it up
The shelves of hairdressers, supermarkets and chemists are full of speciality shampoos and other hair products that promise to thicken your hair and add body. Do they actually work? In the short term the answer is ‘yes’, thanks to special polymers to plump up the shaft of the hair and give it a fuller appearance. The effect is not permanent, however, and you need to use the products regularly.
There are also concealers available that give a thicker look instantly while maintaining a natural appearance. Made with natural fibres, they are applied to the hair and add instant body by bonding to each hair individually, disguising thinning areas even at close inspection.
Brands are getting smarter all the time and now come in a range of colours to allow you to find a close, natural match to your own colour.
3. Careful styling
Wet-look gels are long gone in the fashion stakes, which is good news for style-conscious men worried about thinning hair; however, waxes are still in vogue for many styles. Avoid these heavy styling products if you can, as they just weigh the hair down and make it look flat, with a similar effect to not having washed it as explained above.
Instead, try a volumising mousse designed to lift the hair at the root.
4. A lot of hot air
A gentle blow-dry is one of the best ways to add volume and disguise thinning; however, as with washing, watch the temperature. If the setting is too hot, the air will damage your hair and make it brittle and prone to splitting or breaking.
Depending on your style, allowing your hair to dry naturally might be the best option.
5. Gentle brushing
Leave your comb at home. Constant combing or brushing will undo any styling you have done; in fact, many products these days are designed to brush out. Try to avoid the temptation to check your hair throughout the day; however, if you must, use your fingers only and avoid constant ‘playing’.
6. Don’t rough it up
Be gentle after washing. Hair is up to three times weaker when wet, meaning that rough drying with a towel can be damaging.
7. A cut above
Don’t underestimate the power of a good cut. Although it can be tempting to grow your hair to give the appearance of having more, in reality a shorter cut is almost certainly going to be more flattering. Leave your parting where it always was, and avoid a ‘comb-over’ at all costs!
A classic cut will always look good, or an unstructured chop can work depending on your thinning. Having a definite style will make your hair look thicker and will focus attention on your face.
Discuss your style with your barber, who might be able to offer some clever cutting techniques to add texture and give the illusion of thickness.
8. Leave your hat on
There is no shortage of coverage in the media at the moment about the damage sun exposure can do to your skin. Burning your scalp is included in this for all the same reasons and more besides. It can make the hair brittle and can also change the follicles to a shedding phase from a growth one.
If you know you are going to be out in the sunshine for any length of time, take a cap or hat with you and don’t be afraid to wear it!
Eating a healthy, balanced diet can do so much for your general wellbeing. Your hair is no exception and recent research suggests that soya can produce a molecule during digestion that could slow the process of balding, with the molecule actually blocking the hormonal effect that triggers loss of hair.
Protein is important for healthy, strong hair, and an easy way to increase protein intake is through eggs, nuts, fish and beans. A range of vitamins and minerals will also help, so eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Following a balanced diet should show positives for your hair in thickness and texture in a matter of just a few weeks.
A well-publicised fact is that smoking is bad for you and can be detrimental to various elements of your wellbeing. Specific to hair loss, smoking can contribute to hormonal changes. Smoking is also known to constrict the blood vessels that supply oxygen to the body and to the scalp. Without the right nutrients reaching your scalp, your hair won’t grow properly.
Many people have tried home remedies and although their success is not established, many swear by them. Depending upon your situation, it might be worth giving one or two a go.
For years people have been using oil to condition their hair. Castor oil and olive oil are the most popular, although you need to be very thorough when washing and rinsing to avoid the oil slick look!
Try several solutions until you find the right one for you, and be aware that the solution may change over time.