It's unsurprising that hair loss can cause men to lose confidence, so we’ve explored eight ways to battle and beat male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness is the most common type of hair loss. In fact, two-thirds of men begin losing their hair by age 35; by the time they reach fifty, one in two men will suffer from male pattern baldness to some degree. Understandably, as the hair thins increasingly, a lot of men will lose confidence with the onset of baldness. The cause is linked to genetics and male sex hormones (called androgens), and it’s a difficult process to reverse. However, as research continues, scientists have discovered various ways to stop hair loss and combat baldness, so we have explored eight ways to battle and beat male pattern baldness.
Before you start deciding which of the eight ways to battle and beat male pattern baldness you want to pursue, consider whether you actually have this condition. Male-pattern baldness is caused by a derivative of the male sex hormone testosterone, which is called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). This derivative forms when testosterone meets with an enzyme in the oil glands of hair follicles, and it is thought that the level of DHT binding to receptors within these hair follicles is the cause of male pattern baldness. In simpler terms, under certain conditions DHT shrinks hair follicles, creating a hostile environment for hair and thereby preventing healthy hair from surviving.
Typical symptoms of male pattern baldness – referred to as androgenetic alopecia – are a receding hairline and a thinning of hair on the crown of the head. However, hair should remain on the sides, and below the crown. In contrast, hair that is thinning across the scalp (rather than to the crown or temples) often reflects a hormonal or nutritional deficiency, like low protein or low iron. An effective diagnosis means you stand a better chance of reducing or preventing hair loss, and in some cases even reversing hair loss.
The second of our eight ways to battle and beat male pattern baldness is to pay attention to science. Most shampoos and pills advertised as helping to prevent hair loss, or reduce or reverse it haven’t actually been clinically trialed. The drugs minoxidil (Rogaine) and finasteride (Propecia) have more credibility, though they are more effective at hair loss prevention and maintaining remaining hair than bringing back lost hair. Also, keep in mind that Rogaine must be used at least twice daily before you can look forward to seeing results.
Though many shampoos claim to be capable of thickening your mane, you shouldn’t take these claims seriously unless you see ketoconazole on the list of ingredients. Researchers at the University of British Columbia found that ketoconazole could prevent hair loss by reducing testosterone production in hair follicles.
One of the most effective of the eight ways to battle and beat male pattern baldness is to assess your diet. What you eat impacts on your hair growth and can also impact on the signs of male pattern baldness. As a method of hair loss prevention, exclude fried foods and those containing lots of processed sugars. According to research from India, fried foods could lower oil gland activity, while the food high in processed sugar could produce too much testosterone – and therefore, DHT – due to the insulin flood resulting from substantial sugar consumption.
One of the most expensive of the eight ways to battle and beat male pattern baldness is a hair transplant. The two best hair transplant options available today to stop hair loss are follicular unit transplantation, where a scalp strip is made into groups of three or four hairs, and follicular unit extraction, where individual follicles are robotically harvested from the head’s back. Many men favor the latter, as FUT can leave a thin scar which could be visible through short hair. Depending on the extent of your hair loss, a hair transplant may or may not be a suitable treatment option for male pattern baldness.
Another effective solution in our list of eight ways to battle and beat male pattern baldness is low-level light therapy. This FDA-approved treatment can regrow hair for sufferers of mild to moderate male pattern baldness. Recent research in Korea found that regularly wearing a light-therapy helmet can lead to 22% thicker and 15% denser hair after 24 weeks.
Many balding men choose to comb their remaining hair over in an effort to hide signs of male pattern baldness. If this isn’t working for you, consider taking control of your remaining hair. Research has actually shown that, compared to a full head of hair, a shaved head makes a man seem taller, not to mention more dominant and masculine! You can shave gradually if you’re still hesitant about going completely bald.
If you’re thinning on top, you could lower any resulting stress by trying to come to terms with the changes to your head. Although this guide states eight ways to battle and beat male pattern baldness, you need to realise that rather than trying to prevent hair loss, ways you can beat it is through acceptance. However, if you’re feeling very self-conscious about male pattern hair loss, consider focusing your attentions elsewhere: improving your fitness and working on toning your muscles can help to boost self-esteem, and is also great for your overall health! And remember that many people see baldness as a sign of maturity since it usually comes with age. Try to embrace this change as a sign of personal growth.
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