It’s one of the things everyone wants to avoid: hair loss. But whether due to a preexisting condition or age, hair loss among men is extraordinarily common. In fact, by the age of 35, two thirds of American men will experience some degree of hair loss. So, if you’re losing your hair, you’re not alone. Thankfully, advancements in research and technology have enabled men to take proactive action against hair loss. Here’s how to keep—and thrive with—the hair you have!
Diet and General Health
It may seem simple, but hair loss is actually a quite complex subject. Hair loss is rarely caused by a single factor, but can be a combination of physical and even mental influences. Hormonal or nutritional deficiencies, such as low iron, low protein, thyroid problems, etc. can cause or contribute to shedding. A healthy balance of the requisite vitamins and minerals will not only help prevent hair loss, but will help keep the hair you currently have lustrous and strong. The most important vitamins and minerals for hair are protein, iron, Vitamin C, Omega-3, Vitamin A, Zinc, and Biotin.
If you are not getting enough of these important vitamins and minerals naturally, it may be time for you to revamp your diet. Lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables will provide you with the good stuff you need to keep your hair healthy. You may also want to consider taking a hair growth vitamin or pill that will supplement your diet. Note that these vitamins should never be used as replacements—merely as complementary digestibles which may help you keep your hair strong.
Hair Growth and Maintenance Products
By and large, many of the products you see on the market promising miracle results are gimmicks. Not only do the vast majority produce no results, but some can be actively harmful as well! Some may contain untested or even illegal ingredients. If you are looking for a stiff preventative solution to hair loss, stick with drugs that have been approved by the FDA, such as finasteride (Propecia, minoxidil (Rogaine), and others. Be sure to talk to your doctor before using.
In terms of hair loss prevention shampoo, dozens of shampoos make claims, but not all follow through with results. If you’re thumbing through shampoos, opt for one that contains etoconazole, which is an antifungal used to fight dandruff. Studies have shown that etoconazole reduces production of DHT in hair follicles and helps prevent shedding and hair loss.
Of course, you cannot hope to maintain the hair you have if you don’t take care of it. Proper hair maintenance and care is key to keeping hair shiny, healthy, and living long!
First, wash your hair less often. Frequent shampooing strips away the natural oils your scalp builds up. These natural oils not only keep your hair moisturized and prevent breakage, but make your hair more flexible and easier to style as well. If your hair is healthy or particularly resilient, you can even get away with washing just once a week. That said, this isn’t an excuse to go without washing—rinsing your hair out daily is fine, it’s the harsh shampoo that’s the problem.
Minding the products you use is important as well. A 2-in-1 shampoo-conditioner is mostly garbage, just a mix of two inferior products in one. You’re better off picking a non-harsh shampoo and conditioner specific to your hair and its needs. If your hair is very fine, invest in a good shampoo you will use sparingly and avoid conditioner. Those with thick or more dry hair should condition every time they shampoo so as to rehydrate their hair. Lastly, if you have very dry or very brittle hair, skip the shampoo and go straight to the re-hydrating conditioner.
Lastly, when styling your hair, take it easy. Avoid blow-drying insofar as possible, as it will dry out and damage your hair. When styling your hair, using a comb is fine, but after showering or at the end of the day, opt for a brush. Running a soft, densely bristled brush through your hair will help distribute the natural oils which keep your hair hydrated.