Losing your hair? For many men, hair shedding can be a scary thought and a devastating experience. The good news is, not all hair loss leads to baldness. Discover the changes you can make to transform the health and vitality of your hair.
Hair loss is something most men will experience in their lifetime. Around 6.5 million men in the UK suffer from the most common kind of hair loss, male pattern baldness, which affects 50% of all men over the age of 50.
For such a widespread experience, there still exists a lot of stigma around balding that can negatively impact a man’s self-esteem.
Research has revealed that of those who suffer from thinning hair or baldness, 21% have tried to conceal their lack of hair on dating apps or social media.
If you’re one of the 25% of balding men under the age of 30, waking up to hair falling out can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle. However, it’s important to remember that there are many triggers that can cause you to lose your hair, some of which are reversible.
Before you start looking into hair transplants, let’s delve deeper into the different types of hair loss in men and what you can do about it.
What triggers hair loss in men?
First thing’s first, losing your hair isn’t the same as going bald. Hair loss can be caused by a variety of different factors and identifying the symptoms helps us to apply solutions.
Everyone loses around 50-100 hairs per day through washing and brushing naturally, but any excessive hair loss beyond that is a cause for concern.
What most men experience when going bald is primarily down to genetics.
Male pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia, by its medical name) is a genetic disorder triggered by the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Men with male pattern baldness have a genetic sensitivity to DHT in the hair follicles, which causes them to shrink and weaken until no hair can grow back.
Male pattern baldness typically begins when men enter their 20s, increasing with age, but it can also begin earlier in the teenage years. Hair loss begins at the temples or the crown of the head and begins to recede in a regular pattern that varies between men.
Lifestyle plays an important role in hair health and hair loss. Factors such as mental health, diet and hair styling can all impact the vitality of our hair.
Unlike androgenic alopecia, hair loss due to lifestyle is environmentally caused, and so there is more that can be done to manage it. While male pattern baldness cannot be stopped entirely, hair loss that isn’t from this genetic condition is often reversible with lifestyle changes.
What You Can Do to Prevent Yourself from Going Bald
1. Minimise stress and quit the bad habits
Stress is a key culprit in hair loss.
When we’re stressed, our bodies release the stress hormone cortisol, which has been shown to disrupt the normal functioning of hair follicles. High levels of cortisol in the body cause the adrenal glands to produce fewer hormones that promote hair growth. As a result, your hair not only weakens but is also pushed into its resting phase of the hair growth cycle, which is when it begins to shed.
De-stressing looks different for everyone and there are many steps you can take to minimise stress. Make sure you’re eating healthily, drinking plenty of water, giving yourself some me-time and getting enough good-quality sleep.
It’s also important to steer clear of alcohol, drugs and smoking as although these may provide immediate, quick release from stress, in the long-run they will only exacerbate the problem.
2. Supplement your diet with the right vitamins and minerals
What you eat can have a huge impact on your hair health. While your hair cells are some of the fastest growing cells in the body, because hair isn’t a vital organ or tissue, it’s often the first place that nutrient deficiencies show up in the form of hair loss.
Eating a balanced diet which includes protein, complex carbohydrates and the right vitamins and minerals is essential for maintaining healthy hair.
B complex vitamins are particularly important because they enhance the body’s levels of collagen, a protein that increases the thickness of hair follicles. You can get B-vitamins from many foods, including whole grains, almonds, meat, fish, seafood and dark, leafy greens.
Other essential nutrients for hair health include iron, zinc, fatty acids and vitamins A, C, D and E. Our Ginkgo Hair Care Plan has been carefully formulated to supply a targeted blend of vitamins, minerals and botanical extracts that can help to strengthen, condition and restore healthy hair. Ginkgo biloba, can also improve the body’s response to stress and anxiety, helping you to take extra care of your hair.
3. Prioritise hair and scalp care
When it comes to hair care, scalp care is really important. Your scalp, like the rest of your skin, is sensitive to blemishes, dryness and other skin conditions that on your head can negatively affect your hair.
An inflamed scalp can be caused by many different factors, including dermatitis and eczema. This can damage your hair follicles, either due to the condition itself or through aggressive scratching, which can disrupt growth and lead to hair loss.
Once the underlying condition is treated, hair usually regrows, though scarring can leave hair follicles permanently damaged and unable to produce new hair growth.
Importantly, over-shampooing can destroy the balance of oils on the scalp, in the same way that over-cleansing the skin can lead to dryness. This can also leave your scalp vulnerable to infections.
Men tend to shampoo everyday, so to start caring for your scalp, begin by washing your hair with shampoo less frequently (1-2 times a week should do it) and increase your conditioner use. Rinsing daily is still a good idea, just be sure to apply conditioner afterwards.
4. Monitor what you consume
Beyond diet, it’s good to keep an eye on anything new you start to consume and how it affects your body.
Some medications can cause hair loss. If you notice any hair loss or thinning after taking new medications or when it’s accompanied by other health conditions, see your doctor straight away.
Likewise, consumable products can have negative side effects on your hair. Some clinical research shows that creatine supplementation in protein shakes increases levels of DHT in the bloodstream, the same hormone known to cause male pattern baldness.
Listen to your body and if you’re ever in doubt, talk to a health professional.
Simone Thomas Wellness also offers hair care consultations to help you find tailored solutions to hair loss and other issues. Book your consultation here today.
If you have any questions, do reach out, we’d love to hear from you.