85% of men will have major hair thinning by the time they’re 50. And while hair loss doesn’t harm your health, it can certainly cause emotional stress. Male hair loss is almost always hereditary and usually starts in your 20’s. While hair loss usually occurs slowly over 15-25, in some cases the process can take as little as 5 years.
If you start to notice your hair thinning, don’t sweat! We have all the information you need for understanding hair loss, its treatments, and your styling options.
How Hair Loss Works
Occasionally, hair loss in men can be caused by medication, stress, or a dietary imbalance. Most of the time, however, the cause of men’s hair loss is androgenic hair loss, also known as male pattern baldness.
So what causes hair thinning in men? During androgenic hair loss, the male hormone (DHT) causes hair follicles to shrink. Eventually, the hair follicles will shrink so much that they can no longer sustain hair, leading to hair loss.
The extent to which your hair is affected by DHT is all due to genetics. Hair loss tends to begin at the temples and crown. Eventually, these areas will meet causing the horseshoe pattern. Hair loss is tracked in the medical community by the Norwood scale.
Men’s Hair Loss Treatment Options
Hair loss is natural and quite common. Remember: most men will experience some degree of hair thinning in their lifetime. But if you do want to treat it, you have some options.
It’s easier to keep the hair that you have rather than try to grow it back. This is why it’s important to catch hair loss as early as possible and seek treatment right away. Also, be wary of miracle products. While there are some treatments for hair loss, there is no cure.
Minoxidil is an FDA-approved over-the-counter topical treatment for hair loss. Minoxidil is the active ingredient in Rogaine. About 40% of men using Minoxidil experience hair regrowth after 3-6 months. Side effects can include skin irritation at the application site and unwanted hair growth in other areas. However, the effects aren’t permanent. Once you stop using Minoxidil, you will lose your hair again.
Finasteride, more commonly known as Propecia, is an oral medication sometimes prescribed for hair loss. The medication works by blocking production of DHT, the hormone that causes male pattern hair loss. Finasteride slows hair loss, and can provide around 30% improvement in hair loss after 6 months. However, finasteride can cause unpleasant side effects. As with minoxidil, the effects will end if you stop taking the medication.
A hair transplant is the only sure way to restore hair. The procedure has improved drastically in recent years, with Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) becoming the norm. In this procedure, the surgeon extracts follicles from a donor source and implants them into areas of hair loss. The donor source is typically the back and sides of the head where hair is not affected by DHT. However, if there is not enough available hair on the head, some surgeons are actually able to use body hair as a donor source.
As with any surgery, there are risks involved. Hair transplants are also quite expensive, so they’re not an option for everyone. For more information, read our guide on hair transplants.
Get a Flattering Haircut
Just because you have thinning hair doesn’t mean you don’t have plenty of options. As a general rule, keeping your hair on the short side is going to be the best option. Visit your barber and ask for one of these haircuts of thinning hair men.
Switch to Products for Thinning Hair
Use a shampoo and conditioner that clean buildup from hair while adding volume and body. You’ll also want to retire heavy styling products like gels and pomades. Instead, opt for texturizing sprays.
Add Hair Building Fibers to Your Styling Routine
A simple way to instantly reverse the appearance of hair loss is to use Toppik Hair Building Fibers. Made from the same protein as your hair, these fibers cling to your hair, creating an instantly fuller look. Plus, they’re completely undetectable.
Remember, if you’re losing your hair, you’re in good company. Hair loss is a something that most men struggle with in their lives. Besides, hair doesn’t make the man. Whether you choose to treat your hair loss, disguise it with a new ‘do, or rock a shaved head, confidence is the best look of all!