By the time they reach age 50, 85% of men will be starting to lose their hair.
Bald men have been called mature, distinguished, and even sexy. Yet many men begin to experience insecurities when their hairline starts to recede. For most, it’s the loss of masculinity. As a result, a feeling of inferiority unnervingly sets in.
However, hair loss is common. So common, in fact, that millions of men around the world experience it every single day. While that might not make anyone feel better about their hair loss, there are options. The truth is that there are solutions to this prevalent problem.
Does that make the pain of hair loss any easier? Certainly not. But, whether you turn to invasive solutions, such as surgical procedures, or non-invasive ones that include taking things like Minoxidil or Finasteride, there are multiple paths forward for treatment.
There are many treatments and hair replacement options for men with less up top. Which ones are a fine investment, and which ones will leave you scratching your glossy head? Let’s take a look.
Causes of Hair Loss
As much as we like to blame baldness on things we can control, the most common cause of hair loss in men and women is genetics, which accounts for 95% of cases.
Other causes include a poor diet, illness, stress, and medications. Thyroid disease, severe infection, or fungal diseases such as ringworm can cause premature baldness.
Childbirth can cause temporary hair loss. Others suffer from a condition known as trichotillomania, which is an ongoing compulsion to pull out your hair or lashes.
Drugs that cause hair loss include those used to treat conditions such as heart problems, depression, or gout. Chemotherapy and radiation can also lead to hair loss.
Eating a balanced diet, avoiding harsh chemicals, and not pulling or twisting your hair can help prevent hair loss. Sometimes, however, it happens in spite of meticulous self-care.
Minoxidil and finasteride are the only drug treatments proven by the FDA to help combat male pattern baldness.
Minoxodil is a topical ointment for rubbing directly onto the scalp. It dilates blood vessels and allows hair follicles to thrive in a more friendly environment.
10-15% of people see significant hair growth with minoxidil. You will need a prescription, and you may have to keep reapplying it for best results.
Finasteride works by inhibiting the hormone that causes hair loss in men, known as DHT. It is proven to lower DHT levels as much as 86% in men during clinical trials. Finasteride is also known to have sexual side effects.
Hair-grafting is an outpatient hair-replacement procedure. It is usually performed in a dermatological surgeon’s office. Most folks will see up to 60% hair growth in 6 to 9 months.
Before the procedure begins, you will get a local anesthetic. Sedation is available.
Hair-grafting uses your existing hair, which is “grafted” back into certain spots. Most grafts contain 1-2 hairs per graft, and slit-grafting contain 10-15 hairs per graft.
“Donor” sites are then closed up with stitches that come out ten days later. You may need several sessions, with a required healing period of between two and four months per session.
Pumpkin seed oil is a natural, non-surgical remedy for hair loss that has never been scientifically proven to work. However, a 2014 study found a 30% increase in hair growth among men who took pumpkin seed capsules.
The theory behind the treatment is that the seed’s phytosterols, which play an important role in plant cell growth, could block the enzymes and hormones in the scalp that cause hair loss.
A pumpkin seed oil gel capsule can be taken following meals. You can also use a topical oil on your head after shampooing.
Be sure to warm the oil before applying it, but you need to be certain that it is not too hot. You can then wrap a hot towel on your head to let your scalp soak in the oil for about 20 minutes. Finally, condition and style your healthy hair.
Scalp reduction works by removing skin from the scalp that does not grow hair. The remaining scalp is then stretched to cover the back and top of the head. Scalp reduction is not effective on the front hairline.
Scalp reduction can reduce as much as half the area of baldness on a scalp. Side effects, however, include tightening and headaches.
Platelet-rich plasma treatments have never been scientifically proven to be effective against hair loss, yet they have been popular for the last 30 years. Treatments must be maintained every 4-6 months.
During PRP treatments, your blood will be drawn and separated in a centrifuge. It is then injected back into the scalp, where it is believed that the plasma will help repair blood cells.
Low-Level Laser Therapy
Low-level laser therapy uses clinical-strength laser technology to treat hair loss. It works by stimulating hair follicles to produce thicker hair. It also invigorates circulation in the scalp.
A 2013 study of 41 males found that there was a 39% increase in hair growth over 16 weeks among men who underwent low-level laser therapy. The treatment is painless, with no side effects.
It is, however, time-consuming, and requires several sessions for a number of months. It is expensive, at $3,500 to $5,000 per year. Experts have not yet established the long-term safety effects of low-level laser therapy.
While there is no scientific evidence that onion juice can treat hair loss, the theory behind the treatment is that the sulfur in onions helps regrow hair.
A minor study found that 74% of people who put onion juice on the scalp twice a day had some regrowth of hair. Some choose to use another oil to minimize the smell.
Iron-rich foods such as meat, fish, poultry, and greens can help prevent hair loss.
Iron helps your body make blood, and it carries the oxygen for growth and repair of cells, including those that stimulate hair growth. An iron deficiency can cause hair loss. Regrowth of hair is stimulated by an improved diet or iron supplement.
Which Hair Replacement Options Are the Best?
Hair grafting, pharmacy treatments, and natural hair replacement options are all popular ways for treating hair loss. The right therapy for you will depend on your budget, time constraints, and desired results.
For more information on the best treatment options available, click here.