By the age of 20, it’s predicted that 1/5th of all men will experience hair loss. This rate increases at a proportionate rate, with 30% of men in their 30’s reporting hair loss with this trend continuing into old age where hair loss occurs more rapidly.
The most important thing to remember about hair loss is that it’s not always a sign of a gradual decline into baldness. Sometimes healthy lifestyle and diet changes are all you need to turn the problem around.
Protein is the nutrient that is responsible for the growth of our hair – so eating foods rich in protein like grains, nuts and lean meats is the best place to start when it comes to addressing hair loss. Your body’s levels of iron are also important to consider when addressing hair loss.
Seeing your local doctor is the logical first place to start when it comes to identifying the issue behind your hair loss. Sometimes you might be panicking for no reason at all – it pays to get a concrete answer.
No matter what kind of hairstyle you have, have had in the past or want to attain, you deserve to be able to enjoy it and the confidence it brings. While there are no scientifically proven cures for hair loss, there are many ways you can delay the process and keep the hair you do have as healthy as possible.
What are the medical hair loss conditions?
There are 3 main types of medical hair loss conditions that are associated with high levels of stress. These are known as:
- Telogen effluvium – Temporary condition that normally manifest following a highly traumatic event and can last for up to 6 months and affects women at a higher rate than men. It’s normally noticed by lots of hair being left behind on a brush or a pillow in the morning.
- Trichotillomania – This condition is connected with people actively pulling hair from their head and is primarily a psychological problem.
- Alopecia areata – This is when your own immune system targets your hair follicles.
It’s recommended to see a doctor if your hair falls out very quickly as this could be a sign of a more serious underlying problem.
When you start seeing that you have less hair than you did a few months ago, it’s understandable to feel a range of emotions including fear, panic and depression. Being confronted with this kind of problem can cripple your self-esteem and preoccupy your thoughts, distracting your from performing well in other aspects of your life like school and work.
Stress is thought to be a leading factor in accelerated hair loss because it is believed that our hair follicles can be affected by the hormone cortisol which is produced when we are stressed. This may be what’s responsible for the issue you are facing. This connection has been observed equally in both men and women, we just see more men dealing with highly stressful situations (financially supporting the family, for example).
Male pattern baldness
While the conditions mentioned previously can all be caused or impacted by stress, male pattern baldness is genetic and normal for many men to go through. Stress can be a factor that accelerate hair-loss for men with male pattern baldness and there are some simple lifestyle changes that can help to curb it.
5 steps you can take to slow down hair loss
Sometimes when a condition dissipates your hair will grow back to its former glory. If not, then you need to accept that it will slowly decline. However, you can significantly improve the health of your hair and slow down the rate of hair loss with the following strategies:
1. Getting more sleep
Everyone knows that sleep is the time where your body regenerates and repairs itself, so it’s important that you get an adequate amount of shuteye. Most of us stay up too late and rush out of bed in the mornings – try something more sustainable and give your hair follicles the R&R they need.
2. Changing your diet
Your diet is heavily connected to the health and longevity of your hair follicles, so changing it to be healthier is one of the best things you can do to combat hair loss. Hair uses protein as its basic fuel source, so eating more fish, grains and lean meat is a good option to pursue. It is also essential that you get an adequate level of iron in the form of dark leafy vegetables, lentils and red meat.
3. Quit your vices
Needless to say – smoking and drinking isn’t going to help your hair grow and both excesses can cause you to be deficient in nutrients that keep your hair healthy. Alcohol inhibits the absorption of zinc and iron, both compounds that are important for your hair growth.
4. Reduce your stress
While this is easier said than done, reducing the amount of stress you endure in your daily life will help you keep your hair for longer. Think about eliminating sources of stress where you can by handing responsibilities to someone else or even just giving up something. It can be healthy to say “screw this, I give up” to some things in life, especially if the stress it is causing you is more trouble than its worth.
5. Try using an anti hair loss product
In conjunction with the above tactics, doing your research and selecting an anti hair loss product to try may produce favourable results for you. Each product is different with varying rates of success, so make sure you shop around to find the best option tailored for you.
Accepting hair loss and eventual baldness
Unless you have access to some experimental stem cell research to regrow your hair at the genetic level, there isn’t any scientifically perfect way to reverse natural hair loss. Sometimes your genes and lifestyle factors will mean you go bald much faster than other men who might continue to grow hair for several decades.
If you are quite young (20’s, 30’s) and experiencing rapid hair loss then its understandable that your self esteem would be severely affected as others in your age group have a full head of luscious locks. This can make you feel extremely defeated and affect your ability to grab opportunities because you don’t feel as confident in yourself.
Unless you can find an effective pharmaceutical treatment or find another way to curb your hair loss, the only solution is expensive procedures like hair transplants and scalp tattooing (ouch). Given this, sometimes the best course of action is to learn to accept the new you.
Some ways to help you transition into a bald man’s life:
- Look at all of the celebrities that are completely bald and are routinely listed in ‘sexiest men alive’ lists. Clearly a lack of hair doesn’t stop people from becoming attracted to you – it’s really not the death sentence to your love life you think it is.
- Bald is far more commonplace and less stigmatised today than it has ever been. Even women, who have traditionally always been expected to have long hair, are rocking short styles and even going entirely bald voluntarily as part of their aesthetic. There is no longer a panicked rush to buy a wig as a man to disguise your secret shame of being bald – it’s simply not a big deal in our society.
- No one who truly respects and cares about you is going to judge you or treat you differently for being bald.
In conclusion, if you’re a man suffering from hair loss then you have a lot of options on how to address it. The important thing to remember is that there is no right or wrong answer here; it’s your hair, your body and your self-worth – you don’t need to gracefully accept baldness if you are resolved to fight against it.