There’s no surefire way to prevent hair loss in men but there are treatments that might slow down the process. According to the American Hair Loss Association (AHLA), nearly two-thirds of men experience some degree of hair loss by the time they are 35. By age 50, as many as 85 percent of men experience hair loss and thinning.
There are many reasons why hair loss occurs in men. But male pattern baldness causes the majority of incidences of male hair loss. Hair loss is mostly out of your control. Because, baldness comes down to your genes. There are few scientifically proven and FDA-approved treatments for hair loss. These treatments options help men cope with hair loss.
They make your hair stronger and healthier to slow your hair loss slightly. But they won’t prevent you from going bald. Eating a well balanced diet and using the right treatment method can really help you have a fuller, thicker head of hair.
Best hair loss treatments for men
The following two treatments have been clinically proven to successfully treat hair loss in men to varying degrees.
1. Finasteride (Propecia)
This medication is FDA approved for use in men with androgenic hair loss.
Finasteride is a Type II 5-alpha-reductace. The drug was originally created to help prevent prostate cancer. It works by blocking production of a male hormone in the scalp known as androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT shuts down follicles to cause male pattern baldness.
Propecia 1 mg tablets are available by prescription and taken once daily. Propecia’s 1 mg dose of finasteride can effectively lower DHT levels by as much as 60% when taken daily says the AHLA. They also recommends
finasteride as the first line of attack for all men interested in treating their male pattern baldness.
You should use it for about six to 12 months for full effects. Once you stop using Propecia, any hair loss that you would have had if you without taking the medication will happen within three to eight months. Some people experience side effects, like impotency or lack of desire.
2. Minoxidil (Rogaine)
This topical treatment for hair loss is also an FDA-approved drug. It is available as over the counter medication. For many years, minoxidil, in pill form, was widely used to treat high blood pressure. Men and women can use it. It works best on the crown rather than the front of your hairline.
Minoxidil is available as a 2% solution, 4% solution, an extra-strength 5% solution. Rogaine may grow a little hair, but it’s better at holding onto what’s still there. Results should begin to show anywhere between 2 to 6 months. Apply 1 ml of minoxidil liquid (or 1 foam squeeze, if you are using the foam version) all over the top of your scalp. Do this twice per day with at least an 8-hour window in-between.
The main problem with this treatment is the need to keep applying it once or twice daily. This makes most men give up after a while. In addition, minoxidil tends to work less well on the front of the head, which is where baldness bothers most men. Though uncommon, some side effects may include itchiness and chest pain.
Other hair loss treatments for men
3. Hair transplant
The best option for many patients with significant hair loss is hair transplantation. Back in the day, docs used plugs that resembled cornrows (definitely not natural looking). Now, there are many options. They are used to permanently restore living and also growing hair to an area of the scalp that is depleted of hair follicles.
The two most popular hair transplant procedures are follicular unit transplantation and follicular unit extraction:
a. Follicular unit transplantation (FUT)
FUT is the more “classic” method. It involves removing some skin from the back of your scalp where there’s an abundance of hair, removing the follicles from that strip of skin, then reinserting the hair follicles into the part of the scalp where you’re experiencing hair loss.
b. Follicular unit extraction (FUE)
FUE involves removing hair follicles directly from the scalp. They are then transplanted to the bald parts of the scalp. Keep in mind that a hair transplant can be expensive and may be painful. Infections and scarring are also likely to occur.
4. Laser light therapy
This is a newer form of hair loss treatment in men. It can either be at the office or at-home with hand-held devices, such as the HairMax Laser. It supposedly grow new hair by stimulating blood flow to the area.
Laser light therapy is not a baldness solution, and the HairMax takes a time commitment. You have to use the product for 15 minutes a day, three days a week. For effective results, you have to keep using it indefinitely. Besides, it has no major side effects. It’s the ideal option for men who want to maintain more of the hair they have on their head.
5. Nutrition also helps in hair loss treatments for men
Being nutrient-deficient weakens hair strands and makes them more prone to breakage. Eating plenty of protein-rich foods and healthy fats can make the hair that you still have look thicker and shinier. Also limit your intake of sweets.
Skimping on vitamin B in particular can interfere with the formation of hair cells and, therefore, hair growth. The best vitamin B sources are high protein foods such as chicken, fish, eggs, and pork, as well as leafy greens such as spinach.
6. Hair-fiber powders
These cosmetic products are available without a prescription. Colored, powdery fiber sprinkles are commercially available. They may work to camouflage balding areas. These colored sprinkles have special properties that help them attach to hair and give a fuller appearance. Most of these products are online. You can use these in addition to medical treatments such as Rogaine, Propecia, and hair transplants.
7. Hairpieces and wigs
In some cases, hair loss may be permanent or long-term. In others, men might prefer a non-medical way to treat hair loss. Wigs and hairpieces offer a means to disguise hair loss.
This is by way of attaching a mesh to the remaining hair. An artificial or human hair of similar color and texture is woven with existing hair. Quality varies considerably with price. But remember that, hairpieces and weaves may stretch, oxidize, and loosen.
8. Reduce stress
Stress can really do a number on the body, including your hair. Hair loss may be due to a stressful lifestyle. You can reduce stress with measures such as:
- regular exercise
- listening to music
- doing yoga
- getting enough sleep is also essential.