GOING bald might be a natural part of growing older, but men wish they could hold it off indefinitely.
Of course, unless your follicle fall out due to health reasons, it’s generally down to your genes how early — or late — you start thinning up top.
So if you do start feeling a bit bare up there, is there really nothing you can do? Is it simply your time to lose your mane and go bald?
Not necessarily. Typically, Male Pattern Baldness, the leading cause of hair loss that affects around three quarters of all men, hits around middle age. While there are those who do get hit by it young and start shedding in their twenties, many cases of early hair loss are due to lifestyle and other outside factors.
In the end, it won’t hurt you to try finding out if those fallen strands are caused by your diet and everyday habits.
Finding the cause
Baldness can be a hereditary trait. But your physical state may also affect how much hair you have. A whole host of medical reasons can be behind your problem, such as: alopecia, fungal infections, thyroid problems, and hormonal imbalances. Hair loss is reversible in most of these cases, once the underlying condition has been treated. Regular check ups with your doctor will let you stay more or less on on top of such follicular drama.
The benefits of staying healthy
Nutrient deficiencies and bad circulation can also be the reasons behind your dwindling scalp coverage, and more often than not, they can be remedied with a change in lifestyle.
Keeping a well-balanced diet with the right amounts of protein, iron, and zinc can do a lot to give you healthier hair that’s less likely to break or fall off. Staying hydrated will also help with making your hair stronger, so drink plenty of water.
It’s also long been speculated that smoking can lead to premature hair loss. This is mostly due to the toxins introduced into your body, which can affect your blood circulation and impair the nourishment of your follicles. If you were looking for one more reason to cut back on this vice, here it is.
Be more gentle with your hair
Of course, your hair problems might be simple because of how you care for your mane. While styling products, like gel, wax, and hair spray, have often been accused of causing hair fall, they aren’t actually at fault. More likely, things got problematic because you don't thoroughly wash out your hair, and that’s an issue of proper grooming habits.
But severe styling and rough handling (excessive and forceful brushing, tousling, etc.) can lead to breakage. Chemical treatments, like hot oil or hair coloring, can be harsh on your follicles, too.
"Coloring can affect the scalp if it doesn't undergo the correct procedure," explains Ken Asuncion of hair care giant L’Oreal Professionnel. "When the products used are of low quality, your hair becomes unhealthy and causes it to stop regrowing,"
If general proper care of your body and hair isn’t enough to lessen your hair loss, there are medical means of dealing with balding. Laser light therapy and advanced hair replacement procedures have good track records, but they are costly options.
More manageable solutions would be Minoxidil and Propecia, FDA-approved medicine that have proven largely successful in preventing further hair loss and even encouraging regrowth. These two treatments are only effective with constant use—you start skipping, you start balding.
There are also supplements and shampoos that have claimed to help with balding. While there’s no miracle cure out there that will stop hair loss, these products usually include ingredients that will nourish what hair you do have, making thinning and breakage less likely to occur.
Remedies closer to home
If none of those solutions appeal, or are even readily available, to you, you can try homegrown remedies, too. Massaging your scalp is easily one of the simplest, and surprisingly, also one of the most effective, ways to stimulate hair growth. This is because massaging improves blood flow and allows more oxygen and other oh-so-important elements to your scalp. This, in turn, makes it a better environment for your hair follicles.
Of course, a simple rub down might not be enough for you. Hair washes made from coconut milk, eggs, or fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants may serve your better. While they can’t quite make hair sprout from nothing, they do make existing hair stronger, shinier, and healthier.
At the end of the day, if thinning hair is simply in your cards, the best way to make do is accepting it and caring for what hair you do have. It’s also a good idea to give yourself a good long look and figure out a hairstyle that you can maintain, rather than pushing for one that will only look increasingly unfortunate the more hair you lose.
This story originally appeared on FHM.com.ph.
* Minor edits have been made by the Spin.ph editors.