Losing your hair? You’re in good company: Hair loss affects up to half of all men and women. Tackle hair loss head-on by understanding causes, treatments, and fun (yep, fun!) solutions to balding.
Discovering hair loss can trigger panic and frustration … or be downright depressing. What’s more, few of us are immune. Up to half of all men and women will experience hair loss! So how do we take back crown control?
Read on to decode causes and decide on solutions to save your strands.
Getting at the root
The DHT factor
For men (and women later in life), the major factor in hair loss is high dihydrotestosterone (DHT) levels. DHT is a sex hormone made from testosterone and by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. Elevated DHT in the scalp minimizes hair follicles, leading to male pattern baldness (aka hairline receding in an M-shaped pattern).
Many treatments targeting male pattern baldness try to block 5-alpha reductase, decreasing DHT uptake by the hair follicles. One natural ingredient that helps do just that is saw palmetto. Studies on oral and topical treatments containing the plant reveal that it may increase hair counts.
Bleaching, using hot styling tools, and choosing harsh products all cause hair trauma. The same goes for habits that cause friction, such as overbrushing and hair pulling or twirling.
Avoid hair-care products high in alcohol. Instead, rejuvenate your scalp with hair oil. Massage away hair stress with rosemary essential oil (diluted properly with a carrier oil), which has been shown in scientific research to result in regrowth.
The mane meal
Maybe your hair is hungry. Vitamins C and D, along with proteins and fats, have an impact on the mightiness of your mop.
Low dietary protein has been shown to disturb growth rates and cause hair fragility and brittleness. Tuck into healthy protein sources like lentils and pumpkin seeds.
Don’t forget fats! Deficiencies in fats can decrease hair hydration and skin’s oil secretion. Oil is needed for the protective coat of the epidermis, which helps keep your roots rooted. Choose healthy fats like avocado, coconut, and flaxseed.
Holistic hair health
Balding can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying health condition, such as an autoimmune disease, so have a chat with your health care practitioner. Managing the autoimmunity (and inflammation) is the best treatment. Other disorders, such as hypothyroidism and anemia, may also cause hair thinning. Examine your overall wellness both for your hair and, of course, your health.
Embracing your new hair reality
Tackling hair loss isn’t only about trying to regain lost locks—it’s also an opportunity to discover a new you. Reclaim your hair confidence through reinvention. Here are a few ways to do just that.
Go for a clean shave
One bold way to deal with hair loss is to shave your head. A close cut shows there’s no shame in showing some scalp. Bonus: You’ll stay cooler come summertime.
Find the right cut
Sport a new look that accentuates what you have and minimizes what you don’t. A side fade shave blurs side lines. Short spikes can be brushed to camouflage sparse spots, and a tousled, messy mop hides top thinning.
Rock some facial hair
Facial hair brings attention away from your scalp, putting your face center stage.
Ponytails are a great way to cover bald spots. From buns to braids, have fun with your mane.
Guys: If you want to make serious gains in your hair-loss offensive, try a man weave—a semi-permanent hair replacement unit that’s seamlessly woven into your hair. (Word to the wise: Always avoid clip-on hairpieces, which weigh down and damage your natural hair.) Want more facial hair? Beard weaves are a thing too.
Supplements to get you growing
- Vitamin D is needed for normal hair cycling and integrity. Studies reveal low serum vitamin D in alopecia patients.
- Vitamin C is thought to help combat hair loss caused by low iron and to bolster hair shaft creation.
- Biotin (vitamin B7) deficiency can lead to hair loss.
- Pumpkin seed oil is a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor that may help treat male pattern baldness.