Fading Follicles Have You in a Funk? How to Combat Hair Loss
“Awesome! My hair is thinning!” says no man. Ever.
Losing your hair is worse than finding one in your food. It’s the sinking feeling that your entire life – as you once knew it – is about to change. You’ll get fired. Your girlfriend will leave you. People will key your car. And everyone will resort to calling you chrome dome. Forever.
Listen up. It’s not as bad as you think. First off, 80 million men in the United States battle baldness from hereditary factors. While that doesn’t help your cause, it does answer some questions about how this thing is going to shake out. Look to the males in your line-up and you’ll get a good idea if thinning hair and a couple parking spots will be the extent, or if full frontal baldness is the road you’re traveling.
The good news is there are all kinds of over-the-counter hair-loss products and board-certified dermatologists just itching to help tackle your hair-raising situation. But first, check your health. You want to rule out anything like an auto-immune disease, such as alopecia, or another medical reason why your hair might be falling out. Visit a general practitioner and have some blood work done. If your hair loss is anything other than genetic, you need to know that. It’s not enough to just think you are so good looking that your face decided to take over your entire head.
Change your diet
Get the proper amount of vitamins into your body on a daily basis. “But I eat really healthy foods,” you might say. Great for you! But unless you’re Richard Simmons, you’re likely not ingesting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs. A good start is to take a vitamin C capsule every morning with fortified cereal, non-citrus fruits or eggs. Eating with vitamins helps with absorption. Get more iron and vitamin B in your diet by eating fish (not that kind), starchy veggies, turkey and lentils, and concentrate on protein-rich foods like meat, nuts and beans.
Visit the drugstore
If a woman can buy tampons and Plan B, surely you can muster up the cojones to wrangle in some Rogaine. It features 5 percent minoxidil, the active ingredient that helps enlarge hair follicles and stimulate growth. Don’t go crazy – it’s not a race to the follicle finish line. Refrain from applying it more than twice a day. Some men see regrowth in about four to six weeks. Just so you know, the same product is sold at Costco, under the name Minoxidil. If it makes you feel any better, no one will ever see it under your 4-pound jar of mustard and the Pogo Stick you’re suddenly scoring (for your kid, for Christmas, of course).
Talk to the doc
If Rogaine won’t come to the rescue, a board-certified dermatologist might. Ask about a prescription for Propecia (generic is finasteride). The American Hair Loss Association recommends finasteride as the number one medication to lower DHT levels, which is the known culprit in male-pattern baldness. Now, like anything, there are side effects that need to be considered. So talk to your doctor and then decide if you want to be horny . . . or have hair.
Try a new do
If receding temples are the issue, wear your hair no longer than an inch all the way around; when you’re dealing with overall thinning, wear your hair a little longer and have your hairstylist layer it without a part. This should help fluff it up a bit. Also, lay off the vigorous wash every day and go for every two days. If you’re feeling oily, use a dry shampoo.
Some men simply say, “Fuck it!” and shave their whole head. That’s fine. But just know that if you ever decide to wear a turtleneck, you’re going to look like a roll-on deodorant. Just sayin.’