How to Avoid Hair Loss for Men

Hair loss, or alopecia, can be a distressing experience for anyone, but it is particularly prevalent among men. It's more than just an aesthetic issue—it can profoundly impact self-esteem, emotional well-being, and social interactions. Despite its commonality, the topic of hair loss still carries a stigma, with many reluctant to admit they're affected or unsure about seeking help. 

A man examining his receding hairline in the mirror, potentially concerned about hair loss, representing a scenario for the article titled 'How to Avoid Hair Loss for Men.

Every strand on a person’s head is more than just a simple fiber; it's a dynamic organism undergoing constant cycles of growth, rest, and renewal. For most men, hair is not just about style but an integral part of their identity. However, when these hair growth cycles are disrupted, whether due to genetics, hormonal changes, health conditions, or lifestyle factors, the result can be thinning hair or baldness. This process can start as early as the late teens and, by the age of 50, approximately 50% of men will experience some degree of significant hair loss.

Male pattern hair loss, scientifically known as androgenetic alopecia, is the most common form in men. It typically follows a pattern of receding hairline and hair thinning on the crown, leading gradually to baldness. The condition is primarily driven by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of the male hormone testosterone, which causes hair follicles to shrink and eventually cease producing hair.

Other types of hair loss such as alopecia areata, telogen effluvium, and anagen effluvium also affect a significant number of individuals.

Importance of Addressing Hair Loss Early

The sooner you address hair loss, the more effective the treatments can be. Hair loss progresses gradually, and once the hair follicle becomes dormant for a long period, reviving it becomes more challenging.

The early stages of thinning are when these treatments can function optimally, interfacing with active follicles that can still respond positively.

What Causes Hair Loss in Men

By pinpointing the specific causes of hair loss, we can develop targeted prevention strategies to combat it effectively. Understanding why hair loss occurs enables us to tailor our approaches, ensuring they are as efficient and personalized as possible.

First, let's discuss the most common causes of hair loss in men, then we will explore detailed prevention measures, outlining ways to avoid or minimize hair loss.

Genetic Factors

Androgenic Alopecia: The most common genetic condition affecting men.
Hormonal Changes: Especially related to DHT, a derivative of testosterone.

Medical Conditions

Alopecia Areata: An autoimmune condition that results in patchy hair loss.
Thyroid Disease: Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can cause hair thinning.
Scalp Infections: Fungal infections like ringworm can disrupt hair growth.

Medical Treatments

Chemotherapy: Known for causing anagen effluvium, leading to rapid hair loss.
Other Medications: Drugs for arthritis, depression, and high blood pressure may have hair loss as a side effect.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Iron: Low iron levels can inhibit hair growth and lead to shedding.
Protein: Insufficient protein intake can cause entering the resting phase.

Physical and Emotional Stress

Stressful Events: Such as surgery, major illness, or emotional traumas can trigger widespread thinning (telogen effluvium).

Lifestyle Factors

Smoking: Can impair blood circulation to the scalp.
Alcohol Consumption: Excessive alcohol can lead to nutrient depletion affecting hair health.
Poor Diet: Lacking in essential vitamins and minerals can contribute to hair loss.

Hair Care Practices

Hairstyling: Tight hairstyles such as braids and ponytails can cause traction alopecia.
Haircare Damage: Chemical treatments like perms and bleaching can weaken hair structure. Certain hair dyes can be harmful.

What You Can Actually Do to Avoid Hair Loss

The most crucial step in combating hair loss is being aware of the risk factors and actively working on prevention. It’s all about not waiting for the problem to escalate but taking charge as early as possible.

If, however, you do notice an increase in hair loss, consider adopting one of the following approaches.

Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT), has garnered attention for its effectiveness in addressing hair loss. Clinical studies have shown promising results, highlighting its ability to stimulate hair growth back.

Endorsed by the FDA for its safety and efficacy, red light therapy devices, including laser caps and helmets, have become popular choices for individuals seeking non-invasive solutions.

These devices emit specific wavelengths of light, typically in the red or near-infrared spectrum, which penetrate the scalp and stimulate cellular activity. By promoting circulation and cellular metabolism, red light therapy helps rejuvenate dormant follicles and prolong the growth cycle.

As awareness of red light therapy continues to grow, so does its popularity.

Illustration of a red light therapy cap emitting red light beams onto a section of skin and hair follicles, highlighting the therapeutic process targeting the dermal layer.

Hair Care Routine

Serums for hair loss

Look for serums infused with growth-stimulating ingredients like minoxidil, peptides, and botanical extracts, including powerful compounds like capilia longa, known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Capilia longa, derived from turmeric, has been scientifically proven to nourish the scalp, reduce inflammation, and stimulate hair follicles. Consider products such as Nordic Biolabs' Activation Serum for Men, which harnesses the potency of Capilia Longa and other natural ingredients to combat hair loss effectively.

Advertisement graphic for NordicBiolabs Hair Growth Serum with a timeline showing benefits at different stages: 0-45 days 'Help Reduce Hair Loss,' 45-90 days 'Rebalances hair growth cycle,' and 90-150 days 'Helps Activate Hair Growth'

Anti-DHT Shampoos

Anti-DHT shampoos are specially formulated to counteract the harmful effects of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone linked to hair loss, particularly in individuals genetically predisposed to male pattern baldness. These shampoos contain potent ingredients like ketoconazole, saw palmetto, and pumpkin seed oil, known for their ability to inhibit DHT production or activity.

Try to avoid certain shampoos that contain sulfates and other harmful substances for the health of your hair and scalp.

Saw palmetto, extracted from the fruit of the Serenoa repens plant, is rich in fatty acids and phytosterols that help inhibit the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

Pumpkin seed oil contain nutrients such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins E and K, and zinc. Omega fatty acids help nourish the scalp, vitamin E acts as a potent antioxidant, protecting the scalp from oxidative stress and promoting circulation, while zinc supports the production of new hair cells and regulates hormonal balance.

Importance of Avoiding Harsh Chemicals

Using hair care products containing harsh chemicals like sulfates, parabens, and formaldehyde can strip the hair of its natural oils and lead to scalp irritation and dryness. These chemicals can also weaken the hair shaft, making it more susceptible to breakage and hair loss over time. 

Suplements for Hair Loss

These supplements may not guarantee miraculous results, but they can complement a comprehensive approach to hair care. Here are some common supplements that are often recommended:

  • Biotin (Vitamin B7) - Essential for the production of keratin, improves hair structure and growth
  • Vitamin D
  • Iron - Critical for oxygen delivery to cells
  • Zinc - Supports hair tissue growth and repair, and ensures the oil glands around the follicles function properly
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids - Nourish the hair, support thickening, and reduce inflammation
  • Vitamin C - An antioxidant necessary for collagen production and protection against oxidative stress
  • Saw Palmetto - Believed to slow hair loss by affecting testosterone levels
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil - Contains fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins
  • Lysine - An essential amino acid that helps prevent hair loss, particularly when dietary intake is insufficient
  • Marine Collagen - A type of protein derived from fish and other marine sources, rich in amino acids

Try to Avoid Stress as Much as Possible

Stress triggers a physiological response in the body, leading to the release of hormones like cortisol, known as the stress hormone. Elevated cortisol levels can disrupt the normal functioning of hair follicles, leading to hair loss. This disruption occurs because stress can shift hair follicles into a resting phase, known as telogen effluvium, where hair shedding is increased.

Here are some of the things you can implement:

  • Practice mindfulness meditation
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or tai chi
  • Engage in regular exercise
  • Ensure adequate sleep
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Practice deep breathing exercises
  • Spend time in nature
  • Connect with loved ones
  • Engage in hobbies or activities you enjoy
  • Seek professional support or therapy

Consider Quitting Smoking

Smoking restricts blood circulation, leading to reduced oxygen and nutrient delivery to cells. Also, smoking accelerates the aging process, including premature graying.

It's worth mentioning the increasingly popular trend of electronic cigarette use, commonly known as vaping. While often considered safer and less harmful than traditional smoking, vaping can still negatively impact hair loss due to the chemicals and nicotine involved. If you have this habit and are predisposed to hair loss, make an effort to quit.

Signs That You Should Consult a Dermatologist

Each of you will likely first seek help on your own, either by searching online or by asking a pharmacist for advice... but there are situations when a doctor's assistance is necessary to uncover the cause of the problem, not just to address the consequences. So, if you notice any of the following, reach out to a dermatologist:

  • Visible Thinning or Bald Patches
  • Sudden and excessive hair loss
  • Itching, burning, or pain on the scalp
  • Noticeable changes in hair texture or color
  • Any signs of infection on the scalp

Next Steps if Prevention Doesn't Help

Medical Treatments

FDA approved medications are finasteride and minoxidil.

Finasteride (Propecia, Proscar) is a widely used medication for the treatment of male pattern baldness, known scientifically as androgenetic alopecia. It operates by targeting the hormonal cause of hair loss.

Finasteride works by inhibiting the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, which is responsible for converting testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).

By reducing DHT levels, finasteride helps slow down hair loss and can even lead to regrowth of hair in some men.

Minoxidil (Rogaine) is a topical treatment for hair loss. It is available over the counter and comes in liquid or foam form for easy application directly to the scalp.

Main characteristics of both medications are presented in the table.

UsageOral (pill form)Topical (liquid or foam)
MechanismInhibits the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase, reducing the production of DHTIncreases blood flow
EffectivenessPrevents further hair loss in 86% of menEffective for both men and women, visible results in 4-6 months
Long-term UseContinued use required to maintain benefitsContinued use required to maintain new hair growth
Side EffectsPotential sexual side effects such as decreased libido, erectile dysfunctionScalp irritation, itchiness; rare cases of unwanted facial hair growth in women
ApplicabilityNot prescribed for women, especially pregnant womenSuitable for both men and women
AvailabilityPrescription requiredAvailable over the counter
Additional NotesEffects are reversible after discontinuationNone

Using products that combine topical Finasteride with Minoxidil can offer a more potent approach by reducing DHT levels and improving follicle nutrition simultaneously.

The Role of Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

PRP therapy begins with drawing a small amount of the patient's blood, similar to a routine blood test. The blood is then placed in a centrifuge, where it is spun at high speeds to separate the platelets from other components. The concentrated platelet-rich plasma, rich in growth factors, is then extracted and reinjected into the scalp.

 PRP therapy is most effective for individuals who are in the early stages of hair loss. Regular sessions, typically once a month for the first three to four months, followed by maintenance treatments every six months or annually, are recommended for optimal results. 

Hair Transplantation

For individuals experiencing persistent hair thinning or balding, a hair transplant might offer a viable solution. This surgical procedure involves relocating hair follicles from donor areas to areas of baldness, facilitating natural hair regrowth. While commonly associated with male pattern baldness, hair transplants can also benefit individuals with female pattern hair loss. Through techniques like Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) or Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), strands of hair are carefully transplanted to achieve a more dense and natural-looking result.