Unless you’re particularly fond of the military head shave or masquerading as Mr. Clean, then thinning hair may be one of your worst grooming nightmares. But, take heart in knowing that you are not alone — WebMD states that “two-thirds of American men will experience a significant level of thinning by the age of 35.”
If you’re experiencing male-pattern baldness, your genetic makeup is likely responsible. This type of baldness is an inherited sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT, a by-product of testosterone), which leads to finer hair, a receding hairline, and finally that bare scalp.
Even so, many men simply bury their heads in the sand and either (a) live in denial or (b) let nature take its course. But, we would like to invite you to revisit option (c): Hair regrowth products. While these products are often overlooked or discounted as ineffective, there are a few solid selections to consider.
By being proactive and taking action at the first signs of thinning hair, you can begin to see regrowth and prevent additional hair loss. So, give these products and tips a whirl — after all, there’s no need to give in to your scalp’s great recession… yet.
While many shampoos and conditioners tout hair thickening qualities, their true effectiveness in preserving your locks is debatable. That said, it’s worth adding a high-quality hair-care brand that caters specifically to men, such as American Crew, to your grooming routine. American Crew’s Hair Recovery and Thickening Shampoo claims to promote hair growth with an ingredient cocktail of zinc, copper, silicones, and keratin amino acids. It also enhances hair strength and volume while moisturizing and repairing hair, all of which will help lead to a fuller looking head of hair.
Another option is Nizoral A-D, the only nonprescription shampoo that contains ketoconazole, which is an antifungal used to fight off dandruff. However, it also may help save your strands by reducing the production of testosterone (and therefore DHT), which leads to less hair shedding.
You could probably predict that the word Rogaine would make a cameo in this article. But the infamous hair loss and hair regrowth treatment is a household name for a reason. It’s the first topical brand FDA approved to help regrow hair and, with more than 20 years of results and numerous clinical trials, it’s the number-one dermatologist-recommended brand for hair regrowth. Plus, the unscented foam is topical and relatively easy to use. The active ingredient in Rogaine products, minoxidil, reinvigorates shrunken hair follicles promoting hair regrowth and thicker hair over time.
Unlike Rogaine, Propecia (also known as finasteride) is ingested orally and available only by prescription, so it requires a bit more chutzpah and commitment on your part. However, it has been clinically proven to block the actual formation of DHT, which is a very good thing for your thinning head of hair.
“I recommend that everyone [with any hair loss] take finasteride,” says Robert M. Bernstein, MD. Bernstein is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Columbia University and founder of the Bernstein Medical Center for Hair Restoration. There can be some unpleasant side effects, though, with Propecia as it can negatively affect your sperm count and libido. But, when used together, Rogaine and Propecia can be an effective one-two punch to knock out hair loss, as the two products are believed to work in mutually beneficial ways to combat the baldness.
While watching your diet isn’t going to rescue every hair on your head, it’s important to consider nutrition as part of your full hair growth and preservation strategy. Daily vitamin supplements in the form of biotin — vitamins B7 and B12 — may help maintain and strengthen healthy hair. And go easy on the desserts. The insulin spike from sugar can trigger the release of testosterone, making it available for conversion into DHT.