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For a significant number of men, hair loss is closely associated with self-esteem. Beyond physical appearances, the effects of hair loss are closely connected to a culture of toxic masculinity where vulnerability is still (unduly) perceived as a weakness.

Hesitancy to discuss these vulnerabilities can have a seriously detrimental effect on mental and emotional health, which is why hair loss is a sensitive topic that many tend to avoid discussing. However, there are some tips for how to prevent hair loss in men that you can try, which we will explore below.

What Causes Hair Loss in Men?

According to the American Hair Loss Association, androgenetic alopecia (also known as MPB or male pattern baldness) constitutes over 95 percent of instances of hair loss in men, with 85 percent of men experiencing thinning hair by the age of 50.

Other factors may include certain medications and health conditions such as autoimmune or hormonal issues. Mechanical follicle damage resulting from conditions such as trichotillomania (the urge to pull out one’s hair), which tends to result from anxiety, can also be a cause.

What Treatments Are Available?

Hair transplants are a well known treatment, although they can be expensive and painful. In addition to supplements such as biotin, tech options such as laser combs, and addressing health issues and habits (smoking and stress are both linked to hair loss), there are a number of alternatives available.

medication

The two most common medications for hair loss are minoxidil and finasteride. The first increases nutrients and blood flow to the follicles, while the second inhibits the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which can cause the follicles to shrink and eventually fall out.

While both treatments can be successful, like many medications they are not without the risk of side effects: minoxidil (which requires regular application in order to work) can produce skin irritation and allergies, while finasteride has been shown to cause sexual dysfunction in a small one number of cases.

Hair Products

Some evidence shows that certain hair products such as gel may contribute to baldness, as the chemicals in them become trapped in hair follicles, stunting growth. Other products contain ketoconazole, which works similarly to finasteride, without the same level of risk to sexual health.

massage

You can also combine hair washing with scalp massage, which in some studies has been shown to encourage hair growth: a 2016 study showed that a four-minute daily massage using a device over the course of 24 weeks resulted in increased thickness, while 2019 survey based on responses of 340 participants who massaged their scalps twice-daily supported these findings.

Arguably, one of the most important steps towards alleviating the emotional and psychological distress felt by men experiencing hair loss is through removal of the stigma that contributes towards it in the first place.

While hair loss treatments are well worth investigating, a recent study suggests that counseling can help support men dealing with hair loss, potentially helping to open up a dialogue between themselves and peers sharing similar experiences.

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