By age 35, more than two-thirds of men will experience noticeable hair loss. By age 50, the number of men with thinning hair increases to 85%.
The men represented in these statistics would give anything for a “bad hair day.” They know—and you do, too, if you’re among them—that the worst hair day is a no hair day.
What they—and you—might not know, though, is that there are hair loss solutions that work. Find out more about hair loss treatments in this helpful guide.
What Causes Hair Loss?
Preventing and treating hair loss requires, first, understanding its causes.
In fact, some hair loss is normal. The average person loses 50-100 hairs per day. At the same time, though, the average person’s scalp is growing new hair quickly enough to replace the strands that fall out.
Hair loss happens when new hair growth does not occur.
Common causes of hair loss include:
- Hereditary conditions, such as androgenic alopecia or male-pattern hair loss
- Medical conditions, including hormone changes
- Medications and supplements
- Radiation therapy to the head
- Dietary factors, including poor nutrition and significant weight loss
- Hairstyles and treatments
Only a doctor can provide a definitive diagnosis of the cause of your hair loss. In many cases, though, you can assess your own lifestyle factors to pinpoint likely causes.
Understanding the cause of your hair loss helps you choose the hair loss treatment that’s best for you.
Diet and Lifestyle Changes
As with most other aspects of your health, healthy hair starts with a healthy diet and lifestyle. If you’ve noticed that your hair is thinning, take stock of your daily habits.
Make sure that your diet is balanced and adequate for your activity level. Significant weight loss can cause your hair to thin. Iron deficiency can also contribute to hair loss. So make sure, too, that your diet includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Besides diet, pay attention to other aspects of self-care. Are you taking time for yourself? Are you getting good and adequate sleep? Have you been able to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of physical activity?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” your stress levels are likely higher than they should be. Stress—especially prolonged stress—increases the body’s production of cortisol. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone. Among other effects, excessive cortisol production can switch the hair follicles from a growth phase to a resting phase.
While it’s not always possible to eliminate stressors, it is possible to incorporate self-care practices. These can include mediation, exercise, and journaling. They can—and should—include the healthy diet we just mentioned as well.
Maybe you’re cool, calm, and eating lots of cucumbers (and other healthy foods!). In other words, you’re not stressed, and you’re eating well. Your hair, though, is still falling out.
If you’ve made all the lifestyle changes that you can, the next step is to try a hair loss treatment. One hair loss treatment is minoxidil. You’ve likely heard of minoxidil by its most common brand name: Rogaine.
Minoxidil can treat and prevent certain types of hair loss. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it is not a cure for hair loss. It also doesn’t work for all types of hair loss.
Minoxidil works best for younger men under the age of 40. It also works only as long as you’re using it. To see the benefits of minoxidil, you’ll need to commit to twice daily treatments. You’ll need to commit to these treatments, moreover, for as long as you hope to see the benefits.
This can be expensive, inconvenient, and because of side effects, risky. If you stop using minoxidil, however, you’ll quickly notice that your hair is thinning again.
Unfortunately, using minoxidil consistently still doesn’t guarantee a lifetime of healthy hair. In fact, the longer you use minoxidil, the less effective it becomes.
Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Treatment
If you’re looking for an alternative to minoxidil, PRP treatment may be a solution. PRP treatment uses your own blood to fuel hair growth.
When you opt for PRP treatment, you’ll visit your doctor once a month. During each visit, the doctor will draw a small amount of your blood. He or she will then combine the platelets from your blood with growth factors. The best PRP providers also add adenosine-triphosphate (ATP), an organic compound, that encourages cell growth.
After numbing your scalp, your doctor will inject the healing serum to promote the active growth phase of your hair follicles.
Follicular Unit Transplant
One of the most common surgical treatments for hair loss is the follicular unit transplant (FUT). Like PRP, FUT treatment relies on your own body. FUT treatment involves harvesting small groups of your own hair follicles and implanting them in bald or thinning areas.
This procedure tends to produce excellent results. However, recovery from a traditional FUT surgery can be very painful. It can also produce unsightly scars. Fortunately, newer technologies, including robot-guided harvesting, have eliminated the need for painful incisions.
Combining these new hair restoration techniques with PRP treatments further enhances the results.
Finally, if you’re not ready for surgery, scalp camo can provide a long-term aesthetic solution.
Scalp camo is like a tattoo for your scalp. Using high-definition pigments that match your hair color, a doctor makes hair-sized dots between your existing strands. He or she will also help you choose a hairstyle that complements the treatment.
If you opt for scalp camo, look for a provider that uses safe, vegan-friendly pigments. The best pigments are also long-lasting. Reputable providers will guarantee the results of scalp camo for at least a year. However, you can expect your scalp camo to last between five and seven years.
The Worst Bad Hair Day Is the No Hair Day: Take Action to Avoid It Today
For someone struggling with hair loss, the opportunity to have a “bad hair day” can seem like a blessing. Fortunately, lifestyle changes, medication, surgery, and other treatments can make this blessing a reality. In fact, hair loss treatments put not just a few bad hair days but many very good hair days within reach.
It’s up to you, though, to make these good hair days happen. Now that you’ve learned about the treatment options available, choose the one that’s best for you and find a reputable provider.
Then, as you enjoy the results, count on our blog for the best hair styling and care advice.