5 Best Hair Loss Treatment For Men (Proven Methods)
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As kids, we do not think so much about it because it’s only the adults sporting wispy comb-overs and chrome domes.
But that tune changes as we enter our twenties, the age when a tendency toward male pattern baldness becomes apparent.
Who Is Affected?
In fact, 1 out of 4 men will begin to notice hair loss before the age of 30.
66% of men experience some degree of hair loss by 35.
What’s more, 85% of men notice some degree of thinning as they hit 50.
It might start in the upper corners of your forehead as a receding hairline, or you may notice the sun is unusually hot on the top of your head, hitting a patch where the hair has begun to grow sparsely.
Different guys experience the onset of male pattern baldness in different ways, and the good news is, there are just as many ways of dealing with it.
For some, it is a part of life they have no problem accepting, and that’s great. After all, it’s the age of body positivity, loving our bodies the way they are without feeling the need to alter anything.
And that’s the end of their hair loss saga.
No muss, no fuss, no pesky bedhead to worry about. They rock their shiny heads and live happily ever after.
But some guys don’t take it so well, afraid losing their hair will make them less attractive, less desirable, and even more unlike the fit guys whose fitness profiles they follow on Instagram.
To them, we say Relax!
That’s right: for most of us, male pattern baldness is genetic, so if you’ve got it coming to you, you’ve got it coming to you. The specifics are still kind of hazy.
Why Do We Bald?
Some sources say it comes from your mother’s side, some say your father’s, and some say it skips a generation.
What we do know is that while the so-called “baldness gene” may be on the X chromosome (the one given to us by our mothers) there are a variety of other elements at work here.
Hereditary baldness might be more prevalent on the women’s side, but some research points out that if you’ve got a bald father, you are more likely to develop similar male pattern baldness than others who comparatively don’t.
Fortunately for you, this is 2020 and there’s real technology out there that could help resolve male pattern baldness.
As a matter of fact, American men spend nearly $1 billion every year trying to keep the hair they have, from quick fixes to commitment-worthy solutions.
Notice we didn’t say the word “cure,” because as far as baldness is considered, there is no cure, and that’s primarily because it’s not a disease.
It’s normal, it happens to the best of us, and if you find yourself experiencing it and determined to do something about it, keep reading because we’ve compiled the best hair loss treatments for men.
Treatments for Hair Loss
Let’s start by saying there is definitely a lot of crap out there claiming to help with hair loss, and if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
With that knowledge tucked into your belt, stay away from anything labeled a cure, hair growth vitamins (unless your hair loss issues are connected to a deficiency which, in that case, means you should stop reading this article immediately and see a doctor), or advice that sounds harmful to your health.
The road to taking on hair loss has many paths, and we’ll help you navigate them armed with all the right knowledge.
First up in our best hair loss treatments for men is Minoxidil, the only topical non-prescription medication approved by the FDA specifically for the regrowth of hair.
You may remember the commercials for Rogaine, the most popular brand-name of Minoxidil, back in the 90s, but there’s a reason it’s still around today: it works.
Minoxidil is proven to both regrow hair and reduce hair loss in men.
How does Minoxidil work?
The jury is still out on that, but here’s what scientists think happens.
As a potassium channel opener, Minoxidil functions by dilating blood vessels in order to widen potassium channels, thus increasing the amount of oxygen, blood and nutrients to the hair follicles.
It’s believed that this causes hair follicles in the telogen phase (the “resting phase” during which hair can fall out) to shed, only to be replaced by thicker hair follicles in the anagen phase (the “active growth” phase), thus showing up as new hair.
How effective is it?
In a study, 62% of men claimed a reduction in hair loss while 84% said it was “moderately effective” for hair regrowth.
The only catch: you need to use it up to twice a day without skipping, or else you’ll lose all your progress.
The most common form of Minoxidil nowadays is a foam that’s applied directly to the scalp, which sounds pretty doable in our book.
Even though Minoxidil is relatively safe and over-the-counter, it’s not without side effects which range anywhere from hives and facial swelling to dizziness and being extremely toxic to cats.
It’s probably still best to talk to a doctor before starting it, just to make sure you’re in the clear health-wise.
How to use Minoxidil?
In most cases, Minoxidil is applied topically onto the head.
It is usually sold in foam form to allow ease of application. You can start off with either dry or damp hair and apply the foam onto you hands.
From there, you can start applying the foam onto the areas where hair thinning is most visible. Allow it to air dry and you’re set!
Second on our list of the best hair loss treatments for men is Finasteride.
Those put off by the idea of foaming up their scalps twice a day may appreciate the fact that Finasteride comes in pill form, taken once daily.
Sold under the brand name Propecia (which is also used to treat prostate enlargement), Finasteride is the only other drug approved by the FDA to treat men’s hair loss. (The other one is Minoxidil).
How does Finasteride work?
Finasteride targets hair loss specifically on the crown of the head as well as the middle part of your scalp by blocking DHT hormones by roughly 70%, decreasing the shrinkage and shortening of your hair and ultimately helping you retain it for longer.
How effective is it?
Again, practice makes perfect so you must take your daily dose of Finasteride consistently in order for it to work, but if you hang in there, you can expect good results, which begin to appear somewhere around the three-month mark.
A study on Finasteride resulted in 80% of the participants maintaining their current hair count, as well as 64% reporting regrowth after two years.
Hey, good things come to those who wait. Finasteride/Propecia is, however, a prescription drug and does come with a fair amount of side effects, such as long-term sexual dysfunction—so you’ll definitely need to speak with your doctor if you’re interested in starting it.
How to use Finasteride?
Finasteride is usually available as tablets that can be taken by mouth. Make sure you read the instruction labels on daily dosage and how to properly use Finasteride.
Consult with your doctor for a detailed description on all possible side effects and cons before taking.
Usually it would be somewhere between 2 tablets daily or so, just be sure you don’t miss your days and take them on time accordingly.
Wait, aren’t laser treatments supposed to remove hair?
Sure, that’s what we thought, but one of the latest hair loss treatments for men involves a specially-designed “cold laser” beam that stimulates scalp circulation and increases hair growth.
How does it work?
A low-level laser (also known as red light therapy) irradiates photons into the tissues of the scalp, which are absorbed by weak cells in order to stimulate hair growth and—over time—giving you thicker, fuller hair.
Some have even said the results “restore the youthful consistency, texture and glow” of their hair.
How effective is it?
There are many pros to low level laser therapy hair restoration treatments.
It’s been approved by the FDA, so you know it’s safe. It’s also painless, as the laser used is absorbed by the target tissue without heating it, so if you opt for it and the technician says, “This won’t hurt a bit,” they mean it.
As far as cons go, the only thing we can come up with is cost. Low level laser treatments may require several passes, which could get expensive.
It’s still relatively new, so before shelling out big bucks, it’s best to do research and find a reputable laser clinic that offers it, and if possible, ask to see some before and after photos so you know what you’re getting into.
Hair transplants (or as they’re more commonly called “hair plugs”) have garnered somewhat of a bad reputation over the years as various TV shows and movies have lampooned their tendency to look like mini crops planted in perfectly straight rows on someone’s scalp.
But there’s a reason we’ve made them fourth on our list of best hair loss treatments for men: they work.
How does it work?
Here’s what a hair transplant involves in a nutshell: a surgeon takes hair from an area in which you’ve got plenty and moves it to an area you don’t, such as the crown of your head.
The hair follicles used can be removed either in a strip (Follicular Unit Transplantation) or individually (Follicular Unit Extraction) before being transplanted one by one in the new area.
The surgeon does this by inserting each individual graft into a tiny hole or slit, where—with the proper aftercare—it will naturally keep growing.
How effective is it?
Nowadays, hair transplants look more natural than ever—when done correctly, that is, so be careful when choosing a practitioner.
Need some proof?
Check out recent photos of actor Kevin Costner and Tesla mastermind Elon Musk, both self-professed recipients of hair transplants who look mighty fine when it comes to their hairlines. There are, however, several drawbacks you’ll want to consider.
- First, it’s painful. You’re numbed during the procedure, but remember each new follicle requires being pierced into your scalp.
- Secondly, the tiny cuts required to accommodate the newly-transplanted follicles can cause scarring.
- Thirdly, cost: hair transplants can run you anywhere from $1,000 to $30,000 depending on how many passes are required.
- And here’s perhaps the most ironic part: the newly-transplanted hair typically falls out within three weeks, but regrows within a few months.
Regardless, hair transplants result in an average of 60% new hair growth between 6-9 months, but while they can ultimately spell the end of hair loss for some men, they can be costly, painful, and require several passes before you get the look you’re after, so factor all that into your decision.
Scalp Tattooing (Micropigmentation)
We know. It looks creepy!
The fifth element on our list of best hair loss treatments for men takes a sharp left, as rather than attempt to stifle further hair loss or encourage new hair to grow, it takes more of a “fake it till you make it” approach.
Scalp micropigmentation is a cosmetic treatment that involves the tattooing of tiny dots onto your head to mimic the look of fuller hair.
Scalp micropigmentation is most commonly done to men with shaved heads, as the end result looks like you’ve just shaved your otherwise full head of hair, but it can also be used to darken the scalp of those with thinning hair.
How does it work?
Scalp tattooing involves more than just tiny dots.
A skilled practitioner employs an artistic style known as pointillism to create natural-looking depth using layered dots in different shades of black.
The idea is to mimic the natural occurrence of hair follicles so the end result perfectly matches your complexion and looks authentic—even up close.
Each treatment takes about 4-5 hours and you’ll be numbed beforehand, so the pain factor isn’t as bad as you’d think.
How effective is it?
Done right, scalp micropigmentation can help those struggling with hair loss to regain a sense of confidence.
It’s not as invasive as transplants, and costing anywhere from $400 to $1,000, it may end being the long-term solution with the lowest price tag.
However, there are a few cons.
- First off, it’s not permanent. The needle used to administer micropigmentation doesn’t go as deeply as a tattoo needle, and therefore will naturally exfoliate away in 8 years or so.
- There are also a number of pre-existing conditions like scalp acne and a tendency toward developing keloids that may disqualify you from receiving it.
The key to getting scalp micropigmentation right is to find a skilled practitioner familiar with the procedure.
Definitely don’t walk into your local tattoo parlor and ask to get your hair done. Remember, authenticity is what you’re going for here—not a head tattoo. Although there’s nothing wrong with a head tattoo.
And there you have it, our list of best hair loss treatments for men.
However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before deciding to go to the hair loss treatment route. You should be sure that you are actually balding.
In most cases, people tend to over react over some signs of receding hairlines. Sometimes, this is called the ‘maturation hairline’, which applies to most young adults that are in that age of maturation.
But when you do believe that you require treatment, it is important to keep in mind the common side effects that comes with each treatment, especially Minoxidil and Finasteride which are non-prescription medication that you can easily grab over-the-counter.
Consult with a doctor to be sure of the side effects and that you are able to handle the medication just to stay on the safe side.
All in all, it’s important to remember not to get down on yourself for your hair loss, as so many men tend to do. Not only is it not your fault, it’s also not a bad thing.
There are tons of badass guys rocking bald heads and they’re doing just fine, from Bruce Willis to Vin Diesel.
Today’s men’s grooming culture makes plenty of allowance for pain and expense when it comes to “looking our best” which puts an undue amount of pressure on us to look a certain way.
So if you find yourself gazing into the mirror, facing patches you’d rather weren’t there, all we can do is advise you to be smart when choosing a method to treat it.
Which method are you looking to try next? Let us know in the comments below!