Going bald is more common than you might think. Many men experience the beginnings of male-pattern baldness by the time they reach their mid to upper 30’s. Other more unfortunately individuals may begin to experience hair loss much earlier–even as early as 20. For those with the self-confidence to completely embrace male-patter baldness, a head shave may be in your future.

For those looking to delay the process and retain your hair for just a little longer, here are a few tips that might be helpful.

Minoxidil

Rogaine’s chief ingredient Minoxidil is an FDA-approved means of slowing the balding process. No, it won’t help your body re-grow hair that is already gone, but it can help in the prevention of more hair loss over time.

Minoxidil aids in the increase of topical blood flow to the hair follicles, allowing more oxygen and other nutrients to be delivered to the receding head hair.

Rogaine is a topical treatment applied as an oil or a foam to the affected area. Patients may opt for the oil balm, the foam or both. For those using Minoxidil, it is advised to apply it topically to the area morning and night.

The other FDA approved medication called Propecia (whose active ingredient is finasteride) is taken orally–not applied topically. Finasteride has some pretty nasty side effects, including potential erectile dysfunction and decreased libido.

If you’re looking to slow your hair loss in order to get more action and be more manly using finasteride, it may be wise to think twice. The side effects are not as friendly.

Freaking Lasers

A third FDA approved method for hair loss prevention includes the use of lasers. You have likely seen the funky devices with strange helmets or wands that use lasers to prevent hair loss. Most such devices indicate they should be used for a few minutes every couple of days.

They are not cheap, costing anywhere from $200 to $900.

There is also some debate as to whether or not these products actually work. Unfortunately, all the “research” showing the efficacy of such devices has been produced by paid third parties of the manufacturers.

Exercise & Relax

There is a strong correlation between levels of stress in the body and hair loss. The Mayo Clinic indicates that higher levels of stress puts hair follicle growth in pause mode. Doing a self-evaluation on the level of stress you are experiencing will give you an added measure as to whether or not you are losing hair as a result of genetics or external stress.

Anxiety and stress also divert blood flow away from hair follicles and increases cortisol levels in the blood. Increased cortisol creates more erratic hormone excretion which can quicken the balding process. This is especially problematic for those who may already have a genetic predisposition toward hair loss.

The moral: relax, meditate and exercise. Do everything you can to remain in good physical condition and mental condition. Studies have shown that fit men experience nearly half the level of cortisol production as those who are not fit.

Vitamin D

While not applicable to all hair loss cases, some hair loss can be attributed to lower levels of vitamin D. Men with the autoimmune disease alopecia areata were found to be as much as 3x more deficient in vitamin D.

Hair growth relies upon a diet rich in proper nutrients, which could include ample vitamin D.

Getting your vitamin D means more than just sitting for hours in the sun (as that can cause other problems). Getting it in the diet can be done by drinking milk or OJ or eating various types of fish.

Ketoconazole Shampoo

Marketed as an anti-dandruff shampoo, Nizoral (with 1% ketoconazole) has shown traits of an anti-androgen which blocks the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. In case you didn’t already know dihydrotestosterone is a hormone that shrinks hair follicles.

For the truly baldness-condriac, a higher concentration can be gleaned from a visit to a dermatologist.

One or all of these items should help those looking to prevent male pattern baldness or at least delay it as long as possible. For those who are already bald, other solutions are available, but as the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

What have you found helps to prevent the balding process?

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