Losing hair is difficult for many aging men. You may dislike the way you look, or feel less confident in yourself as you experience hair loss. Some men approach the situation by trying to draw attention away from their lost hair; they may shave their head to adopt a fully bald look, or they may simply wear a baseball cap at all times to cover up the loss.
But with today’s technology, is there any method that can stimulate hair growth to regain that lost hair?
The Root Causes of Hair Loss
First, it’s important to understand why men lose hair in the first place. Anyone, including women and younger people, can experience hair loss, but it happens to be most common in older men. Most hair loss is explainable as a result of heredity or hormonal changes, but it may also be the result of a specific condition (like alopecia areata). If you experience patchy hair loss, or hair loss all over the body, it may be a good idea to talk to a doctor. But if you experience hair loss on the head, with a receding hairline and/or gradual thinning on the top of the head, it’s probably the result of hereditary male pattern baldness.
Technologies to Regrow Hair
Some technologies have emerged with the potential to help regrow hair. For example, there’s the laser hair growth cap, an FDA-cleared medical device that makes use of low level light therapy (LLLT) to stimulate blood flow within your scalp tissue. Blood flow is an important component in many hair growth strategies, since it provides additional nutrients and oxygen to your hair follicles. With adequate stimulation here, hair follicles can be gently encouraged to produce new hair growth.
To make use of a laser cap, you’ll wear the cap 30 minutes at a time, every other day. After 10 to 12 weeks, you’ll begin to see results. Scientific studies suggest that the cap is effective at stimulating new hair growth, and is safe to use as recommended.
Other technologies may also be able to stimulate hair growth, using similar mechanisms. Again, the idea is to gently stimulate hair follicles to encourage new growth, but in this case, it’s with electric stimulation. With the application of low-frequency electric pulses, dormant follicles can essentially “reactivate,” growing hair once again.
Other Methods of Reversing Hair Loss
Other strategies exist to mitigate the effects of hair loss, but most of them focus on slowing or stopping hair loss as it occurs, rather than stimulating the follicles to regrow new hair. For example, there are strategies like:
- Stress reduction. Certain types of hair loss are directly associated with high levels of stress; in some cases, eliminating the source of your stress may be enough to prevent this type of baldness from getting worse. In other cases, stress is merely a complicating factor in another type of hair loss, like hereditary hair loss. Either way, reducing your stress levels can help.
- Vitamin and mineral supplementation. Sometimes, hair loss can become worse because you aren’t getting the right supply of nutrients to your hair follicles. Eating a balanced diet, and taking additional supplements to ensure adequate vitamin and mineral intake can help you here. Additionally, some nutritional supplements are marketed as being capable of reversing or slowing hair loss—though these have mixed evidence backing their claims.
- Scalp massages and direct stimulation. You may also be able to stimulate hair production by directly stimulating your hair follicles. The best way to do this low-tech is with a direct scalp massage.
- Specially formulated shampoos and conditioners. Some shampoos and conditioners are designed to reduce the possibility of hair loss. For example, they may be formulated with DHT blockers, reducing the impact of this hormone on influencing hair loss; DHT and other androgens are highly correlated with hair loss in men.
In some cases, men prefer to use a method to restore the appearance of a natural head of hair. For example, they may purchase a toupee to cover a bald spot, or may employ a combing technique to cover their baldness with the hair they have left.
If you’re beginning to notice the signs of hair loss as you get older, it’s in your best interest to act quickly. The sooner you start stimulating your hair follicles, the sooner you can stop the acceleration of your hair loss—and the fewer dormant follicles you’ll have to deal with. There are many possible solutions to hair loss available today, many of which are technologically advanced, so you should be able to find a solution that works for you. Consider talking to your doctor before employing the help of any unfamiliar or untested forms of therapy.