BY Christy Lau
Keep your head (and hair) together as we uncover the best ways to tackle male pattern baldness.
It can come upon you expectedly, the sudden loss of all your healthy, lush looks. Studies say that male pattern baldness, also known as androgenetic alopecia, can begin as early as your 20s. Unfortunately, you can’t stop the inevitable from happening, but there are proven ways of slowing down the process. From the scientifically advanced treatments that have rendered impressive outcomes to the natural solutions which require minimal invasion, Masala presents proper techniques to counter balding.
Hair Transplant Surgery
Hair follicles are moved from a permanent place on the head and planted in areas that need attention. Results are promising with high levels of reported growth and minimal side effects.
There are a number of techniques to choose from, including Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE), Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) and Unshaven Hair Transplant (U-FUE).
Over-the-counter medication like Minoxidil or Finasteride can help boost hair growth for those experiencing early signs of balding. Minoxidil increases blood around hair follicles, making them appear thicker, while Finasteride protects the follicles by preventing the production of a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a main factor in male pattern baldness. Medication must be used daily and it can take up to a year to see results.
Platelet-rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy
This is a natural hair loss solution best suited to those in the early stages of hair loss who don’t require a hair transplant just yet. PRP extracts platelet-rich plasma protein from a patient’s blood, before injecting it directly into the scalp to aid in scalp recovery and encourage hair growth.
Low-level Laser Therapy (LLLT)
Still a relatively new player in the hair-loss solution field, this innovative technique utilises red laser light to increase cell metabolism in the scalp for thicker and more durable hair shafts. It also stimulates melanin production in hair follicles to darken grey hair for a visually thicker appearance.
A strategically placed hairpiece can improve your confidence and comes at a relatively low price tag. The key here is to look for a high-quality one. Poorly made wigs can result in an itchy scalp and can cause hair loss.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make a difference. Certain daily habits can improve your chances of holding onto your hair longer. For instance, research has confirmed a link between smoking and hair loss, so think twice before reaching for that pack of cigarettes. Other factors like a balanced diet and better stress management can help keep your hair in place.
When in doubt, the best thing to do is go natural! Certain plants have hair growth properties. These include:
Rosemary oil: Traditionally, this has been used to increase blood circulation to the scalp. Try rubbing the oil into your scalp at night, and wrap your head in a warm towel for greater absorption.
Onion juice: It is said that the sulphur in onions can aid in regrowth, if applied twice a day directly onto your scalp. If you do decide to try it, use something to mask the pungent smell.
Saw palmetto: This herbal remedy is made from the fruit of a small palm tree. It prevents the male hormone testosterone from breaking down, a key cause of hair loss.
Embrace What You Have
Although losing your hair wasn’t part of the plan, there’s nothing more attractive than confidence in your natural state. Take care of what you do have with shampoos and styling products, and enjoy the plus side of looking strong and masculine.
You could even take a page out of Jason Statham’s book and embrace your hair loss by going completely bald!
Busting Hair Loss Myths
Brushing your hair roughly does not cause male pattern baldness, but if you are already suffering from balding issues, it’s best to treat your locks gently and avoid tight hairstyles, hot oil treatments, perms and hot curling irons.
Hair boosting shampoos and supplements are a myth. They only offer a short-term superficial result. Shampoos can make hair temporarily thicker, but won’t help with loss or thinning. It’s the same with hair loss supplements; while they can make hair appear healthier and stronger, they cannot treat the root cause of male pattern baldness.