Our hair says a lot about us. It speaks to our health and our sense of style, and a full head of well-groomed hair comes off much differently than a patchy, unkempt mop. The bad news (or good news, depending on how you look at it) is that hair loss affects more people than you probably realize. There are many reasons guys might begin losing their hair, from eating poorly and indulging in unhealthy habits to genetics or using harsh treatments on your noggin.However, “might” is the operative word here! The fact that so many people deal with hair loss has led us to find more and more effective ways to treat it. That means you can get ahead of the problem and solve it before it starts.
Keeping your hair starts with getting into the right habits and taking proper care while your hair is healthy and young. But if you’re already losing some, it doesn’t mean it’s too late to salvage your mane. Keep reading and pick up some tips for preventing hair loss, and keep your luscious locks for life.
The first tip is easy: Love your hair, and take care of it! This is not a case where if you love something, you should let it go. Instead, you should give it the attention it needs so it sticks around.
Start with washing your hair regularly using a mild shampoo. Despite the misconceptions, regularly really only means a couple of times a week for most people. Although this does differ depending on how greasy your scalp gets, so you might need another wash or two per week. Take note of how your scalp feels in between washes and don’t go too long without washing your hair, but don’t stress it out by overdoing it either.
When you wash your hair, be sure to get your scalp too. The idea is to keep your scalp and hair follicles clean so your hair can grow long and healthy. If your hair or scalp is left dirty, you’ll be more prone to breakage. Dirty hair also leads to dandruff, presenting a snowy problem of its own.
On top of helping you keep your hair, washing your hair will also make it look a little more volumized, so you’ll get a fuller look even while you employ the rest of these tips to fill out your fur.
Change Your Diet
It affects everything else about your health and well-being, so why wouldn’t your diet affect your hair? Sometimes hair loss is a sign that your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs, which means holding onto your hair may be as easy as changing up your meals. Like your body, your hair needs vitamins so it can grow up big and strong.
Eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of protein. The proteins in fish, meat, and soy strengthen your hair, so there should be enough of them in your diet to go around. If your vitamin intake is lacking, you can also take vitamin A, B, and E supplements to support your hair in volume and color.
You should also be drinking lots of water. Water is crucial for hair growth, as it is for about a thousand other aspects of your health. It makes up a significant portion of each hair shaft and the majority of your whole body, and a surprising amount of people don’t drink nearly enough of it. Just drink water.
Fight Stress and Get Active
Stress is another factor that affects everyone and can lead to hair loss. We all have our own ways of dealing with stress, but those of us that don’t wind down healthily put their healthy hair in danger. Healthy coping mechanisms like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing will ease your mind without any of the harmful side effects that come with the vices that many use to fight off their stressors. Keep your hair growing strong by finding healthy ways to deal with the daily stress that life throws at you.
Exercise releases endorphins, which makes our brains feel better naturally; if you’re the type that needs an immediate reward in order to hit the gym, endorphins will fill that role. Working out strengthens your muscles, makes you feel better and contributes to a lifelong head of hair. Think about that next time you want to skip leg day!
...but Watch Out for Sweat
Here’s the one hair-related catch when it comes to exercise: Sweat can make your scalp oily. An oily scalp can lead to dandruff, which, as you now know, can then lead to hair loss. If you use ties to keep your hair out of the way while you workout, the constriction can also be damaging. It’s best to use a comfortably fitting bandanna rather than tight headbands or ties, as it’ll keep the sweat and hair out of your face without pulling too harshly on your locks.
It's not just sweating from exercise that you have to worry about, especially if you live or work in a hot climate. Hats, visors, and helmets protect your eyes and skin from the sun, but they put pressure on your hair as well. Don’t wear any headgear that’s too tight for you, and don’t wear it longer than you need to. That doesn’t mean you should take off a safety helmet while you’re on the job, or hair loss might not be your greatest concern.
See the Doctor
If these tips all seem like common sense and you’ve been taking excellent care of your hair for your whole life, then it might be time to see a professional. Hair loss can be a side effect of a medication or a symptom of another serious condition, and it’s always worth getting checked out. The doctor will assess your risk for hair loss and work with you to devise the best treatment, which could include laser therapy or transplantation.
If the doc says you’re in good shape, then you probably just need to keep doing what you’re doing. Keep in mind that hair sheds, and losing even a hundred strands in a day is completely normal. Finding some strays in your hairbrush does not constitute problematic hair loss!
What Not to Do
Well, by now you should be a pro. You know to when to wash, what to eat, and how to keep your body and hair clean and healthy. Before you go, here’s a quick look at some things not to do to prevent hair loss.
- Towel Drying — Drying your hair with a towel can be problematic, especially if your hair is on the longer side. The fibers in the towel will rub against your scalp and absorb moisture, but they can also tug on individual hairs and pull them out. This isn’t ideal if you’re already worried about hair loss.
- Overheating — Blow dryers can be a bit risky for your hair as well. Too much heat is damaging, and people tend to use their hair dryers more often than they should. The best method is to let your hair dry naturally—it always will! If you must use a hair dryer, try using it on no or low heat.
- Using Harsh Products — Bleaches, stylers, and any other kinds of chemicals you use to perfect your look will have an impact on your hair. Avoid harsh dyes and sprays in favor of more gentle alternatives to reduce your risk of hair loss.