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Reviewed by Jill Johnson, FNP
Written by Our Editorial Team
Have you ever stepped out of the shower and been shocked at the number of stray hairs left in the drain?
It’s normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs per day, but if you find hairs scattered all over your bathroom, on your pillowcase or clogging up your hair brush, it’s usually a sign that you’re starting to shed more hair than normal.
Hair loss is the one of the last issues any man wants to deal with. Unfortunately, it’s extremely common, with an estimated 50 percent of all men affected by some form of hair loss by the age of 50.
The good news is there are plenty of steps that you can take to stop your hair loss from getting worse, or even support hair regrowth.
Below, we’ve explained the different types of hair loss you may experience as a man, as well as the specific factors that play a role in their development.
We’ve also shared seven actionable tips that you can use to prevent hair loss, promote healthy hair growth and maintain a thick, dense head of hair throughout your life.
A variety of issues can cause you to lose your hair, from your genes and production of certain hormones to issues such as severe stress, a poor diet or an infection that affects your scalp.
In men, the most common form of hair loss is known as androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. This form of genetic hair loss occurs when your hair is sensitive to the effects of DHT, or dihydrotestosterone -- a hormone that’s produced naturally within your body.
Androgenetic alopecia can cause everything from a receding hairline to severe baldness, with a small amount of hair left around the back and sides of your scalp.
Although androgenetic alopecia is the most common form of hair loss, it’s not the only issue that can cause you to lose hair.
Other types of hair loss include telogen effluvium, which involves temporary hair shedding that’s triggered by stress, infections, hormonal or vitamin deficiencies, as well as autoimmune forms of hair loss such as alopecia areata.
These issues can affect your natural hair growth cycle, which may stop your hairs from growing normally.
Even skin conditions, such as scalp fungal infections, can cause you to shed hair and potentially deal with lasting hair thinning.
Because there’s no single cause of hair loss in all men, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider if you notice any of the early signs of hair loss.
Most types of hair loss can be diagnosed with a physical exam. Identifying the specific form of hair loss that you have is an important step, as the most effective method for treating hair loss can differ based on the type of hair loss you have.
Once you and your healthcare provider have a better understanding of the specific factors that are affecting your hair, you can start to discuss treatment options.
Here are seven methods that you can use to prevent hair loss, conceal issues such as thinning and stimulate healthy hair growth:
If you’ve started to notice extra hairs on your pillowcase or in your hairbrush, or if your hair has started to look a little thin, it’s important to seek expert help as soon as you can.
Hair loss is largely a condition that develops gradually, so by the time you notice it, it’s probably been happening for some time.
The best way to fight hair loss is to seek professional help from a licensed healthcare provider, preferably as soon as you’re aware that you’re starting to lose hair.
Seeking help quickly is important, because the earlier you start to treat hair loss, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to prevent it from getting worse and even stimulate new growth from your hair follicles.
If you’re beginning to lose hair due to male pattern baldness, your healthcare provider will likely prescribe medication such as finasteride or minoxidil.
Finasteride works by reducing DHT levels throughout your body, which protects your hair from the damaging effects of DHT.
Minoxidil works by improving blood flow to your scalp and moving your follicles into the anagen phase, or growth phase, of your hair growth cycle.
Both of these medications are effective, and the earlier you start using them, the more hair you should be able to maintain.
We offer both of these medications as part of our range of treatments for hair loss in men, with finasteride available following a consultation with a healthcare professional.
Healthy hair starts with a healthy diet. Your hair is primarily made up of protein filaments called keratin, making protein an essential component of any hair-healthy diet.
Try to eat a diet rich in healthy protein sources, such as poultry and fish. In addition to being an excellent dietary source of protein, many types of fish are also full of omega-3 fatty acids, which may play an additional role in promoting optimal hair health.
In addition to protein, a variety of other nutrients, vitamins and minerals all play important roles in helping you maintain a good level of hair density.
These include iron, zinc, vitamins, C, and E, as well as biotin -- a form of vitamin B7 that’s often low in people with certain forms of temporary hair loss.
Eating a healthy amount of these nutrients can help you to maintain proper iron levels, give your hair follicles the vitamins they need to function properly and lower your risk of dealing with many common forms of hair loss.
You can maintain a healthy intake of these nutrients by eating a balanced diet that’s made up of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats, as well as plenty of servings of fruits and vegetables.
Our list of foods to eat for hair growth shares specific ingredients to consider adding to your diet to avoid nutritional deficiencies that may affect your hair health.
Generally, the best way to avoid vitamin deficiencies that may affect your hair is to eat a healthy, balanced diet that’s rich in the food types listed above.
However, if you find it hard to eat healthy, or don’t have time to prepare your own food, adding a hair loss supplement or two to your daily routine can help you to reach your recommended daily intake of important nutrients without having to fret so much over your diet.
It’s important to understand that vitamins won’t stop male pattern baldness, which is caused by a combination of genetic and hormonal factors.
However, some vitamins, such as vitamin D for hair loss, may help to reduce your risk of having to deal with thinning or excessive hair loss from nutritional deficiencies.
For example, a 2014 study linked vitamin D deficiency to alopecia areata, a form of patchy hair loss that’s common in people with autoimmune diseases.
Not sure where to get started with supplements for healthier hair? Our Biotin Gummy Vitamins are made with a mix of vitamins to support thick hair, healthier skin and strong nails, as well as improved overall wellbeing.
Stress is a common trigger for telogen effluvium -- a form of temporary, sudden hair loss that’s often characterized by diffuse thinning across your entire scalp.
We get it -- life can be stressful -- but there are plenty of simple things you can do to give your mind, body and hair follicles a break.
If you often feel stressed, take a moment to think about the things that trigger stress in your life and make note of how your body responds when you’re feeling stressed. When you notice that reaction, step back and give yourself a little time to unwind.
Relaxation techniques like yoga, mindfulness meditation, and breathing exercises are excellent ways to relieve stress. Exercise is also a natural mood-booster, as it helps to reduce production of the stress hormone cortisol and increase production of mood-boosting endorphins.
Major illnesses, severe infections, crash diets and other physical stressors to your body can all also trigger this type of hair loss.
Because of this, it’s important to ensure you maintain good overall health and don’t skip out on those regular wellness check-ins with your healthcare provider.
If psychological stress is a severe and ongoing issue, you might want to talk to your healthcare provider about counseling or seek support from your friends and family.
We offer a range of online mental health services, including counseling. If you’d like to talk to an expert, you can take part in an online mental health consultation from the privacy and comfort of your home.
If you’re struggling with hair loss, you’re most likely to notice increased shedding when you’re in the shower.
This can potentially lead to a misconception that hair shedding is either caused, or made worse, by washing your hair.
In reality, washing your hair doesn’t cause hair loss. In fact, keeping your hair and scalp clean is helpful for protecting against hair loss by preventing common skin conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis.
Certain shampoos, such as those that contain active ingredients such as ketoconazole and saw palmetto, might also help to limit the severity of male pattern baldness by reducing the effects of DHT at the scalp level.
For example, our Hair Thickening Shampoo features saw palmetto to target harmful DHT while promoting volume and moisture.
Our guide to ketoconazole and hair loss goes into more detail about how certain ingredients in shampoo and other topical products can help you to gain more control over your hair’s density and strength.
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“When I show my barber my progress, he is always in disbelief. I have to recommend Hims to any guy who’s experiencing thinning.”
“Cost effective and affordable. My hair keeps growing thicker, fuller, and at a fast rate.”
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“I decided to jump right in and I'm so glad I did. I definitely feel ten years younger!”
“In just as little over two and half months, I can really see the difference in thickness and in color.”
“4-months strong and my confidence boosted back up to 100% using Hims, future me really does thank me.”
“I’m a 34-year-old father of two and have been using Hims for over a year now. My hair is back to what it was in my mid-twenties.”
Each hair follicle on your head is connected to a sebaceous gland that produces a nourishing, moisturizing oil called sebum.
Sebum is critical for your scalp health, as it plays a key role in protecting your skin from germs in the environment. If your sebaceous glands don’t release enough oil, or if you wash your hair overly frequently, it could cause your scalp to become dry and at risk of hair breakage.
Using hair oil can help keep your hair moisturized, and certain essential oils for your hair -- oils produced using plant extracts -- have even been linked to small improvements in hair growth.
Many of these oils are used as active ingredients in hair care products, such as shampoos and conditioners.
The effectiveness of essential oils can vary hugely, with some linked to modest improvements in hair growth and others associated with little or no benefit.
Our guide to which natural oils are good for hair growth goes into more detail about oils that are worth adding to your daily routine, either as a form of treatment for hair loss or to promote better hair health and a reduced level of hair damage.
Believe it or not, your hairstyle could be contributing to hair loss by pulling on your hair follicles and causing a condition known as traction alopecia.
This type of hair loss happens when your hair follicles are physically damaged due to long-term tension. It’s common among people with skin of color and can develop due to hairstyles such as braids, dreadlocks or cornrows that pull tightly on your scalp hair.
If you’ve noticed your hair beginning to thin in areas that are placed under pressure because of a tight hairstyle, try to give your follicles a break by styling your hair naturally.
Switching up your hairstyle can also help to conceal hair loss, as loose, natural styles tend to be ideal for covering up areas with low hair density. Our list of hairstyles for men with thin hair goes into more detail about how picking the right style can add to your hair’s perceived coverage.
In addition to tight hairstyles, hair care habits that put stress on your follicles can also contribute to breakage and loss of hair.
For example, brushing your hair while it’s wet, holding your hair dryer too close to your scalp, or using styling products that offer long-lasting hold can all put extra stress on your hair, potentially contributing to diffuse hair loss and broken strands of hair.
Our full list of hair care tips for men shares simple habits that you can use to avoid damage and keep your hair healthy.
Generic for Rogaine®, this FDA-approved over-the-counter version of topical minoxidil is used for regrowth on the crown of the head.
This is the FDA-approved dynamic duo. When used together, men saw better results in clinical trials compared to using either alone.
If you’re looking for something effective but don’t want too many steps in your routine, this once-a-day pill could be right for you.
Clinically proven to regrow hair in 3-6 months, no pills required.
Hair loss is a common issue that can affect men of all ages, but it doesn’t need to be something you’re forced to live with.
If you’re starting to notice a greater-than-normal amount of hair shedding, or if you’ve noticed a receding hairline or bald spot in the mirror, consider talking with your healthcare provider about your options.
From FDA-approved medications such as finasteride and minoxidil to surgical options like hair transplants, there are numerous options available for treating androgenic alopecia and helping you maintain your hair as you grow older.
Another option is to complete an online consultation to find out more about your options and, if appropriate, receive a hair loss treatment plan from your home.