Grooming do’s and don’t for the “follicly challenged.”
So you’re noticing a bit more hair in your hand when running your fingers through your luscious locks. No need to panic yet. The average person loses around 100 hairs per day – but if you’re suddenly struck with anxiety that you’re going bald, and you’ll inherit the nickname “cue ball” in a few years, listen up.
Step 1: Find a picture of yourself from a few years ago. Make sure your hairline is clearly visible in the picture.
Step 2: Take a current picture of yourself (make sure it’s similar lighting to the other picture) and compare your hairlines. Check around the temples, the most common area men begin to show recession.
If your hairline isn’t retreating, congrats! If you’re not so lucky and your four head turned into more of a “five head”, don’t stress. It’s not a huge deal. Just make sure you’re not committing the common mistakes many balding men make while trying to disguise their thinning hair.
Mistake 1: Growing Your Hair Out to Hide Lack of Volume
Growing your hair too long on the sides may make thinning hair on the top of your head more apparent. Hair on the top almost always succumbs to baldness before the sides, hence the very common “shiny head with hairy sides” look oh so many older gentlemen like to wear. So growing out the mane will most likely create a very uneven hair-do. It’s also important to note that styling your hair in the opposite direction it falls naturally can make hair appear thinner. Aka no comb-overs, dudes. Instead, head to your barber and ask for a short-all over look, like a badass buzz cut.
Mistake 2: Overusing Hair Products
A lot of guys aren’t aware of the different types of products and the varying effects it has on hair. Here’s a quick overview from GQ’s Best Hair Products for men 2017.
Wax: High hold, low to medium shine
Paste: Medium hold, light shine when applied dry High hold, medium shine when applied damp
Pomade: Medium hold, high shine
Styling Cream: Light hold, light shine
Gel: High Hold, High Shine
Salt Spray: Volume, texture, definition
Dry Shampoo: Volume, texture, mattifying
Bonus tip: “Don’t over-product your hair. I see a lot of guys using way too much hair product on their hair, where you can see flakes or white residue. It’s not necessary.” -Carola Gonzalez, celebrity groomer
Salt spray and dry shampoo are the winners for someone looking to incorporate a little product into their thin hair. A lot of the other products can weigh down your hair, which is not ideal for the “follicly challenged” bunch. The salt spray and dry shampoo absorb the excess oils in your hair, adding volume and texture. Speaking of ‘poo, this brings me to mistake number 3.
Mistake 3: Using the wrong shampoo
The number one thing you can do while you still have a head of hair is to start using DHT blocking shampoo. The reality is that hair loss in men is mainly caused by dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male steroid hormone. The powerful sex hormone is great for growing an epic beard or chest afro, but has quite the opposite effect for the hair on your scalp. Your body produces DHT as a byproduct of testosterone through the 5α-Reductase enzyme, an enzyme whose job is to convert a certain percentage of your testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in tissue such as the skin, liver, prostate and hair follicles. So if you’re genetically susceptible to hair loss, the DHT enzyme can bind to receptors in your hair follicles and cause them to shrink, weaken and eventually die. Although DHT shampoo doesn’t regrow hair, it’s a great proactive approach to stop balding in its track.
If your hair is past the point of no return, try out minoxidil – a topical hair regrowth treatment. Minoxidil is a common treatment for male pattern hair loss because it works by creating an ideal growth environment for your existing hair follicles. Just a heads up, if going the minoxidil route, you may encounter hair shedding at first because older hairs as new hair follicles are entering a new growth cycle.
Mistake 4: Not utilising your epic beard growing abilities.
As previously discussed, The powerful sex hormone, DHT can cause disasters on the top of your head. Ironically enough, DHT is also responsible for promoting the growth of hair on your face, chest, back and other areas. So take advantage of your superpowers and rock an epic beard or chest afro. Just make sure to keep your beard groomed by following a few simple steps. Long story short, keep it neat and trimmed with the right tools, shampoo it every now and then, and incorporate some beard oil to give it a nice and majestic look!