The Odds Are Against You
How’s this for a statistic: Male pattern hair loss, or Androgenic Alopecia, affects half of all men over the age of 40. There’s a pretty good chance that if you’ve not yet experienced hair loss, sooner or later you very well might.
The question of how to stimulate and increase hair growth has spawned a plethora of products aimed at hair loss prevention and solutions. A quick online search will yield a multitude of hair loss supplements, vitamins, oils, tablets and pills, and shampoos, just to name a few.
Hair Regrowth For Men – What Are Your Options?
When it comes to hair regrowth for men, there are generally four areas of treatment available today: Surgery, drugs, natural products, and laser therapy.
Strictly speaking, surgical methods ( such as hair transplantation) aren’t really hair regrowth treatments per se, since it doesn’t address the underlying cause of hair loss. It basically involves removing strips or portions of your scalp containing healthy hair follicles and moving them to the hair loss areas, which can be very painful and expensive.
For the majority of men, surgery turns out not to be the most convenient option, which is why most guys end up opting for prescription and/or natural solutions to hair loss.
There is also a cosmetic procedure called scalp micropigmentation, which changes the pigment of your scalp to create the appearance of small, short hairs and a fuller head of hair – similar to tattooing. Even though scalp micropigmentation can create the appearance of having a thicker head of hair, it doesn’t actually treat male pattern baldness and doesn’t grow any new hair.
Prescription Hair Loss Drugs
In recent years there have been a couple of pharmaceutical drugs that have shown some good results producing hair regrowth for men, namely Finasteride and Minoxidil.
Finasteride is taken orally and works to inhibit the production of 5a-reductase, which is the enzyme that converts testosterone into DHT.
Drugs that contain finasteride (such as Propecia) are available by prescription only, and can cause a whole laundry list of negative side effects: including an increased risk for prostate cancer, depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, swelling, rashes, and difficulty breathing, among others. (source: nih.gov)
Minoxidil is applied topically and is contained in the popular product Rogaine.
Though now available without a prescription, minoxidil still may present certain adverse effects, such as irritation, itching and dryness of the scalp, allergic reactions and potentially serious heart problems.
Over-The-Counter Hair Growth Products
There are a number of OTC hair loss treatments available that are available without a prescription. They are generally safe to use and/or often contain natural ingredients that are free from side effects. For many users, these products prove to be very effective.
Here is a brief overview of some common over-the-counter hair loss products:
- Supplements: Supplements claimed to help with hair loss often contain vitamins and minerals like biotin, vitamin D, zinc, and iron. There is some evidence biotin and zinc may help, but most supplements haven’t been rigorously tested. Saw palmetto and pumpkin seed oil are also sometimes recommended.
- Topical treatments: While minoxidil is an FDA-approved OTC topical medicine for regrowing hair, there are also topical treatments made entirely with all-natural ingredients that are very effective.
- LED therapy: Devices using red and near infrared light are sold for home use. Research shows that red LED light may help regrow hair, and for many individuals it has been proven to be remarkably effective at stimulating hair growth.
- Shampoos: Certain shampoos like ketoconazole are thought to reduce hair loss by reducing DHT levels. Many shampoos also contain vitamins, herbs, or proteins thought to strengthen hair.
These OTC products may help to regrow hair in a safe and chemical-free way and do not require a prescription. For these reasons, they have broad appeal to a wide range of users.
Best Hair Regrowth Supplements & Topical Treatments For Men
While there is no perfect treatment for hair loss, there are a few over-the-counter products on the market that have definitely shown promising results, some of which contain all-natural ingredients such as saw palmetto, specific nutrients, and targeted amino acids.
Normally, these supplements work by blocking DHT production (either in the body or directly in the scalp), and by supplying nutrients specifically targeted at hair growth. Those using some of these products have reported overall positive results of hair regrowth for men, with most stopping their hair loss, if not reversing it altogether.
Some of the better natural products that encourage hair regrowth for men include the following:
And because they don’t contain any drugs or chemicals, the risk of possible side effects is very small, if at all.
Best Hair Loss Shampoos and Conditioners For Men
Another category of products that can help slow or reverse hair loss is shampoos and related scalp treatments. These products usually work to accomplish several things at once, such as:
- Block DHT
- Cleanse and hydrate the scalp
- Stimulate hair follicles
- Volumize the hair
Using these shampoos and conditioners while applying other hair-growth methods can greatly increase the likelihood of having positive results.
Some of the most effective examples of this type of hair regrowth for men are:
#1: Procerin Scalp Therapy Shampoo
#2: Folicerin Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo For Men
#3: HairMax Density Bundle
Like with the natural supplements, these products are typically side-effect free and pose no health problems.
Best Laser Hair Devices
One exciting area in the field of hair re-growth for men is the use of laser technology. These devices work by stimulating and increasing blood flow to the hair follicles.
Studies show that laser light therapy is indeed an effective way to regrow hair. The type of laser and LED light used is safe and painless, and scientists say that they act on cellular compounds that encourage hair growth.
One major published study showed an average 7% increase in hair density with a HairMax device at the end of a 26-week period.
Some of the best products available include:
#1: Laser 272 PowerFlex Cap
#4: Ultima 12 LaserComb
Keep in mind that you need to use these devices for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 times per week, with results in 6-18 months. However, many men prefer this to using topical treatments, such as rogaine.
For some guys, going bald isn’t that big of a deal. But if you want to do something about your hair loss, choosing the right product can be one of the best decisions you make.
Not only is it possible that you’ll regrow hair that you’ve lost, at the very least you’ll be able to keep it thicker, fuller and healthier than before.
Mark McIntyre is the founder of MaleHealthReview.com and acts as it’s chief contributor. He is a fitness trainer and avid mountain biker who also enjoys camping, hiking and fishing. Besides managing Male Health Review, Mark is also a guest columnist for several blogs related to men’s health. More about this author…