Nothing signifies the passage of time more than losing our hair. Some men can rock the bald look, but for the rest of us, we prefer to keep our hair.
Toupees and hair replacement options like plugs don’t look right on a black man. We understand your pain, so we’ve done the research to help you learn how to prevent hair loss.
How to Prevent Hair Loss
There are a few FDA approved medications you can use to treat male pattern baldness. You can also take natural supplements to improve hair growth. You might also need to make lifestyle changes, such as your diet, or smoking. To increase your chances of success, consider using many methods at once.
The FDA has approved two different medications to treat hair loss. Finasteride is the first choice for most doctors. If you don’t have any luck with it, your doctor may then move on to Minoxidil.
If it turns out that you are suffering from MPB, your doctor may prescribe Finasteride. This medication is also known as Propecia. It comes in pill form, and you take it once a day. It has an excellent success rate for reducing hair loss. Even more, you might be able to regrow the hair that came out. But, you only get to keep your hair while taking medicine. If you stop, your condition will return.
Most insurances won’t pay for a prescription of Propecia. But, they might pay for the generic Finasteride. You could get this medicine for as low as $10 a month. Most of you would agree it’s a small price to pay to keep our youthful good looks. We don’t want to scare the world with our egg-shaped heads any sooner than we have to.
If I tell you Minoxidil is another product you can use to treat hair loss, you might say you’ve never heard of it. But I’m sure you’ve heard of the name brand, Rogaine. This product is the most common type of hair loss medication on the market.
You can get this product with, or without, a prescription. It comes in a foam, which you can apply to your head one to two times a day. It’s better for hair that has gone missing at your crown, rather than the front of your hairline. For a receding hairline, you may want to use other hair loss prevention methods as well.
Minoxidil works by enlarging the hair follicles, which encourages hair growth. But you might not notice instant effects. This product can take up to four months to work. The FDA recommends this medicine for people who tried Finasteride, without success. Or you might take both together, which is safe and quite beneficial.
Although it’s not FDA approved, there is a DHT blocking shampoo available. You can use this by itself or while taking Finasteride and Minoxidil. You can find an over the counter 1% solution at most pharmacies. You may want to start with this before moving on the prescription, which is 2%.
A lot of men have had some success with regrowing their hair using Nizoral. Although they often use the shampoo with other products. You apply the contents to your hair once every three days, lather, and rinse.
You can also use holistic alternatives for preventing hair loss. There are a lot of people out there who think it’s a better approach. I’ll hold my opinion. But there’s no harm in covering all your bases. I wouldn’t recommend using only naturalistic treatments. But they can be beneficial when combined with medication.
Types of Supplements to Prevent Hair Loss
There are hundreds of “holistic” cures running around out there. Unfortunately, most of them are fake. Eating ground-up bugs will not make your hair grow back. But you can try these supplements. Experts recommend each of these when asked how to prevent hair loss.
Biotin, also known as Vitamin H, is a necessary component for the healthy growth of your hairs and nails. You might have seen your girl taking a hair and nail pill. Guess what, you should be too. Biotin strengthens the protein in your hair, skin, and nails.
Vitamins A & C
Vitamins A & C help your body produce sebum. Sebum is the natural oil that keeps your hair strong and healthy. Black men already have a problem producing enough sebum to keep their hair nourished. That’s why your hair may be brittle and dry. Make sure you get enough A & C in your diet.
This type of oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. Omega acids keep your follicles healthy. This supplement promotes hair grown by allowing your hair roots to hold water. And it helps create sebum.
Zinc and Selenium
These are both minerals that keep your scalp healthy. Without them, your scalp will have trouble with cell reproduction. This can lead to your hair not growing. As well as making your unable to repair any damage.
Folic acid is also known as B9. You need this acid for tissue regrowth. It also improves circulation, which keeps your hair follicles working right. If your hair follicles get damaged, your hair won’t grow.
Change Your Diet
If you aren’t already eating a well-balanced diet, you should start. What’s the point in trying to look young if you don’t have the energy or good health to act young? A balanced diet can help prevent hair loss. According to some research, vitamin deficiency is a primary reason for going bald.
If you don’t eat a well-balanced diet (hey, we’re all human), consider taking vitamins instead. You need to be sure you get enough of the following:
- Vitamin A – regulates the growth and presence of retinoic acid in the hair follicles
- Vitamin B – reduces stress levels
- Vitamins C, D, & E – your body, and hair need these vitamins to stay healthy
- Omega-3 fatty acids
You may not realize this, but it’s essential to keep hydrated if you want to keep your hair growing healthy. 25% of your hair follicles are water. When you get dehydrated, your body will absorb this water for other vital functions. Without water, your follicles will get weak, which often leads to your hair falling out.
Staying dehydrated can also stunt the growth of your hair. Supplements and prescriptions aren’t enough to prevent hair loss. You’ve also got to stay hydrated. Otherwise, your hair will never grow back. As a black man, it’s also important to keep your water intake up, as your hair can get dried out and brittle in no time. It’s hard to repair your hair once this happens.
Avoid Tight Hair Styles
Constant pulling of your hair can cause hair loss. This condition is traction alopecia. You often see it with women who use curlers or weaves. But it can also occur in men.
Cornrows make us look fresh, but is it worth the price you pay in the end? Tight hairstyles, such as braids or cornrows, damages your hair follicles. If you haven’t figured it out yet, your follicles need to be healthy if you want your hair to grow right. Let your luscious locks be free instead.
Stress is never good for you, but did you know it can also make your hair fall out? Stress can cause several medical hair loss conditions. You can reverse some of them by taking medications to control your stress levels. Exercising is an excellent stress buster, and it promotes healthy hair. A few hair loss conditions that stress can cause are:
- Telogen effluvium – causes your hair to push out of your scalp
- Trichotillomania – an urge to pull your hair out. (I guess our mommas wasn’t playing about driving her so crazy, she was about to pull her hair out)
- Alopecia areata – your immune system attacks your hair follicles causing damage
- Diffuse thinning – you lose hair over the entire scalp or only on your crown
Don’t Smoke or Drink
Smoking and drinking are bad for you as it is. But it can also cause you to have hair loss, which isn’t cool. I love my Bud Light, but I’m not sure I’m ready to sacrifice my hair for it. Alcohol can cause dehydration, which, as I pointed out, is terrible for your follicles. It can also cause you to become malnourished. Even if you’re taking vitamins, it might not be enough to counteract the damage.
If you’re serious about how to prevent hair loss, the first step is early detection. The quicker you start treating your condition, the easier it will be to reverse the effects. Waiting too long could make you end up having to stick with a bald head, no matter how funny you look. If you notice your hair thinning or starting to recede, visit with your doctor right away.