Death. Taxes. Baldness. Thinning hair is a reality of life for most men as they age — so when you start losing your feathers, what are your options?
There are two on the market: Propecia and Regaine. Propecia ‘fertilises’ the scalp by blocking the hormones that cause baldness — the downside is that you start shedding again the moment you stop taking it, and some men have reported impotence as a side effect . . . not exactly the result you’re after if you’re re-growing your hair to feel more masculine. Regaine tends to promote growth on the top of the crown rather than a thinning hairline, also depends on continual use, and carries its own side effects, so talk to you doctor to weigh up the cost with the potential efficacy.
Remember that episode of the Simpsons where Homer uses a miracle hair growth formula called ‘dimoxinil’ and ends up with a luscious mane that transforms his life? Sadly that’s just a cartoon, and despite the promises they make, there’s no such shampoo on the market that’s a miracle cure for baldness. If you want to nourish your hair and stimulate your scalp, just choose a regular shampoo containing natural herbs like rosemary and mint.
Either performed at a clinic or using a DIY handheld device at home, this treatment stimulates blood flow to the balding area to encourage growth. Plus side? No scars, no side effects, no problem getting fired up in the bed room. Down side? Laser therapy doesn’t help grow any new follicles, it just encourages the growth of existing ones. So if you can commit 15 minutes every evening to a laser scalp massage, then just like using a herbal shampoo, it can’t hurt. But if your noggin is already barren, lasers can’t zap strands back from the dead.
Technology has evolved from the days when hair transplants looked like rows of corn being planted in a field, and there’s now even a ‘scarless’ treatment that transplants hair strand by strand, even using body hair to repopulate your scalp (if you can get over the thought of your short and curlies sitting atop your crown). A hair transplant is the most dramatic way to treat hair loss — with the surgery, the scarring, and the recovery time — but it’s certainly the most effective, and possibly cheaper than popping pills over the long run.
Get the right haircut
If pills, lasers, and scars just don’t seem worth it, maybe a trip to the barber is your preferred cure for baldness. A crop with a little more length on top — cut with a razor for that choppy, layered texture — styled with mousse or sprays helps add height and volume to your feathers. A buzzcut masks thinness by shearing all your strands right back to the same level, or you could just embrace the full-on chrome dome so long as your scalp is looking healthy and buff.