Hair loss is a condition that affects millions of men around the world. It can have devastating effects on physical attractiveness and, consequently, on self-esteem. Most men will look in the mirror one day and notice that they do not have as much hair as they used to; the great majority of these men will do nothing about it and continue losing hair for weeks, months, and maybe even years. DO NOT BE ONE OF THESE MEN!! Here I will discuss simple preventive measures that you can take in order to prevent and reverse your hair loss.
I first noticed that I started losing hair when I was 23. I looked in the mirror, stressed out, but ultimately did nothing about it. A year later, I realized that I had lost significantly more hair and only then decided to try everything available and find what worked for me. IF YOU HAVE BEGUN LOSING HAIR, TAKE ACTION NOW! I cannot emphasize this enough. Not only will you help prevent your hair loss on the physical level, but knowing that you are doing something about it will boost your self-esteem and eliminate a lot of the stress associated with hair loss (which can lead to even more hair loss).
When thinking about hair loss, Minoxidil (marketed under the name brand Rogaine) is often the first product that comes to mind. There are a few things you should know about Minoxidil before you begin to use it. Minoxidil works only while you use it; this means that your hair loss will resume when you stop using the product. Minoxidil can also be relatively expensive and difficult to incorporate into your routine if you are as lazy or forgetful as I am. I tried Minoxidil, discontinued use, and noticed a great deal of hair loss. Consequently, I decided to leave the product for good and seek other solutions to my hair loss problems. This is not to say that Minoxidil isn’t for you… it just wasn’t for ME.
It took me months of research to find a topical solution that I was satisfied with. This product is Ketoconazole shampoo, which is marketed under the name brand Nizoral. Ketoconazole is an antifungal drug and DHT inhibitor. For those of you who don’t know, these are the two principal causes of hair loss (other than genetic predisposition, of course). Ketoconazole has been shown to be effective against hair loss, but is not marketed as such. One study even concluded that Ketoconazole was as effective as Minoxidil in the treatment of hair loss1. Ketoconazole shampoo is available in 2% and 1% solutions. I have not used the 2% solution (it is harder to find), so I can only speak of my experience with the 1%. The advantages of using Ketoconazole shampoo are that it is considerably less expensive than Minoxidil and is sold as a shampoo, instead of a foam (which makes it easier to incorporate into your routine). Additionally, Ketoconazole should only be used every third day, and a little bit goes a long way. So, a small sized bottle should last you a VERY long time. I can also say, from experience, that discontinued use of Ketoconazole will not lead to increased hair loss. You’ve got a lot to gain and only about $12 to lose. So go to your local drug store and buy a bottle of Ketoconazole shampoo.
If Ketoconazole shampoo can only be used every third day, what will you use to wash your hair on the other days? After trying many different shampoos, the answer is Pyrithione Zinc 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner (which is marketed under the name brand Head amp; Shoulders). I strongly recommend that you use the original; I have tried several varieties, including the one for “thicker looking hair”, and found that they are not as effective as the original. The original Pyriothine Zinc 2 in 1 rinses clean and leaves your hair hydrated (which helps counteract the effects of the Ketoconazole on the texture of your hair). It is also an antidandruff shampoo, which means it is an antifungal… and keeping fungus off your head is always a good thing. You can now establish your shampoo routine. This routine will consist of two days of Pyrithione Zinc 2 in 1 followed by one day of Ketoconazole shampoo
When using either of these shampoos it is important that you remember to not shampoo and rinse immediately, but give the products time to work instead. I would personally recommend leaving either product on your head for about 3 minutes before rinsing. After reading several blogs detailing people’s experiences with Ketoconazole, I would not recommend leaving it on your head any longer. If you experience any discomfort, irritation, or burning before the three minutes, rinse it immediately, of course. I would also recommend that you discontinue use of hair styling products as they can damage and dry your hair and clog hair follicles as well. Additionally, start patting your hair dry instead of drying it thoroughly or using the blowdryer. Preventing hair breakage is as important as preventing hair loss when it comes to appearance.
Now that the shampoo routine has been established, we turn our focus to diet. Start by drinking water. It’s that simple. Drinking more water will have dramatic effects on your hair, especially if you are a person who isn’t accustomed to drinking water throughout the day. I started drinking about 3 liters of water a day and noticed a change in my hair as well as my overall health. So you’ll urinate more… big deal, the benefits are incredible.
Another thing you should do is incorporate a multivitamin into your diet. Keep in mind that multivitamins are only fat soluble, which means that you should take them with either a meal or a glass of milk. A multivitamin should have everything you need to keep a healthy head of hair. Many people recommend using special vitamins for hair. But after having tried these myself, I found no real benefit other than faster hair growth (which only occurred after about two months of use). It is also important to note that many of the B-vitamins in hair pills are excreted in the form of urine when taken in excess. So, there is no real benefit to overloading.
A supplement I would recommend instead is Melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep aid, mood regulator, and powerful antioxidant. Studies have also proven this as an effective treatment for hair loss. I personally do not take Melatonin everyday (nor do I recommend this), but I use it on the occasional sleepless night or stressful day. Melatonin is also considerably less expensive than hair pills and available at any drug store.
There are also some other hair supplements but if both of my suggestions above doesn’t fit you, try checking out those pills that are researched by Andrea. She shares nice information there for all your hair loss problems, specially knowing and solving the root cause.
So there you have it. A few simple preventive steps that you can take to avoid hair loss. Try it for at least two months and then decide whether the regimen is right for you or not. Finally, do yourself a favor and don’t stare at the mirror all day. Focusing on your hair loss will only lead to stress. Instead, feel confident and proud that you are now doing something about it.
The intent of this article is to inform and educate individuals suffering from hair loss, as well as to share my personal experience and the regimen that helped me overcome hair loss. Please note that this article is NOT intended as medical advice. Please consult your physician before using any of the products mentioned within the article, and remember that one solution may not work for every individual.
A guest post from Gary Notman.