Thinning Hair in Men: how to treat and cover hair loss?
Any man can find himself distressed by hair loss—followed by the proverbial hair loss grief. The denial, the anger… the carefully coordinated haircuts, hats, and scarves—it’s a process that unravels slowly but can inflict serious harm. Hair loss can affect anyone’s personal relationships, career ambitions, and unavoidably, one’s self-esteem.
According to the American Hairloss Association , two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss by age 35, and eighty-five percent of men will have significantly thinning hair by age 50. Unfortunately, it’s increasingly becoming a rite of passage for men.
There’s a handful of reasons hair loss can occur, the most prominent being genetics, hormonal issues, the side effects of certain prescription medications, or plain old stress!
Although you’re stuck with your genetics, there are actually proven ways to treat the effects of hair loss, as well as work around it to preserve your appearance, lifestyle, and self-confidence.
Stepping into the hair loss world is a big step for any man—young or old. It’s a difficult thing to admit, and you might only be comfortable addressing it with small, carefully implemented solutions. It’s also possible that you’re one of the lucky ones, and you caught onto your receding hairline early—so you have time to fitz around with a variety of solutions.
If either of these strike a chord to you and your situation, it might be prudent to treat your hair loss with natural remedies. Believe it or not, there are plenty of natural methods for reversing hair loss!
- Most Natural Remedy: Onion Juice
I know—it sounds weird, but bear with me. A small study from the Journal of Dermatology indicated that applying onion juice topically could instigate hair growth in balding areas.
The study used a group of participants all experiencing alopecia areata, a common disorder that causes unpredictable hair loss in patches. The experimental group was tasked with applying onion juice twice a day to their scalps. After six weeks, it was found that 20 of the 23 participants experienced regrowth of hair, all thanks to the natural chemicals present in onion juice. Just make sure you’re not allergic!
If you’re not open to the process of squeezing vegetable juice from fresh produce, you might find yourself more interested in the prepared supplements and oils available for purchase. Most hair-losers find that the higher prices are worth the comfort of a bottled product tailormade for hair treatment.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera conditions hair and works to reduce dandruff and repair hair follicles that excess oils have clogged. Aloe Vera comes in many forms, such as Aloe Vera gel, shampoos, or conditioners, under various brands available online or in-person. Be warned, however: Aloe Vera may be clinically proven to strengthen hair, but evidence for its role as a hair loss treatment is insufficient.
- Coconut Oil
Like Aloe Vera, there needs to be more research conducted regarding the effectiveness of coconut oil for hair growth because the information we have is relatively anecdotal. With that caveat, take comfort in knowing that coconut oil is loaded with proteins, fats, and vitamins that protect hair, nourish hair follicles and even improve the look of your hair.
- Rosemary Oil
Guess what—this oft-cited hair loss treatment also lacks sufficient clinical data. Even though the Rosemary plant promotes nerve growth and improves circulation, it shouldn’t be depended on wholly as a hair loss treatment. All in all, this hasn’t stopped rosemary oil from being mixed into shampoos and regularly used, admittedly to mixed results.
As with all-natural remedies, patience is key. Hair regrowth can take months to kick in, with the effects subtly playing out over time.
Are the natural remedies not cutting it? Don’t worry; you’re still not fated to lose your hair! If you’re not comfortable rolling the dice on low-cost treatments, you may want to consider something less pedestrian.
It might just be time for the big guns—you can try the surgical route!
What is a Hair Transplant?
I promise it’s more advanced than just gluing strands of hair to your scalp.
A hair transplant, simply put, is a surgical procedure in which hair follicles are transplanted from one area of the head to another. Healthy, properly-functioning hair follicles are moved from the donor area to the recipient area, theoretically giving you thicker, denser hair. Hair transplants are conducted by a licensed surgeon in a medical office.
There are two methods of transplanting follicles: Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT) and Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE).
- Follicular Unit Transplantation (FUT)
In this type of hair transplant, the surgeon removes a strip of skin from the back of the head, using a scalpel. Stitches are then used to close the incision (don’t worry, you’ll be numbed with anesthesia). The skin strip is then sectioned off into groups of functioning follicles, then implanted onto the recipient area.
Depending on your situation, the FUT takes anywhere from four to eight hours. Also, you may elect to schedule another procedure if hair loss continues, but that would, hopefully, be years after the first surgery.
- Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE)
The less-invasive procedure, the FUE defines a hair transplant in which follicular units are taken individually from the donor area. This method leaves no scarring, unlike the FUT. However, it should be noted that Follicular Unit Extraction addresses hair loss from thinning hair, bald spots, and receding hairlines. What this means: if your hair loss is caused by prescription medications or stress, you should not consider scheduling a Follicular Unit Extraction.
Both the FUT and FUE are followed by a healthy amount of R&R, pain relievers, and anti-inflammatories, usually for a week or two after either procedure.
As for which procedure to choose—that’s not your choice to make. Your hair transplant surgeon will decide whether FUT or FUE is right for you, depending on what your situation is up-top . It doesn’t matter which type of hair transplant you end up with, however—because either way, you should expect to pay a pretty penny.
Hair transplants generally range from $4,000-$5,000 and are not covered by insurance. There are a few reasons for this: The amount of medical staff required, for one. Hair transplant surgeries require delicate work, as an entire team must carefully locate and remove over a thousand hair follicles. Another complication is the pain that comes with grafting hair follicles (or skin!) from one part of your head to another. Even with a numbing topical applied to your scalp, patients are prone to discomfort and some outright pain. For this, surgeons prescribe pain relievers, anti-inflammatories; and patients are encouraged to limit exercise, alcohol intake, and hair-dying for the post-surgery weeks.
There’s one last thing to know about hair transplants: Men whose hair loss is caused by stress, medications, or medical treatments are ineligible for the procedures. Also, keep in mind that bald men are also ineligible… considering they have no hair to transplant.
There’s a lot standing in the way of hair transplants. The exorbitant cost, its permanent nature, the extensive accommodations patients must make before and after the surgery. I know what you’re thinking: hope is lost! Hold that thought—because there is still another place to turn!
Let’s say you’re too late into your hair loss to depend on natural remedies, and you don’t have time to experiment with uncertain solutions. But, you’re also daunted by the idea of a surgeon slicing off pieces of your scalp in an expensive surgery that might not even cover up hair loss. Or, even more likely—you don’t want to deal with the price tag because who wants that, right?
There’s still the option of Scalp Micropigmentation.
- What is a Scalp Micropigmentation?
A Scalp Micropigmentation, also known as SMP, is a medical, non-surgical procedure in which a pigment formula is tattooed over the scalp in a multitude of applications. Most effectively, SMP can be performed over a bald head to achieve the appearance of a close buzz cut.
A Scalp Micropigmentation can also be used in a smaller amount to add density to a thinning hairline, blending in with the existing hair. Similarly, Scalp Micropigmentation can be added to conceal burns, intermittent bald spots, or scars leftover from Follicle Unit Transplantation.
SMP is more comparable to the pointillist technique of painting than it is to hair surgery, so it can be modified to different ends for different users. See, SMP creates new impressions upon the skin (opposed to the re-appropriation technique of hair transplants), allowing SMP practitioners to model, color, and apply the ultra-fine dots for different skin types and complexions.
Unlike a hair transplant procedure, all men experiencing hair loss are able to use Scalp Micropigmentation, whether the hair loss originates from cancer treatment, alopecia, or male pattern baldness. As for the other barrier of entry, pricing, a Scalp Micropigmentation typically ranges from $2,000 to $4,000. It’s no onion juice, but even at its upper limit, it costs less than most hair transplants.
Speaking of pain points: using an ultra-fine point to create thousands of inked dots—it sounds painful, right? Don’t worry; SMP, much like in a hair transplant, employs a topical numbing agent to protect the patient from any pain. Patients can expect some discomfort immediately following the procedure, but not of the scale warranting a prescription pain reliever, such as in a hair transplant. Also, patients can expect some redness over the affected areas, similar to a sunburn—but that usually goes away within twenty-four hours of the surgery.
Although they follow similar principles, micropigmentation is not as simple as “a tattooing of the scalp”. This is because tattoo artists implant the tattoo ink pigment much deeper in the skin, using a thicker needle, whereas SMP is less painful and less permanent. Similar to the process of getting a tattoo; however, SMP patients should do their due diligence to verify that any pigment used in the procedure doesn’t contain any allergens. Beyond that, Scalp Micropigmentation is a relatively safe procedure when compared to the incision-causing alternatives.
A Scalp Micropigmentation is a great in-between for someone seeking a long-term, but not permanent, solution to hair loss. Instead of messing with various technologies to induce the near-miracle of hair regrowth, you can simply create the illusion of hair growth at a much lower cost, without any risk of the procedure being a dud. Also, you won’t be incurring the additional costs of pain medications or using up your vacation days to recover post-surgery.
Contact Scalp MicroSD in San Diego, CA
If you’re seriously considering SMP, be sure to find a licensed and certified SMP artist whose work you trust. Even though the pigmentation isn’t permanent, it’s worth putting in the time to find a practitioner who knows what they’re doing.
Located in San Diego, Scalp MicroSD has licensed, certified Scalp Micropigmentation artists who are dedicated to giving natural results at the highest quality. Contact us at our site to book a consultation and learn more about our hair loss treatments. Or, check out our Facebook , Instagram , Youtube , or TikTok to see our work!