When mother nature knocks, she arrives early and means business. The process of male pattern baldness can commence at age 21, and by 35, over two-thirds of men will show some signs of significant hair loss

But life doesn’t have to leave you with a degenerating doughnut hole on your head (like a bull's-eye awaiting its arrow or a prisoner begging to be released). These yeas and nays are on target to set you free from the harrows hair loss.

Do dry hair gently

Beating up your hair with a rough towel and vigorous rubbing can cause serious damage. Physical force breaks off finer hairs, and newly emerging ones don’t even get a chance to survive. Use a super soft cloth and pat rather than rub the hair to rid it of excess moisture after bathing.

Don't use a bristled brush for styling

Styling time usually comes after a shower when hair is wet and in its most fragile state. Needless to say, tearing tracks down your scalp with a bristly brush isn’t the best idea. The only styling tool a man needs nowadays is his bare hands.

Do keep hair short

It’s time to say goodbye to those luscious locks you’ve been holding on to since college. Age is setting in, and things are thinning upstairs. Longer hairstyles only serve to accentuate what’s already gone, but a closer crop will maximize coverage, leaving no one the wiser. And if the situation is dire, go for the gusto: Hair for men is optional.

Don't comb it over

See the "do" above on keeping hair short in order to avoid this sad (and ineffective) strategy for handling hair loss.

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Do try hair loss-prevention products

Most treatments for hair loss leave much to be desired. Balding concealer (scalp spray paint) quickly comes to mind. But sometimes the most obvious and effective choices for treatment get roped in with the fast fixes that don’t work. While other products have come and gone, tried-and-true Rogaine remains. Its special ingredient, minoxidil, is still one of the only scientifically proven methods for staving off hair loss and, yes, can even regrow hair.

Don't overdo it with styling products

Gels, pastes and putties serve a purpose: They help smooth hair and hold it in place. But nothing is worse for drawing unwanted attention to a scarce scalp than glopping on goo. Strands of hair end up clumping together only to bare all for world to see. Lay it on light to keep things covered up.


Do use a thickening cream/conditioner

That hairstyle may not be as thick as it used to be, but that doesn’t mean you have to shear it all off just yet. Conditioners and creams specially formulated for troubled tresses can keep your secret under wraps by helping build and protect the shaft of the hair.

Don't panic or do nothing

Shedding strands here and there is no reason to sweat. In fact, it’s 100% normal to lose as many as 100 hairs every day. If you’re really shedding your coat, chances are it’s happening so slowly you may not notice until the pesky process is well underway. Once balding has begun, don’t deny it. Seek treatment -- personal or professional -- and then move on to life’s more important problems.

A hairy situation

Hair loss is a long process and an emotionally painful one at that. But following a few realistic rules can shave away the sorrow, and indeed, even years off your face.