Losing sleep over your receding hairline or thinning mane? You're not the only one. By the age of 35, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of considerable hair loss, according to the American Hair Loss Association. Even worse: By 50, approximately 85 percent of men have significantly thinning hair. While genetics play a big role, you can still have some control over the situation. Here, a few things you can do that don't involve lasers or surgery.
Steer clear of cigarettes and sun
It's no shocker that these two things are bad for you, but the list of damages they can do seems to be growing—a lot faster than your hair, anyway. A study presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgery looked at 66 male identical twins. While the researchers found that genetics were the strongest predictor of a receding hairline, smoking and heavy sun exposure were also major contributors.
Address your dandruff situation
That same ASPS presentation also found that a history of dandruff was also a contributing factor for hair loss. As we've reported before, there is sadly no cure for that embarrassing snowfall, but doctors often suggest using a high-powered shampoo like Nizoral 1%, which kills yeast directly.
Fun (and hopefully obvious) fact: Hair needs nutrients to grow and be healthy. If you're constantly stuffing your piehole with, say, sugar, fried food, and refined grains, then you're not giving your hair much chance to get ahead. In fact, researchers have found that men with high blood pressure and insulin resistance are more likely to be bald. The good news: There are some essential anti-balding vitamins and nutrients. Here's everything you need to know about them.
According to a recent study published in the International Journal of Dermatology, caffeine can help perk up hair growth. Turns out, caffeine stimulates the hair shaft and helps it grow by blocking the effects of DHT, a chemical known to damage follicles. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as drinking a few more cups of coffee: The study examined a topical application. It could take up to 60 cups of coffee a day to get the results that the study saw, but there are plenty of caffeinated shampoos on the market. And it's really worth a shot: A previous study found similar results and said that caffeine boosted the length of hairs by as much as 40 percent.
"Stress can cause short-term hair loss such as alopecia areata, which causes discreet spots of hair loss," says Jeffrey Benabio, M.D., F.A.A.D., director of healthcare transformation at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego. When overly stressed, the body's immune system can attack the hair follicles—but hair may return soon after the stress becomes under control, according to the Mayo Clinic.