Thinning hair is a common issue for men. If you’re noticing some hair loss, take action beyond reaching for a baseball cap. The right hairstyle combined with the right products will minimize the appearance of thinning hair. Results vary but following these steps can dramatically reduce hair loss.
Here’s how to stop hair loss and thinning hair:
What is Thinning Hair?
Hair has been clogging up your drain long before your hair started to thin. On average, men (and women too) lose 50-100 hairs a day. Hair loss is the result of a combination of genetics, aging, and sometimes health.
Male pattern baldness, usually a receding hairline or bald spot at the crown, is the most common type of hair loss. The cause is genetic and hormonal. Excess 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone, known as DHT. Large quantities of DHT result in weaker hairs produced by each follicle, until they die, leaving bare patches where hair once was.
Best Hairstyle for Thinning Hair
So now you know what causes thinning hair but what to do about it? Start with a great haircut.
We’re not talking about comb-overs here though! The best option is a short to medium length hairstyle. Your stylist should use scissors to customize your cut for your hair and head shape. At this length, you can still style hair. More on that later.
If your hair has some natural wave or curl, take advantage of natural texture by growing some fringe. Longer hair is on trend this year and you can style it to cover a receding hairline.
If these haircuts aren’t an option, man up and go short. A low buzz will minimize the appearance of thinner areas, keeping the focus on your face.
The Best Products for Thinning Hair Men
It’s best to start with these products as soon as you notice thinning hair so they can have maximum impact. All of these products are effective for some people so if one doesn’t work, it’s worth trying another formula after the recommended time period.
The Big Guns
Since thinning hair is a chemical problem, there are chemical solutions. Some men can stop or even reverse hair loss but there are no guarantees. That being said, it’s definitely worth a shot. Here are some of the most effective products for thinning hair.
Rogaine is one of the most well known names in hair loss treatment. It’s a topical treatment containing 5% minoxidil. The foam is applied to the scalp twice a day, and is reported to show results for 90% of men in four months. Or save some money with the Kirkland version.
Medicated shampoos can be used along with a topical product and supplements or on their own. These are some of the best shampoos for thinning hair:
Progaine Volumizing Shampoo is to be used as part of the Rogaine treatment regimen. Rogaine’s active ingredient, minoxidal, which is proven to slow hair loss and reduce the appearance of baldness, is not in the shampoo. However, the shampoo gently cleans hair, increases the absorption of rogaine so it works to full potential. It also strengthens hair and adds volume, giving hair a daily boost while the products take effect.
RegenePure DR Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo and Scalp Treatment stimulates hair growth with Ketoconazole and caffeine, reported to have a noticeably thicker hair in 3-5 days. It is also sulfate-free, a better choice for all shampoos but especially for those experiencing hair loss.
Nioxin is another big name brand in the hair loss world. The shampoo contains mint, white tea extract, and niacin to increase blood flow to the scalp as well as antioxidants and sunscreen to nourish and protect hair. There are multiple formulas depending on your hair type and stage of hair loss.
Bosley Bos Revive combats one of the main causes of hair loss, excess DHT. Therefore, one of the ways to combat thinning hair is with DHT inhibitors. This shampoo fights DHT with laminarghane, derived from plankton, and beefs up hair with pentapepdides, also used in anti-aging products. A more natural approach, this takes longer but will have a noticeable difference over time.
Hair Genesis Revitalizing Shampoo is one of several products from this brand, including supplements and a scalp treatment. A DHT blocker you’ll hear a lot about is saw palmetto, a natural remedy used topically and as a supplement. Hair Genesis combines saw palmetto extract and glycosaminoglycans, which encourage anagen, or growth phase, of hair.
If you don’t like the idea or cost of using medicated shampoos, you still have options. Fine and thin hair is a common problem for men and women so there are lots of effective thickening formulas out there.
These formulas work by coating each hair strands to thicken it up and add strength over time. Choose your favorite based no smell, price, or name! Here are a few of the best shampoos for men with thinning hair:
- L’Oréal Vive Pro for Men 2-in-1 Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner
- Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo
- Aveda Invati Thickening Shampoo
Best Conditioners for Thinning Hair
Hair with even a bit of length, anything longer than a buzz cut, will benefit from conditioner. In addition, the formulas will thicken hair, making the most of what you’ve got.
While you can certainly mix and match your shampoo and conditioner, the products are formulated to work together. Pick a brand or system you like and get both the shampoo and conditioner.
So you’ve got a flattering cut and freshly washed with one of the best shampoos for thinning hair. Here’s how to get maximum impact through styling.
First, get rid of your comb. Too much brushing and combing makes thin hair flat and limp. Instead, add volume and texture by styling hair with your fingers instead.
Here are some of the best styling products for thinning hair that are lightweight enough to groom thin hair without weighing it down.
American Crew Boost Powder – Hair powder is one of the hairstyling secrets for fine hair and it works really well for thinning air as well. If you’re imagining working baby powder through your hair, it’s a little bit different.
The product is matte and will blend with hair, adding lift, texture, and thickness. Dump a little bit into your hand and sprinkle it onto hair, making sure it gets to the root for maximum lift and separation. Rub your scalp with your fingers to distribute the product and you’ve got light flexible hold all day.
You can also try a dry shampoo for a similar effect like the popular formulas by Bumble and Bumble which comes several shades, award-winning Klorane, and the best value Got2b.
American Crew Light Hold Texture Lotion – As one of the few lines solely devoted to men’s hair products, American Crew has really dialed in on what men want and need. Their thickening lotion is another highly effective product for thinning hair. When applying, be sure to use a small amount at a time. Add to much and hair will appear greasy and limp.
This product is great because you can still style any look you want for thinning hair. Depending on where hair loss is taking place, go for the slick look or wear hair across.
Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Potion – Aveda is another product line that makes excellent men’s products – for hair, skin, and shaving. They’ve done it again with this hair potion, which transforms from powder to a liquid paste when rubbed between hands.
If hair is on the oily side or you’ve skipped a shampoo, the product will absorb oil. It gives desired volume and again you can style hair any way you like. Although it’s pricy, a little goes a long way.
Folicure Thickening Mousse – You may not have though about using mousse on hair but it’s a great product for fine or thinning hair. The lightweight foam thickens strands, boosts volume, and gives just enough control.
Nioxin Volumizing Root Lifter – If you’re sticking with one brand, this is the final step in Nioxin’s hair regrowth system. Free of alcohol and other damaging additives, this is another product that adds thickness, volume, and style.
Hair loss can also be treated from the inside out. Although side effects may occur, some men achieve very encouraging results.
Finasteride, marketed as Proscar and Propecia by Merck, is taken in 1mg daily. Compared to no medicine, most men see no further hair loss or some regrowth. However, the effects cease when the drug is no longer taken. Combined with shampoo that contains 2% Nizoral, is one of the recommended treatments for hair loss.
Propecia is a DHT blocking pill that works for male pattern hair loss on top of the scalp and the receding hairline. They also report effective treatment for 90% men between 3-12 months. It is a prescription medication with side effects so consult your doctor.
Saw palmetto, as mentioned above, inhibits the DHT that causes male pattern baldness.
Male pattern baldness and thinning hair has many causes beyond genetics, including diet, stress, and lifestyle. If you know you’re not living your healthiest life, there are steps that can have an impact on hair loss.
Smoking not only increases the hormones that trigger hair loss, it constricts blood supply to the scalp. This double effect can increase the rate of thinning hair.
Other lifestyle changes also have an impact on DHT production. A healthy diet, caffeine, and an active lifestyle can all lead to increased hair growth, or at least a reduction in hair loss.
All of these changes can mitigate the impacts of thinning hair. Results are different for everyone but there’s no reason to go straight to the buzz cut. Or if your time is up, you’re in great company. And remember studies show that bald men are seen as more masculine and dominant so think of this of being more rather than less.