Hair loss for most men is inevitable. It starts creeping up on unsuspecting heads as early as your late twenties. Many Black men have either succumb to baldness – which looks pretty good on many fellas – or held on tightly to any last visible strands. Unlike our Caucasian counterparts, toupees and other forms of hair replacement have not gained as much of a following, leaving a legion of men wondering if they have any other options. You do. There are several preventative measures that are worth giving a try, as well as several supplements that can greatly repair hair loss.
Though many signs point to genetics as the culprit for thinning manes and receding hairlines, stress also plays a major factor. Dr. Daniel K. Hall-Flavin of Mayoclinic.com confirms that many types of hair loss can be associated with “high levels of stress.” Alopecia, a condition that affects both men and women, has been linked to those leading incredibly stressful lives. “With alopecia areata, white blood cells attack the hair follicle, stopping hair growth and making hair fall out,” explains Dr. Hall-Flavin. A closer look at alopecia reveals that it’s mainly caused by the scalp’s response to the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT) when it comes in contact with oil glands in your hair follicles. These glands contain the enzyme Type II 5-alpha reductase, which is basically the arch nemesis of DHT. Voila! Follicles shrink, your cell membranes thicken, and blood flow is restricted, causing you to naturally lose hair, but never grow it back.
Natural gurus can find comfort in supplements like saw palmetto, the extract of the fruit Serenoa repens. It’s rich in fatty acids and has been known to block DHT production. Zinc and Beta–sitosterol, a natural ingredient, have also been found to assist with hair loss, while also promoting a healthy prostate.
Propecia, a prescription medicine used to treat male pattern hair loss, is also an option. The drug is to be used for thinning or baldness at middle of the scalp, but has not been very effective in assisting with hair re-growth at the temples or hairline.
When medicinal or natural efforts aren’t working fast enough, consider a new technique specifically created for African American men – cosmetic tattooing. The Hair Simulation Company in Atlanta specializes in “cosmetic tattooing for the uniqueness of black and afro-textured hair,” as explained on the company website. Like tattooed eyebrows or eyeliner, microscopic strokes are used to permanently simulate the appearance of a full head of hair. These artists create texture and depth to resemble a fresh hair cut with personalized hairlines.
If the idea of getting a permanent caesar seems a bit insane, try Black Ice Chromatone Spray. This celebrity favorite is the secret behind your favorite entertainer’s perfect hairline. The temporary color spray, which should be applied by a professional for best results, doesn’t run or wipe off, making it perfect for athletic men. It’s instantly covers thinning edges and mid-scalp baldness.
For men that are considering moving to Baldville, try your hand at one of these suggested hair loss cures, first. When all else fails, your razor is always ready.
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Contributing Beauty Expert