Hey – I'm Phil – a friend of Antonio's and proud bald gent. I'm here to share my hair loss story with you guys. Despite trying many different types of hair loss treatments for men, I eventually embraced the bald and went full Jason Statham.
It all started with a few extra hairs on my pillow in the morning. I was a sophomore in college.
I had just completed a lengthy battle with acne, and for the first time in years, I felt good about my appearance.
And then it happened – I started losing my hair.
#1 Why now? Wasn't I Too Young To Lose My Hair?
I didn't believe it. I was 19-years-old and no one in my family, except for one uncle, was bald.
Perhaps I had a bad diet. Maybe I didn't exercise enough.
Maybe my dandruff was causing my hair to fall out. And so began two years of denial.
I tried everything. I started drinking green tea, working out more, tried meditation and other stress-busting activities.
All of this led nowhere.
And so, I made an appointment with my doctor – a routine physical. I hadn't had one in a few years, and in the back of my mind, I was hoping the doctor would offer a solution to my hair loss problem.
I was hoping he would tell me, “Oh, it looks like you're not getting enough iron,” or something else along those lines.
Unfortunately, that's not how it went. He took one look at my head and casually remarked, “it looks like you have male pattern baldness.” I can still remember the sinking feeling I had when he delivered those words.
He went on to tell me that these kinds of genetic arguments are primarily the result of old wives' tales. Male pattern baldness is caused by genetics, but it doesn't have to come from your mother's father.
Dejected, I walked out of the doctor's office with a prescription for Propecia, a medication that has been shown to slow and, in some cases, stop hair loss if it is used daily, and a recommendation to try rogaine. This topical cream can stimulate hair growth.
#2 Did The Medication Work?
I filled the prescription for Propecia (one of the many hair loss treatments for men), and while I wouldn't say I liked the idea of taking a medication every day, I held out hope that it would be the solution I was looking for. It wasn't. Propecia gave me intolerable sexual side effects, and I had to stop taking it almost immediately.
I never tried rogaine. It's not a solution for hair loss as it doesn't address the problem at the root cause. It accelerates hair growth, but it does nothing to stop hair falling out.
At this point, I essentially gave up on treating my male pattern baldness. At the same time, I was afraid to embrace it.
So I clung to my remaining hair, doing what I could to avoid the inevitable. I carefully arranged my hair each day. I got frequent hair cuts. And I tried to avoid getting my hair wet during the day.
Then I hit a wall. I couldn't cover it up anymore. It is evident to everyone around me that I was trying to hide my hair loss.
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#3 The Big Leap
On a trip to West Africa, I finally took the leap. I was in the hot, landlocked country of Mali. It was over 100 degrees every day.
I wandered into a roadside barbershop, telling them to take it all off. I was tired of trying the different hair loss treatments for men with no success! With the clippers on the lowest setting, I watched my remaining hair fall to the floor.
When the barber finished, I ran my hand across my head, and a huge smile cracked my face. But then I looked in the mirror, and I could barely recognize myself. Nonetheless, I walked out of the barbershop feeling liberated. I walked with pride I hadn't felt since I started losing my hair.
I like to describe this moment in relatable terms. Do you know that moment before jumping into a swimming pool? You are a bit nervous, a bit scared.
When you finally get the nerve to jump in the pool, all those fears dissolve instantly. The water is refreshing, and you can't help but smile and laugh.
I felt the same way after I shaved my head. What's more, after a few days, I started liking what I saw in the mirror. I gradually adjusted to the look, and now it's hard for me to imagine what I look like with my hair.
#4 The Reaction Of Others
When I returned home, the anxiety started to creep back in.
While I was traveling, nobody knew whether I had hair before or not. I was traveling solo, and I didn't have to deal with the judgments of family and friends. I was now worried that friends and family would reject my look back home.
It turns out it wasn't a big deal at all.
I heard a few jokes from friends, but everything was back to normal after a day or two. Some friends I hadn't seen in a while actually complimented me on the new look. My family also adjusted quickly.
As time went on, I became increasingly confident. I started dating a girl from Mali, and I also started a small business managing websites.
Shaving my head unlocked a door that I thought had been shut for me. As my hair loss worsened, I thought I was doomed to be anxious, self-conscious, and depressed. I didn't know I could experience the opposite by embracing my baldness.
#5 Moving Forward And Focusing On My Overall Appearance
However, it's not just shaving my head that has helped boost my confidence. I have taken steps to improve my appearance with a shaved head. This would include working out, dressing well, and trying different facial hair.
In a way, all of these are different hair loss treatments for men. But this time, it's about looking and feeling good, not hiding who you are.
Bald guys should look for colors that complement their eyes and skin tone when it comes to clothes. I am a pale guy with brown eyes, so I typically opt for warmer and darker colors.
I also try to dress sharp with stylish clothes that fit me well. Your clothes shouldn't hang off your body, nor should they be too long or short.
While I don't have hair to work with on my head, I do have facial hair that I can experiment with. I currently have a neatly trimmed beard, and I've found it works well for the look that I am going for.
You can try different combinations and see what works best for you. If something doesn't feel right, you can always shave it off.
While male pattern baldness continues to haunt men both young and old, the tide is changing. More actors, musicians, athletes, and other cultural icons are dealing with their hair loss by embracing it, and there is little stigma attached to having a shaved head.
Attitudes are changing, and male pattern baldness is no longer the game-changer that it once used to be. Many guys are figuring out that they can look good and live a happy and fulfilled life as bald guys without needing to look into the side effects of DHT blockers and other options.
My only regret is that I didn't realize this sooner.
#6 The 3 Biggest Causes Of Hair Loss
While my hair loss story originated due to genetics, many other factors could be impacting the hair on top of your head (or lack thereof!)
While I'm all about embracing the bald, you must know the other causes of hair loss in men to make a change and live a healthier life. Avoid these causes, and you won't even have to consider the different hair loss treatments for men.
A Bad Diet
A bad diet can lead to several health issues – one of them being Iron Deficiency Anaemia. It happens when you don't eat enough iron-rich foods such as lentils and spinach.
Iron is crucial for carrying oxygen throughout the body and helping hair growth. Foods like eggs are excellent protein sources, which is the primary nutrient in hair.
In general, which foods can you eat to keep your hair healthy?
- Eggs are a good source of protein and biotin. Both of these nutrients promote healthy hair growth. Since hair follicles are made mostly of protein, it's essential.
- Berries are full of Vitamin C, which protects hair follicles against free radicals. Vitamin C helps to absorb iron from the foods you eat.
- Spinach is loaded with folate, iron, and Vitamins A and C. These all keep hair healthy – Vitamin A helps the skin glance produce sebum, which keeps the scalp moist.
- Sweet potatoes are a reliable source of beta-carotene. Your body converts this into Vitamin A.
Stay on that diet – your head will thank you! And so will women. Click here to discover how diet affects attractiveness.
High stress will lead directly to one of three kinds of hair loss in men:
- Telogen Effluvium occurs when stress induces a prolonged “rest state” in the hair follicles. After a few months, continual degradation may see hair literally falling off during showers!
- Trichotillomania refers to the insatiable urge by some people to rip out hair from their heads and bodies as a coping mechanism against stress.
- Alopecia Areata is when the immune system reacts to high-stress levels by attacking hair follicles and destroying them.
So what do you do, run away from all your responsibilities?
I'm not saying to give up your job, ditch your kids and run away from life. Eliminating sources of stress completely will be impossible for most men. There are ways men can mitigate their stress levels, though, so feeling stressed can be avoided, and so can related hair loss reasons.
Underlying Medical Conditions
Let's do a run-through on certain which conditions and treatments hinder hair growth:
- Psoriasis is a common skin condition that often appears on the scalp. It happens when an overactive immune system builds additional skin cells, which results in patches of itchy and dry skin.
- Seborrheic Dermatitis creates scales of dry skin which are inflamed and painful to the touch. This occurs when sebum contains more triglycerides and cholesterol than normal, irritating the scalp.
- Depression affects over 40 million Americans each year. Unfortunately, it can also lead to more hair loss in men through mental stress.
There are lots of conditions and treatments that lead to hair loss. Luckily, most of them are temporary.
Fortunately, hair loss that results from these conditions is temporary. For these skin conditions, in particular, medicated shampoo often helps.
What about treatments?
- Chemotherapy is known to lead to hair loss. It attacks cancer cells and other rapidly growing cells – like hair cells.
- Blood Thinners.
- Amphetamines in the diet.
- Thyroid treatments.
Hair loss in men caused by medications and treatments is known collectively as Telogen Effluvium. It can affect the entire scalp – beware!
Ready to take the plunge and shave your thinning hair? Click here to discover how to shave your head DIY style without cutting yourself.
This post has been written by Phil Paoletta, a friend who has gone through this ordeal and now shares his very useful information on this topic with men across America and beyond.