Baldness is in the genes. An unlucky draw can leave you balding before your 30s, eating away at your confidence and making you seem less attractive. While baldness might seem like an inevitability, you can take steps to delay its onset or even reverse some of its effects.
Several studies have shown that regular scalp massages can lead to thicker hair or even stimulate hair growth. You can perform a scalp massage with your fingers, similar to how you scrub your head as you shampoo, but with a little more pressure. If you want an idea of how to perform the massage properly, book a session or two with a licensed massage therapist.
After experiencing a proper scalp massage, you should be able to perform one yourself. You can also use hand-held massagers to do the work, preferably ones with attachments specifically made to massage the scalp. You won’t tire yourself out, and you can have extended massage sessions while watching a movie or listening to music. Head massages are safe and won’t have any side effects, aside from a little drowsiness due to over-relaxation.
The most effective and most popular topical solutions in the market contain minoxidil. Once applied, the minoxidil solution seeps into the scalp, triggering chemical reactions that strengthen hair follicles and prompts hair growth. Daily applications are required, and most effects are usually apparent in two to three months. Topical solutions are massaged into the scalp and left to dry, typically before going to bed.
The use of minoxidil has been cleared by the FDA and deemed safe enough for over-the-counter purchases. As with any chemical solution, you might suffer a bit of itching and minor skin rashes during early use. However, most side effects stop after a week or two of applications. Of course, minoxidil only works on dormant hair follicles or during the early stages of balding.
Using lasers to stimulate hair growth might sound a little too sci-fi. However, multiple studies have shown their efficacy. Laser stimulation involves the use of concentrated red lights that penetrate the scalp. The red lights increase the amount of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) available to hair follicles. ATP is the veritable powerhouse of cells, and increased concentrations can even prompt dormant hair follicles to begin producing again.
Laser stimulation is usually performed with the use of laser combs. Like topical solutions, laser combs require regular use to produce significant changes. They typically require ten to 15 minutes of use every other day or at least three times a week. Laser combs have been cleared by the FDA. They are safe to use, as long as you don’t direct the lasers to your eyes.
Eating foods rich in iron and vitamin D could prevent or delay the onset of baldness. Regularly add fish, milk, and eggs into your diet for vitamin D, and go for protein-rich food for iron. Try not to rely too much on supplements, as over-supplementing can be detrimental to your efforts. Too much vitamin A and vitamin E can accelerate your hair loss. Fortunately, you’ll only get harmful amounts of the two through supplements and not through regular diets.
Exercise and Relaxation
Two types of hair loss can be attributed to stress. Alopecia areata prompts white blood cells to attack hair follicles, with hair falling out in patches. Telogen effluvium is more gradual, with individuals losing substantial amounts of hair per day. While it is normal to lose 50 to 100 strands of hair a day, people suffering from Telogen effluvium can lose up to 300 strands a day. Both conditions are attributed to a sudden stress or chronic high stress, and most cases will resolve themselves once stress hormone levels go down.
Manage your stress with some exercise and relaxation. Exercise allows you to channel the fight or flight instincts in your body, allowing stress to be channeled positively. Exercise also maintains your weight and prevents obesity. In comparison, obesity doesn’t have a direct link to baldness. Several conditions and illnesses linked with obesity (type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, etc.) can cause hair loss. Meditation and relaxation are also great ways to manage stress. Attend yoga class, take walks in the park, and get yourself a vacation when you need one.
Baldness may be locked in your genes, but all hope is not lost. You can take measures to stave off baldness before it becomes apparent and maintain your youthful looks for a few more decades.