- By age 50, 88% of men experience hair loss.
- Most common causes are hereditary hair loss, overproduction of the DHT hormone, mental and physical stress, heat, and the andropause / male menopause.
- We can reduce/prevent hair loss by reducing our stress levels, minimizing the use of heated styling tools, and maintailing a healthy diet and lifestyle.
- The best nutrition and supplements for reducing hair loss are:
- Bamboo Silica;
- Folate / Folic Acid;
- Hormone balancing supplements such as Taurine, Zinc, Boron, Vitamin D, Ashwagandha and Saw Palmetto.
The full story
Hair loss is a common source of insecurity many men face. While it can also affect women, hair loss predominantly affects men, as we have a 66% chance of experiencing hair loss by the age of 35, which shoots up to 88% by the time we are 50 years old. In this health guide, we outline the most common causes of hair loss in men, changes in our day-to-day behavior to reduce or prevent hair loss, and an overview of the most relevant nutrition and supplements we can take to support our hair from within.
What Are The Most Common Causes Of Hair Loss In Men?
Hereditary hair loss: The cause of hair loss in men most often discussed is hereditary. It is often said that we inherit the hair from the father of our mother’s side. This is because the gene that causes “male pattern baldness” (androgenetic alopecia) is found on the X chromosome, which men always receive from their mother. However, as male pattern baldness is only one of many causes of hair loss, this statement is too simplistic. Sadly, there is no direct cure to male pattern baldness, but we can minimize our hair loss and thinning by positively influencing those causes that we can control.
DHT (DiHydroTestostern): DHT is a hormone produced in the testicles and is involved in what are defined as male characteristics: facial and body hair, a deeper voice and muscle growth. In too high amounts, DHT can negatively impact the growth of head hair as it reduces the hair growth cycle and shrinks hair follicles on the scalp. An excessive production of DHT is most likely hereditary or caused by a high protein diet (which is part of the reason why many fitness enthusiasts are often balding).
Stress: Still wired for the hunter-gatherer life of our ancestors, stress is a bodily response that heightens our senses in case of danger. It does so by reducing the energy supplied to less crucial parts of the body. Today, stress is more likely caused by anything that puts us out of our comfort zone, such as high work or study loads or speaking in public. A stressful lifestyle or event can therefore trigger “telogen effluvium”, a reduction of energy supplied to the hair follicles, forcing them into a resting phase and causing hair to fall out within a few months of continued stress.
Heat: As men, our hairstyle is often part of our identity. Today, western men spend almost as much time as women to style their hair. However, excessive heat from hair driers and curling irons, as well as excessive use of wax, gel and harsh shampoos could damage our hair causing thinning and breakage.
Andropause / male menopause: While menopause is more commonly associated with women, men can also experience depression, insomnia, poor concentration and other emotional and physical symptoms due to excessively fluctuating hormone levels in our late 40s and early 50s. As we read above, unbalanced hormone levels have a direct effect on the hair growth cycle, causing hair loss and thinning.
How Can We Reduce or Prevent Hair Loss?
- Reduce our stress levels by unwinding through meditation, breathing exercises or yoga.
- Minimizing the use of heat styling tools, the amount of gel or wax and using mild shampoos.
- Scalp massages and applying essential oils, which relaxes the blood vessels leading to the hair follicles, resulting in better uptake of oxygen and nutrients.
- Avoid smoking as this causes the blood vessels leading to our extremities, such as our hair follicles, to receive less oxygen and nutrition, contributing to hair and follicle damage.
- Maintaining a healthy diet, or taking food supplements, to ensure we get enough of the below nutrition and balance our hormone levels.
What Nutrition And Supplements Can Help Fight Hair Loss?
Bamboo silica: Silica is a natural trace mineral that can help strengthen hair and prevent thinning by supporting the delivery of essential nutrients to our hair follicles. (Food sources: green beans, bamboo, banana, leafy greens and brown rice).
Biotin (vitamin B7): Despite popular belief, there is limited scientific evidence supporting a direct effect of increased biotin intake on hair growth. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t doing some sort of work behind the scenes. Biotin, as well as vitamin C, plays a significant role in the production of keratin, vital for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and nails. Additionally, individuals with a biotin, riboflavin (vit B2) or vitamin B12 deficiency have shown an increased risk of hair loss. (Food sources: legumes, egg yolk, organ meat, nuts and seeds).
Copper: Contributes to hair pigmentation, helping it absorb heat and protecting the hair, follicles and scalp from dryness and breakage. An added bonus is that it helps your hair look darker. (Food sources: beef liver, oysters, salmon and cashews).
Folate (vitamin B9): Considered an important vitamin for promoting overall hair health as it contributes to the renewal of (hair) cells. Folic acid, the manmade form of folate, has the same effect, although it is not absorbed as efficiently. (Food sources: dark green leavy vegetables, most fruits, nuts, beans and peas).
Selenium: Selenium can aid hair growth and strength by protecting the hair-, and follicle cells against oxidative stress. It supports the regrowth of lost hair during or after a period of stress. (Food sources: brasil nuts, organ meat and most sea food).
Hormone balancing supplements: Taurine, Zinc, Boron, Vitamin D, Ashwagandha and Saw Palmetto are supplements known to bring balance to our hormone levels. Use of these supplements could be specifically interesting in case of excessive DHT production or during the male menopause / andropause.
Hair loss can have many causes, some of which are better preventable than others. Although hereditary hair loss is more difficult to prevent, we can support our hair by:
- Ensuring we get enough of the necessary nutrition.
- Reducing stress or unwinding after stressful situations.
- Balancing our hormone levels.
- Protecting our hair and follicles from excessive heat and chemicals.
Most of the supplements listed in this overview can be found in our The Essentials product, giving men of all ages the nutritional support needed to fight hair loss from within.
Additionally, our Peak Performance (Adults) product supports us as we approach the andropause. It contains patented forms of folate (Quartefolic®), ashwagandha (KSM-66®) and saw palmetto (SabalSelect®).
- Why Do Men Go Bald?
- Assessment of the usefulness of DHT in the diagnostics of patients with androgenetic alopecia
- Can stress cause hair loss?
- Menopause Hair Loss Prevention
- How to Prevent Hair Loss: In Men and Women, After Pregnancy, During Chemo, And At-Home Remedies
- Silica for Hair: Can It Fight Hair Loss?
- The Therapeutic Effect and the Changed Serum Zinc Level after Zinc Supplementation in Alopecia Areata Patients Who Had a Low Serum Zinc Level
- Biotin for Hair Growth: Does It Work?
- Does Folic Acid Help with Hair Growth?