As hard as it’s been, you’ve finally got to admit it to yourself: you’re losing your hair. There’s no getting away from that fact. You can see more and more of your scalp with every look in the mirror. You’ve even gone through the stages of grief over it – from disbelief through denial, anger, depression and now finally you’ve arrived at acceptance.
This opens up new avenues for you because now you are free to explore the hair options that are available to you. You can leave things where they are (or at least where they are going); or you can take steps to do something about your growing lack of hair. There are a number of possibilities regarding this that you can explore.
Let’s get the (probably) most extreme one out of the way first. You can shave your head. This is the cheapest route next to leaving things as they are. All that’s required is regular head shaving to keep the fuzz off, and investing in scalp care products like lotions, cleansers and sunscreens (absolutely essential to any bald pate). This is the new cool and sexy look for guys (though, not everyone can pull it off). But if you’re one of the ones who can, it may be the way to go. This will surely remove the anxiety experienced over watching the hairline recede, or the crown of the head show more and more skin. If seeing hair on your head is not an absolute necessity for you, the bald look may be the best option.
Of course, you could just leave things as they are. Maybe you can cut your remaining hair close so that you don’t have that shaggy horseshoe, which doesn’t add to anyone’s appeal. If you’ve gotten past the acceptance stage, and have no problem letting nature take it’s course, then by all means stick with what you’ve got. Some of the most fulfilled men in the world are those who have fully accepted the fate of their hair, and turned their focus and attention to other areas of their life.
Another pair of options in the pursuit of hair are the medications minoxidil (sold as Rogaine) and finasteride (sold as Propecia). Minoxidil is effective in stopping hair loss and re-growing hair for a significant proportion of the men who use it. It’s applied topically twice a day, and is available in 2% and 5% solutions. It’s not clear how minoxidil works, but it has few side effects other than some itching and redness in the 5% concentration.
Finasteride is taken in pill form once a day, and was originally used to treat enlarged prostate glands. It prevents the hormone testosterone from being converted into the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes male pattern baldness. A small percentage of men who take finasteride will experience some sexual dysfunction, but in most this side effect disappears on its own. The catch with both of these medications is that all hair grown as a result of their use will likely be lost if use is discontinued: so both of these represent a lifetime commitment.
Hair restoration surgery, or transplants are another possible way to get some new hair. This type of surgery has come a long way from the days of the dolls hair pattern that resulted from using plugs. With today’s techniques that transplant follicular units containing just a few hairs and densely packs them, a much more natural effect can be achieved. Also, there is generally less scarring, and more rapid healing than there was in the past. Still, it is a surgical procedure and so should be thoroughly researched and fully considered before it’s undertaken.
Also, you can invest in a hairpiece. This technology has come a long way too. Some of the best defy detection. The best ones aren’t cheap though, but if you can afford it, it is less of a health concern than either medication or surgery. The only catch is that to maintain the illusion, they must be worn all of the time when others are present.
So if you’re losing it over losing it, take heart, there are a number of ways to deal with going bald. And don’t forget that your hair is just a small part of who you are, no matter who you are. What’s on the inside, how you treat others, and the relationships you have all count for more. So your hair, while important, probably doesn’t merit the attention that these other more meaningful aspects of you do.
Stephanie McIntyre and Wendell Bryant are Internet developers. Visit their site at [http://hairlosscentralhome.com/male-pattern-baldness/]