When do you ask guys what's the reason behind their hair fall? The answer that comes out of 3/4 of men is "Mere papa ko bhi tha isliye mujhe bhi hai". In other words genetics! Most men blindly assume that their hair fall and hair thinning in men are due to genetic reasons but the truth is that there's more to hair thinning than merely family lineage. Sure, a family history of hair fall and hair thinning determines how soon you might start to notice hair thinning but it is not the only factor responsible for every guy's hair thinning. This blog will help you understand how different factors affect hair health and lead to hair thinning in men and alternatively will also reveal various hair thinning solutions along with treatments to fix hair thinning naturally in men.
Hair Thinning In Men Is An Early Sign Of Hair Fall
The average age for a guy to lose hair begins at 21 and the first sign of hair fall is hair thinning in men and a receding hairline. Most of the time people tend to ignore the early signs of hair fall and end up in such an advanced stage that there's no going back except for a transplant. Listed below is the Norwood Scale from stages 1-7 to self-diagnose for hair fall and hair thinning in men.
Stage 1: In men, the initial 2 stages are considered to be very mild where hair starts to become weaker with every hair cycle and stops growing at the temples also called a receding hairline. This could start anywhere from teenage to early adulthood and the trigger factors for the same are listed in this blog.
Stage 2: At this stage, the receding hairline gets extended further back to form an M-shaped hairline. This is observed towards mid-adulthood in the life of a man i.e. between the ages of 25 to 32.
Stage 3: This is the stage wherein hair thinning gets more visible not at the frontal hairline anymore but now at the crown area of the head which is called the top portion of the hair. Along with this stage, the receding hairline still keeps progressing.
Stage 4: It is between Stages 3 and 4 that balding can be easily diagnosed. This is the spot where the shape of the remaining hair on the head begins to look like a ‘U’ and the hair thinning at the crown has reached its max.
Stage 5: From this stage onwards is when it gets difficult to regrow hair with the help of hair treatment. This is because the amount of actively growing hair follicles begins to reduce to 30% and goes on to reduce as the stages progress. The advanced stage is when the follicles if not taken care of properly start sealing and closing completely. This stage is when balding becomes very advanced and is very visible as a horse-shoe pattern.
Stage 6: A fine thin strip is what is visible at the back of the head indicating an advanced form of hair fall. The number of sealed follicles now overtakes the number of actively growing follicles.
Stage 7: The 7th is the most advanced and severe stage of hair fall with very fine hair strands. This forms a horse-shoe pattern of hair which was earlier visible in stage 5 and then becomes severe at the 7th stage.
Reasons Behind Hair Thinning In Men
- Genetics: The main reason behind 72% of the Indian men’s population is genetics. Just like diabetes runs in the family, in the same way, hair thinning and hair fall can be hereditary. But it happens due to the sensitivity to the hormone called Dihydrotestosterone a.k.a DHT. In an ideal state, DHT is an essential hormone that is required by the body. Especially in males, as it makes them who they are. This means it provides men with characteristic features like their hoarse voice, muscular strength, and beard. But, when the levels of this hormone spike up due to a sensitivity that’s when it causes trouble. Excess DHT attacks the hair follicles at the roots and causes miniaturization. This means with every hair cycle the diameter of the follicle starts reducing and leads to hair thinning and eventually hair fall. But the problem is that people think that nothing can be done about it. That’s just not true. Stay tuned to know more about hair-thinning solutions.
- Stressful Events: Another factor that causes hair thinning is stress. It could be any kind of stress. Events like surgery, fever, COVID, dengue, or even psychological stress all take a toll on your hair health and cause hair thinning in men. This is because, during stress, a hormone called cortisol is released. And excess cortisol hampers the hair growth cycle which signals the hair to shift from the active growing phase to the shedding phase. As the growth cycle is hampered it leads to hair thinning and hair fall.
- Lack Of Sleep: The Circadian cycle also called the sleep-wake cycle plays an important role in hair health. This is why sleep is of utmost importance when it comes to any organ activity. Irregular sleeping patterns also aggravate stress and cause hair thinning. A hormone called melatonin is released during sleep which is also essential for the smooth functioning of the hair cycle. This also works against DHT - the main hormone responsible for hair fall which causes DHT to unbind from the hair follicle receptors. Lastly, if melatonin is not produced in equal amounts due to not getting proper 8 hours of sleep, this can hamper the cycle and cause hair thinning in men.
- Low Energy Levels: The body's ability to convert the food we eat to energy is what determines how much or how less energy we have. This is called metabolism. A good metabolism is required for the body to break down nutrients from food and supply them through the blood to the follicles. If the metabolism is slow that means most of the body's energy is being utilized to break down nutrients and supply them to other parts of the body other than hair. This is when hair gets neglected and causes hair thinning in men.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Hair needs food too. Biotin, iron, Zinc, etc as in all macro and micronutrients are required by the hair for it to grow in an ideal manner. This means that when any of these nutrients fall short in the body, it reflects on the hair as hair thinning and looks dull and lifeless.
- Traction hair thinning: Hair thinning in men also happens with the constant use of helmets, wearing caps and beanies too often, or tying hair too tightly in a man bun or ponytails. This causes hair to get pulled back which makes it weaker and thinner and fall off.
Tips And Treatments To Stop Hair Thinning In Men
Hair fall is a natural process. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, losing 50-100 strands daily is considered normal and is a part of the hair cycle where the old hair falls out and the new one replaces it. However, if hair thinning accompanied by hair fall is observed too often with the number of strands exceeding the 100 limits, then it's time you do something about it before it gets too late and you end up bald.
Temporary Hair Thinning Solution:
Few ways to get rid of hair thinning or rather make it go unnoticeable among a group of friends is by experimenting with different kinds of hairstyles or even hair sprays but if you want to treat it the right way, below are some of your options.
Dermatology contains a variety of drugs in form of serums and foams to treat hair thinning and hair fall. The two FDA-approved medications specifically to stop hair fall and hair thinning in men include minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil is an over-the-counter drug in different forms for topical applications (serums and foams). This has a vasodilating effect wherein it dilates the blood vessels and promotes nutrient-rich blood flow to the shrunken follicles. This increases the diameter of the follicles and provides thicker regrowth. But, people initially using minoxidil might experience something called minoxidil shedding. This is because minoxidil works by speeding up the shedding phase of the hair cycle so that the hair falls off faster and is replaced by stronger, thicker regrowth. While minoxidil is a stimulator, finasteride is a DHT blocker, which means after it absorbs into the body, it forms a barrier around the hair follicles and blocks DHT from attacking the hair, thus preventing hair thinning and hair fall.
Alternatively, hair-thinning solutions like natural hair actives in serums - redensyl, procapil and capixyl work more or less in a similar manner as finasteride and reverse the hair-thinning process. However, if you are one of those men whose hair is balding from the top with hair thinning, you will need firstly the right diagnosis to identify your stage and curate the right treatment for you. Traya contains an online diagnosis (Dx) that helps one identify the hair fall type, the stage, and the reason behind having hair fall.
Advanced Dermatological treatments:
Stages 1-4 are where the dermatological medications come in handy and where hair can regrow naturally by simply following the right medication and eating healthy. However, the advanced stages need to be looked at from a different level. The advanced stages of hair fall, which are stages 5 and above are where things start getting out of hand. Stage 5 is still manageable but once it progresses to the higher stages with very few actively growing hair follicles, is when advanced dermatological treatments like a transplant or plasma therapies.
PRP hair treatment is a 3-step treatment where blood is drawn from the affected people and then processed only to be injected back again into the scalp of the person. It is a process to naturally stop thinning hair and allow hair to grow thicker by increasing the diameter of the hair shaft. On the other hand, a hair transplant involves removing hair strands from various other parts of the body and using surgical procedures, implanting them onto the person’s scalp where there is hair thinning or the hair has completely gone. This enables hair in the affected area to appear thick.
To tackle the internal factors that cause hair fall, Ayurveda serves best. Ayurveda contains powerful herbs and herb mixes (tablets) that work effectively in treating various internal health issues like balancing thyroid levels, improving gut health (acidity, bloating, constipation, indigestion), maintaining a good metabolism, and reducing stress through various ayurvedic therapies like shiroabhyanga (blood circulation through scalp massages) and nasya ( blood circulation through the nasal route).
A healthy diet is a must. Consuming a healthy diet daily that is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, iron, and zinc promotes hair health and stops hair thinning. It is important to consume foods that are rich in biotin, and vitamin D to promote the production of keratin for hair strands. Foods like eggs and lean meat, leafy greens, and fruits like oranges that are packed in vitamins can help with thicker hair growth and in turn, stop hair thinning in men.
Yoga & Meditation:
Calming and soothing meditation techniques like simple breathing practices help engage the mind and body which trigger the nervous tissues and build and smoothen the activity of hormones maintaining a balance in hormonal health. On the other hand, various asanas in yoga increase blood circulation and improve the flow to the scalp and hair follicles. Here are a few hair asanas that you can try at home regularly - Vajrasana, Balasana, Sirsasana, and Kapalabhati.
Once you make the necessary changes to the diet and medication, it doesn’t mean it stops there. You are also required to make the right lifestyle changes. If you have been constantly drinking or smoking, it is now time to take a closer look at it and tone it down a notch. Only when you make all the required changes will it reflect on hair health.
Hair thinning can be a dramatic and traumatic experience altogether. But no one knows the feeling of it better than those going through it. The factors that cause hair thinning are many. So by simply tackling these internal factors, one can fix hair thinning. However, it is important to note that treating hair thinning in males and hair fall is ideal when it's still in its prime stages between 1-4.
Q1 - How can I regrow my thinning hair Crown?
Hair thinning can be easily controlled provided you're still in the early stage of hair fall. This can be done by identifying the right reason behind hair thinning like a poor diet, lack of sleep, and so on. Dermatological treatments like minoxidil and redensyl also serve useful purposes.
Q2 - Can a thinning crown grow back?
Yes, a thinning crown can grow back provided you're in the early stages of hair fall (Stages 1-4) with actively growing hair follicles and have been following the right treatment plan for it.
Q3 - What is the best hair treatment for balding at the crown?
The treatment depends on the diagnosis of your hair fall condition. Balding at the crown is usually referred to as Male Pattern Baldness or Androgenic Alopecia. Once you identify the internal reasons behind your hair fall, the treatment will follow. The best treatment would be a holistic approach that uses Ayurveda for internal health healing, Dermatology that targets follicle health, and nutrition for a balanced diet.
Q4 - Can you fix thinning hair male?
Hair thinning in males is very common especially due to stress and an unhealthy lifestyle. So simply fixing the factors or the reasons behind hair thinning will indirectly help you fix hair thinning.