Medically reviewed by Mary Lucas, RN
Written by Our Editorial Team
Last updated 2/15/2021
Have you ever stepped out of the shower and been shocked at the number of hairs left in the shower drain?
It’s completely normal to lose 50 to 100 hairs per day, but if you find hairs scattered all over your bathroom vanity or clogging up your hair brush, there might be something more going on.
Hair loss is the one of last things any man wants to deal with. Unfortunately, it’s a very common issue.
The good news is there are steps you may be able to take to prevent hair loss or even support regrowth.
Below we’ve covered some of the most common causes of hair loss in men to help gain a better understanding of what might be causing your own hair loss.
You’ll also find a list of ways to help prevent or disguise hair loss along with some tips for boosting hair growth.
Hair loss or alopecia can affect any part of the body, but you’re most likely to notice it (and be concerned about it) when it affects the hair on your head.
In many cases, hair loss develops gradually over time and often with age.
You may notice your hairline slowly receding or your hair becoming thinner overall. You may even develop bald patches or widespread hair loss on your scalp.
The most common cause of hair loss in men is androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness.
In men, this type of hair loss typically presents in a well-defined pattern that starts over both temples and recedes along the hairline in an “M” shape.
Alopecia areata. This is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the hair follicles, resulting in increased shedding.
Telogen effluvium. Sudden shock or extreme stress (such as severe illness, crash diets, major psychological stress, etc.) can push a high number of the hairs on your head from the growth phase into the resting phase, resulting in significant shedding about two months later.
Medical conditions. Hair loss can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as thyroid disease, alopecia areata, or even certain skin problems.
Nutritional deficiencies. Healthy hair starts with a healthy diet, so if you’re not getting the nutrients your body needs it could show in your hair. Hair loss can be caused by lack of protein in the diet.
Certain medications. Drugs used to treat cancer, arthritis, depression, and heart problems (including high blood pressure) sometimes come with hair loss as a side effect.
Hair loss can also be related to hormone changes, though this issue is more commonly seen in women.
Every case of hair loss is different, so your best bet is to talk to your healthcare provider to find out what’s going on.
Once you and your healthcare provider have a better understanding of the factors impacting your hair loss, you can start to discuss the treatment options.
Here are 7 ways to prevent, disguise, or reverse hair loss:
Hair loss is often a condition that develops gradually, so by the time you notice it, it has probably been happening for some time.
The best way to fight hair loss is to seek professional help from a licensed healthcare professional.
At the very least, your healthcare provider will be able to help you determine the underlying cause of your hair loss and discuss the treatment options with you.
Some of the most successful prescription treatments for hair loss in men include FDA-approved medications like minoxidil and finasteride.
Minoxidil is a topical solution that is thought to work in several ways, including helping boost blood flow to the scalp to improve hair growth.
Finasteride is an oral medication that works by reducing the levels of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) to help fight one of the most common causes of hair loss in men.
Healthy hair starts with a healthy diet. Your hair is primarily made up of protein filaments called keratin, so protein is an essential element in a hair-healthy diet.
Focus on lean proteins like poultry and fish - fish also has the added benefit of being rich in hair-supporting omega-3s.
Some of the other nutrients important for hair growth include:
A balanced diet built around whole grains, fresh veggies, and fruits should meet your daily needs for these nutrients.
If you’re concerned about nutritional deficiencies that might be impacting your hair, talk to your healthcare provider.
There is no conclusive evidence to suggest supplements marketed for hair growth deliver significant improvements, but if your hair loss is linked to a nutritional deficiency, supplements could help correct the issue.
Vitamin D for hair loss is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in essential biological functions.
Research shows that people who are deficient in this essential nutrient often display some degree of hair loss. For example, a 2014 study linked vitamin D deficiency to alopecia areata.
Biotin is another popular supplement marketed for hair. Though it isn’t an FDA-approved treatment for hair loss, there is some evidence to suggest it may promote healthy hair growth. Again, these benefits are most likely to be seen in people who are biotin deficient.
Stress is a major trigger for telogen effluvium, a common cause of sudden and significant hair loss. We get it - life is stressful - but there are simple things you can do to give your mind and body a break. You deserve it!
Take a moment to think about the things that trigger stress in your life and make note of how your body responds when you’re feeling stressed.
When you notice that reaction, step back and give yourself a little time to unwind.
Relaxation techniques like yoga, mindfulness meditation, and breathing exercises are excellent ways to relieve stress.
Exercise is a natural mood-booster as well — it helps reduce production of the stress hormone cortisol and increases endorphin production.
Major illness, severe infections, crash diets and other physical stressors to your body can also trigger this type of hair loss.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure you maintain good overall health and don’t skip out on those regular wellness check ins with your healthcare provider.
If you’re feeling unwell, attend to your symptoms and get yourself checked before what is ailing you has a chance to become severe.
If psychological stress is a severe and ongoing issue, you may want to talk to your healthcare provider about counseling or seek support from your friends and family.
If you’re struggling with hair loss, you’re most likely to notice increased shedding when you’re in the shower.
Washing your hair doesn’t increase hair loss, however. In fact, keeping your hair clean could protect against hair loss by keeping your scalp clean and healthy and preventing scalp conditions such as seborrheic dermatitis that are linked to hair loss.
Washing your hair with a mild shampoo helps keep the scalp clean of buildup which may help maintain healthy circulation for proper hair growth.
Each hair follicle on your head is connected to a sebaceous gland which produces a nourishing, moisturizing oil called sebum.
If, however, your sebaceous glands don't produce enough oil or you wash your hair too frequently, it could become dry and prone to damage or breakage.
Using hair oil may help keep your hair moisturized and certain oils have even been shown to support hair growth.
Tea tree oil for hair provides antibacterial and antifungal benefits — it may also be beneficial in treating dandruff.
There is also limited research to suggest it may boost the effectiveness of other hair loss treatments including minoxidil.
Coconut oil for hair has become extremely popular over the last decade for its health benefits, but did you know it’s good for your hair as well?
Numerous studies support the use of coconut oil to prevent hair damage by reducing protein loss.
Just know there isn’t sufficient scientific evidence to support the use of coconut oil to improve hair growth.
Argan oil for hair is produced from the kernels of the argan tree and it is commonly used in natural remedies for skin and hair concerns.
The benefits of argan oil for skin health are well supported by research regarding this treatment for hair growth is limited.
That being said, argan oil offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin which could carry over into hair health.
Unlike argan oil, rosemary oil for hair growth actually DOES have some scientific evidence to support its benefits for presenting hair loss.
In a 2015 study, rosemary oil was compared to minoxidil 2% as a six-month treatment for hair loss.
Researchers found that both treatments produced significant increases in hair growth and rosemary oil was less likely to cause itching than minoxidil.
Whether you’re trying to prevent hair loss or disguise it, changing up your hairstyle could help.
It’s important to be gentle with your hair to avoid damaging it or pulling it out. We recommend waiting until your hair has partially dried before combing it and, even then, use a wide-toothed comb to prevent unnecessary pulling.
We also recommend avoiding harsh treatments like flat irons and hot oil treatments that could traumatize your hair and scalp.
If you’ve developed a receding hairline or have hair loss on the crown of your head, simply changing the way you style your hair might help.
Comb your hair over the area you want to disguise. For significant hair thinning or hair loss, however, this style may simply make the problem more obvious.
Instead, you may want to try keeping your hair short or going clean shaven.
If you’re experiencing higher than normal hair loss, or have noticed in the mirror that your hair is thinning or your hairline is changing, you should talk to your healthcare provider.
Your healthcare provider will perform a physical exam and take a history of your symptoms to help determine the underlying cause of the issue. From there, you can discuss treatment options.
Another option is to complete an online consultation to receive a customized treatment plan featuring FDA-approved hair loss treatments.
No one wants to deal with hair loss but it’s an incredibly common problem. The good news is treatment options exist and they are easily accessible.
Talk to your healthcare provider or start a hair loss treatment online today.