When is the last time you changed the way you style your hair?
If you really think about it, you may realize that it has been years – even decades – since you made any significant changes to your hairstyle. For many men, a change of style becomes a necessity resulting from hair loss. What you may not realize, however, is that the way you style your hair could make your hair loss more noticeable – it might even make it worse!
Fortunately, there are some simple styling choices you can make to slow your rate of hair loss and to make your hair look more thick and full luscious in the meantime.
Simple Styling Tips to Slow and Disguise Hair Loss
Even if you are undergoing treatment for your hair loss, it will take time for that treatment to be effective. Finasteride, also known by the brand name Propecia, is one of the most effective treatments for hair loss but it needs to be used consistently for at least three months before you see a noticeable difference. In the meantime, being conscious of your styling habits may help to slow your current hair loss or, at the very least, make it less noticeable.
Here are our recommendations for the top six styling tips to reduce or disguise hair loss:
Tip #1: Go Easy on Your Hair
The tools and products you use in your hair can have an impact not only on its appearance, but also on your rate of hair loss. The best brush for thinning hair is one that won’t pull or tug on your hair but will still give it a little lift at the roots. A round bristle brush is a great option, especially one that combines long and short bristles – look for a brush one made with natural boar bristles to minimize damage.
In addition to using the right brush, you need to be smart about how you treat your hair. Avoid excessive brushing and be gentle when you towel-dry your hair. If you must comb your hair while it is wet, use a wide-toothed comb to avoid pulling on your hair.
Tip #2: Choose Your Hair Products Carefully
Being smart about the products you use in your hair can not only make your hair look better now, but it can slow your hair loss for the future. Avoid products made with sulfates because they break down the natural oils that keep your hair shiny and smooth. Preservatives like formaldehyde and parabens are best avoided, as are harsh fragrances and alcohols. Look for products that are made with natural ingredients to moisturize and protect your hair.
Tip #3: Keep it Cut Short
When you start losing your hair, your first instinct may be to keep the hair you have for as long as possible. The reality is, however, that shorter hairstyles can make your hair look healthier and more voluminous. To maximize the volumizing effects of a shorter hairstyle, have your stylist incorporate some interior layers as well. This is a technique in which the stylist takes vertical sections of the hair and makes an angled cut from front to back.
Tip #4: Change the Direction of Your Part
Changing your hairstyle once in a while is good for your hair. The longer you keep your part in the same place, the more your hair gets used to falling in that direction and that may prevent the roots from getting any fresh air. If you use a blow dryer to part your hair, it also means that the top layer of hair may suffer from heat damage, leaving you with dry spots that become prone to brittleness and breakage.
To try out a new part, brush your hair backward from the hairline and let it fall naturally. Notice which way the hair settles and make that your new part but avoid a center part - this is a hard look to pull off. If you have a cowlick, you may want to work with it rather than against it. Another option is to simply move your regular part a half inch or so to one side.
Tip #5: Blow-Dry for Volume
Though heat damage can cause your hair to dry out, making it more prone to breakage, the proper application of heat can actually give thinning hair a more voluminous appearance. The key is to divide your hair into segments so none of your hair is exposed to the heat for too long. You’ll also want to use a diffuser to spread the heated air over a wider area and dry your hair from root to tip for maximum volume. Here’s how to properly blow out your hair:
- Work with your hair one section at a time, dividing it into the following sections:
- The forehead (your hairline)
- The center top of the head
- The crown, or back of the top of the head
- The right side of your head
- The left side of your head
- The back of the head (crown to nape)
In addition to following these steps to blow out your hair, you may want to apply a heat-protective product to your hair as well. We also recommend blow-drying your hair no more than three or four times per week – give your hair a rest day in between blow-outs.
Tip #6: Grow Out Your Facial Hair
If you are self-conscious about the lack of hair on your head, think about growing out your facial hair. Though there is certainly something to be said for a clean-shaven look, a neatly groomed beard can transform your appearance and give you a boost of confidence. It may also distract from the thinning hair on your head.
A recent study published by the Office of the Journal of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society revealed that the perception of a man’s masculinity (as reported by adult women) increases along with the amount of facial hair he has. The study also revealed that the most attractive style of facial hair is heavy stubble.
Bonus Tip: Scalp Massage
There is something soothing about a scalp massage but, performed regularly, it could do more than just help you destress – it could stimulate hair growth as well. According to the results of a Japanese study, regular scalp massage boosts circulation to the hair follicles which may boost hair growth and increase hair thickness over time.
To reap the benefits of scalp massage for yourself, follow these steps:
- Sit comfortably in your favorite chair.
- Place the fingertips of both hands on your scalp, crossing them slightly.
- Apply firm pressure with your fingertips, moving them in a circular motion.
- Massage each spot for 1 to 2 seconds, slowly moving your fingers backward from your hairline to the nape of your neck.
- Repeat the process on both sides of your head until you’ve covered the entire scalp.
To maximize the benefits of scalp massage, you should plan to spend about 5 minutes a day massaging your scalp. According to the previously mentioned study, daily scalp massage has the potential to improve the thickness of your hair when practiced continually for 24 weeks.
Just because your hair is thinning doesn’t mean you have to be ashamed of your appearance. By incorporating a few simple styling tips you can disguise your hair loss while giving your treatment time to do its job. Whether you choose to rock a new ‘do or simply change your styling habits, sport your new look with confidence!