Male balding can be slowed with naturopathy, acupuncture and diet
Balding isn’t all in the head. Even though a completely natural ageing process, many men lose sleep over losing hair, believing it makes them less attractive. Male pattern baldness is commony thought to be irreversible, but it may be worth trying natural therapies before taking the plunge and shaving your head as a last resort.
The most popular over-the-counter treatment for androgenetic alopecia is topical minoxidil applied on areas on the scalp where hair is thinning. Accompanied by Finasteride, an oral medication, the combination is the go-to solution prescribed by trichologists to combat male pattern baldness. However, these remedies also have side effects. Those of Minoxidil include dizziness, acne, chest pain, rapid weight gain, irritation, scalp redness, and numbness or swelling of the joints. Finasteride is linked to sexual dysfunction and damage to both the liver and prostate.
ENCOURAGING HAIR GROWTH WITH ESSENTIAL OILS
Clinical aromatherapy tests indicate that essential oils in a laboratory setting can be used to rehabilitate terminal illnesses such as many types of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The Tisserand Institute, an online research centre headquartered in Prague, offers scientific insights on the benefits of essential oils in educational material. To avoid the side effects of both Minoxidil and Finasteride, the Tisserand Institute suggests stocking your medicine cabinet with rosemary essential oils instead.
A National Center for Biotechnology Information randomised comparative trial put the standard treatment to a test by comparing it with Rosemary essential oil. Half of the participants used a millilitre of a rosemary oil blended in a carrier oil mix of jojoba and grapeseed oil twice a day, while the other half used two per cent solution of Minoxidil. After six months, patients were evaluated by two dermatologists. The rosemary oil group saw significantly better results –– a greater increase in hair growth, significant decrease in hair loss and also less side effects. The study indicates that the effects may be due to the essential oil relaxing the muscles, promoting better blood flow to the follicles, in combination with its antioxidant properties.
Other essential oils proven to be beneficial for hair loss are thyme, lavender and cedarwood. Remember that most essential oils are highly concentrated, photosynthetic and can cause your skin to burn when applied directly, so mixing them in a base of a milder carrier like avocado, apricot kernel, coconut or argan oil is always advisable.
DERMAROLLING FOR DUDES
Enhance your follicle-boosting ritual with a Dermaroller. In vogue since last year as an anti-ageing tool and cellulite buster, the needles can also rehabilitate balding by stimulating the scalp’s wound-healing response. This can be especially effective around the hairline, making hair look fuller and thicker around your face, where hair loss can be the most noticeable.
Kerry Benjamin, aesthetician and founder at StackedSkincare, a popular vegan beauty label in LA, says. “The scalp loses collagen as we age, resulting in slow hair growth and dormant hair follicles that are susceptible to weakening. Weak hair follicles don’t grow long and strong hair. Microneedling increases collagen production for both the skin on your face and scalp. By microneedling the scalp, you drive any topical application deeper into the skin. A topical hair loss product combined with microneedling will aid greater production of collagen and strengthening of the hair follicle.” A study by the International Journal of Trichology found that patients who used microneedling in conjunction with traditional hair-loss therapies showed a greater improvement in hair regrowth after 12 weeks.
MEDITATION AND MAN BUNS
Look at Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa, or buff male yogis on Instagram, and you’ll notice that a beard, designer dhoti and Rudraksha beads is hot in men’s fashion this year. Many yogis are also sporting long, lush locks of hair.
LA-based Ayurveda and yoga therapist, Yogi Cameron, is equally well-known as 1990s supermodel Cameron Alborzian, who starred in Madonna’s Express Yourself music video.
Despite being in his fifties, the seemingly ageless guru has a lush, brunette mop of hair with no sign of receding. Alborzian believes that some asanas can improve blood circulation in the scalp which can stimulate hair growth. He says, “Headstands, shoulder stands and plough posture are especially beneficial as a yoga sequence because of the flow of energy and circulation which collects in the head region. Shavasana also helps lower blood pressure, nixing the stress that contributes to major hair loss.”
Most illnesses can be traced to the gut, and this is also the case with hair health. Alborzian says, “According to Ayurvedic medicine, the hair and nails are a byproduct of bone tissue, so having healthy hair has more to do with having healthy bone and bone marrow tissue than anything else. The bone is the storehouse of blood cells and vitamin D, so eating a diet of raw fruit and vegetables, together with ample grains, seeds and nuts will give bones the nutrition they need which will be reflected in healthy hair growth and skin elasticity.” He recommends Ayurvedic herbs like false daisy, Indian gooseberry or gotu kola as health supplements to prevent hair loss and promote growth.
As it is easier to slow hair loss than revive a hair follicle, Alborzian feels it is crucial to act quickly if you see signs of a receding hairline. “One of the worst habits that triggers hair fall is working in an artificial environment like the office, where you’re in artificial light and air conditioning. Speaking excessively on cell phones and using the computer causes the hair to get stressed and the skin to age much quicker. Spend time outdoors, live a natural lifestyle and see the difference it has on your hair quality,” he says.