Hair loss is a huge taboo subject so let’s deal with it head on… it can happen to all of us! Yes even you with a full head of thick, floppy hair, it could happen to you at some point. But with the stigma remaining in terms of receding, hair loss and complete baldness, there’s a lot of work to be done to encourage men to talk about these concerns.
Over 26% of UK men, surveyed in our Men’s Grooming Concerns survey sent out in March 2023, admitted that they were concerned about receding. 25.3% also shared that they were worrying about hair thinning; even more so than going completely bald at 15.6% of those surveyed. But why is it such a concern and what can be done to combat it?
What causes hair loss in men?
Male pattern baldness, also known as androgenic alopecia, is related to genetic makeup and levels of testosterone. It is common to start with receding of the hairline and thinning around the crown (the top back of the head) rather than complete baldness.
The process of losing hair can be triggered by lifestyle factors too including stress and weight loss. Let’s not forget it’s common to lose hairs every day so don’t fret about every strand, however if you notice abnormal hair loss we recommend contacting your local GP to check there’s nothing else going on.
Why the stigma?
Men’s concerns about going bald date back hundreds of years to the Roman era of Julius Caesar and his obsession with regaining his hair. There are even reports of searching for cures of hair loss dating back to Ancient Egypt and the Vikings.
In the 21st Century the worry and concern is linked to a loss of confidence in men who lose their hair, with it often affecting their perception of appearance and its links with the ageing process. However, in recent years notable celebrities including Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Jason Statham have embraced being bald and are helping to break down the stigma that bald is unattractive and ‘old’.
With the ever building peer pressure created by social media there are increasing relationships between men’s identities and their hair style defining their character. A huge 24.9% of those surveyed agreed that ‘the stigma associated with grooming/lack of grooming’ was the biggest external pressure about their grooming habits so how do we reduce this?
One step is to widen the education around coping with male grooming concerns and encouraging men to speak up and talk about it; something of which we hope to encourage right here today!
So, how can men react to any pressure surrounding their hair loss and how can they look to do this without losing their confidence and character?
How to style out hair loss
As heart breaking as it may be to those that love their mop of hair more than they love their partners (we’re not judging!) we’re all possibly going to experience hair loss at some point so let’s embrace it.
Our Barber Ambassador Nathaniel Dunn, Barber at Man About Town Barbershop, has rounded up his top tips on how to style your own hair when receding and thinning, what cut to ask your barber for and when’s the time to brave the head shave.
Change your cut!
One of the easiest ways to start adapting your style is to draw attention away from areas of receding or thinning by creating a graduated look of less hair.
“Ask your barber to go tighter on the sides with thinner hair to help build bulk on top. Skin Fades and Tapers will also draw attention away from a thinning area to help blend in with the rest of your style.”
Switch up your style
If a new trim by itself hasn’t given you the confidence boost you’re looking for then investing in new styling products can dramatically change the way your hair looks without breaking the bank.
“Volumising Powder is the ace of all products when it comes to adding thickness to thinner areas, especially the crown. But, if you’re not a fan of powder I recommend adding any Matt styling products to your hair whilst damp and blow drying it in. I find it helps to swell the hair follicle to give the appearance of a fuller head of hair. But, be careful anything too ‘wet’ can highlight the fineness so avoid gels and pomade in this instance!”
Brave the shave!
The time may come when enough is enough and it’s time to let go.
“Don’t be afraid to ask your barber when this is; a solid barber-client relationship relies on honesty and they’ll be best positioned to advise when it’s your time to let go. Premature shaving or elongating the decision is a common error that men can make so it’s best to get a second opinion before committing.”
The best way to start this process is head to a professional barber or hairdresser. They’ll be able not only to shave your head safely, evenly and minimise any irritation but they’ll also be able to advise on SPF protection and new skincare for your newly exposed scalp – avoiding a flaky and burnt scalp.
The long term fix?
Hair transplants. The preferred method of many a famous name including Jude Law, Wayne Rooney, Jimmy Carr and David Beckham in restoring their barnets to former glory. But, it comes with a cost in both time and cash… we’re talking up to £30,000 in the UK plus 18 months to see results depending on the extent of your hair loss. Yikes.
It’s worth noting that this method is not applicable to anyone suffering a medical condition that has caused the hair loss i.e Alopecia Areata.
But, if a permanent solution to regaining your hair is something you’re looking for there’s some advice here from the NHS.
And there you have it, four ways you can embrace and work with your receding hairline! Just remember we all might go through it guys so let’s break the embarrassment and chat about it with your mates – they might well be experiencing it one way or another!