How to hold your hair guys
If TV and movies are any guide, the popular image of male grooming is a quick daily shower that includes a brief attack on the hair with a dollop of no-frills foamy shampoo. It’s an attitude toward hair care that many have clung to, even as their skincare knowledge has transformed. Until their hair starts falling out.
“Too many men use too much shampoo,” says New York trichologist Bridgette Hill, “and most of them don’t use a quality product.” Instead, they lather up with a shampoo loaded with thickeners and sulfates. And because the scalp is an incubator for new hair, explains clinical medicine researcher Dr. Federica Amati, “these irritating chemicals can stress both the hair fiber and the pre-emerging fiber still in the scalp, affecting hair growth and thickness”.
According to American Hair Loss Association, about 66% of men will have experienced some hair loss by the age of 35. By age 50, noticeably finer hair will be the norm for 85% of men. Genetics, aging, and levels of hormones such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) all play a role.
âThe parabens and other plastics used in the synthetic fragrances of many hair lines act as endocrine disruptors,â Amati explains, âmeaning they impact the normal hormonal function of our body.â Some of the ingredients in everyday shampoos are âessentially those used in floor cleaners,â explains Tabitha James Kraanwhose Cotswolds Fair specializes in organic products. “Many times men think they have dandruff when it’s actually skin that is skinned, dry and flaky.”
Some brands promote gentle and nourishing ingredients. James Kraan’s range includes a perfume hair oil made with organic oils such as safflower and rosehip (Â£43). Venn’s Synbiotic Polyamine Shampoo (Â£49) deploys micro-bubbles to lift dirt and impurities, eliminating the need for detergent, and contains pre- and probiotics to cultivate a diversity of microbes.
Fall Guys: Six of the Best Products for Your Scalp
Retinols, which are part of a broader trend of âskin-ificationâ of the scalp â by treating it with treatments hitherto reserved for the face â are also appearing in hair products, intended to promote cell renewal. . Monpure’s Follicle Boost Hair Density Serum (Â£83) is one of many products introducing retinols to decongest the scalp and follicles. The serum also contains pumpkin seed extract, which inhibits the production of DHT. These “blockers” are often used in hair loss products, including FDA-approved, prescription-only oral treatments such as Propecia. But, warns Hill, it’s worth getting to the root of the problem before turning to DHT blockers. âWhat if the hair loss comes from something else? ” she says. âIt could be an imbalance of bacteria or stress; you have had a medical procedure or a high fever. Your skin may have coped with sulfates in your 20s, but excessive use over time can cause irritation. If you get something that specifically blocks DHT, you may be treating the bad condition entirely, disrupting the microbiome and causing more damage.
German aesthetic doctor Barbara Sturm, known for her line of anti-inflammatory facials, is now rolling out the celebrated ingredients in her skincare in her Hair and Scalp Molecular Collection. Hair goes through different phases – growth, transition, rest and shedding – she tells me, “and inflammation can interrupt the growth phase.” His Anti-hair loss collection contains actives present in ingredients such as camellia and larch extract, which work to lengthen the growth phase.
“Sturm’s new line is interesting,” says Hill, “because its philosophy is rooted around anti-inflammatory medicine.” She thinks it will work in a number of ways to “help nourish the hair follicle to encourage hair growth cycles to reset and build hair fiber strength.”
Another skin scientist bringing his expertise to hair care is Professor Augustinus Bader, who turned decades of research first into a healing gel and then into a revolutionary facial moisturizer. Bader’s hair care line, launched last fall, contains the same key ingredient as its skin care: TFC8, a blend of amino acids, vitamins and naturally synthesized molecules found in stem cells of the body. “It provides ingredients that influence skin cells and their gene expression…awakening our intrinsic ability to regrow hair,” says Bader.
Clinical trials of 105 men and women over 12 weeks found Scalp treatment (Â£62) increased hair shaft thickness by 370%. the Leave-in hair treatment (38lbs) increased shine by 330% and hair count by 31% over 12 weeks, numbers which Bader says may increase with prolonged use. american dermatologist Dr. Anetta Reszko recommends the range to his patients, having used it on his own hair. “After several weeks, I noticed a dramatic decrease in hair loss,” she says, “as well as an improvement in hair density.”
Bader has also launched a supplement, Hair conditioning complex ($125, currently only available in the US), designed to increase follicular blood supply. Elsewhere, British trichologist Philip Kingsley offers PK4 Soy Protein Boost (Â£26.50), which contains the full spectrum of amino acids – the building blocks of keratin, the protein that makes up hair. It is recommended for use with Kingsley’s Tricho Complex Supplement (Â£46), which includes a range of hair growth-focused trace vitamins and minerals.
Technique matters too. Ayurvedic hair brand Fable & Mane encourages men to indulge in an Indian head massage technique, rural. Focusing on the acupressure points along the head and neck, he uses the new SahaScalp Soothing Serum (Â£29), made with antioxidant amla berries. âMassage encourages blood circulation to bring more nutrients and oxygen to the scalp,â Hill explains.
“If men understood the power of a routine that takes care of their scalp, they could slow hair loss and even prevent it,” Sturm says. âThink of it like a garden. You can’t cultivate a paradise if you don’t cultivate the soil.