What Is It?
Androgenetic Alopecia is a commonly found form of hair loss, in both men and women. In men, the condition is more colloquially known as male-pattern baldness. Hair tends to thin out over the crown and then recede, beginning with the hair above the temples. Over time, the hairline forms a characteristic “V” shape. This can go on to progress to partial or complete baldness.
More than 80% of men experience hair loss during their lifetimes, with one in four men affected by alopecia by the age of 30 (source). The condition is traced to hormonal sensitivity and is largely genetic, however, there are other factors that can lead to androgenetic alopecia, including diet. Persistent nutritional deficiencies and even emotional factors like elevated stress and anxiety can bring on hair loss. Conversely, you can ameliorate male-pattern baldness with a natural diet and improved lifestyle choices. Foods rich in antioxidants help fight cell damage, while those with anti-inflammatory properties can help prevent follicle destruction. A balanced protein and vitamin intake nourishes your scalp and strands.
What Is the Ideal Androgenetic Alopecia Diet?
Eggs are one of the single greatest sources of protein available to us, which is critical to preventing hair loss. Very low protein intake can affect normal hair regrowth and lead to loss. It’s also a good way to avoid consuming a lot of red meat, which builds cholesterol and is detrimental to hair and bodily health. Eggs are also rich in vitamins and nutrients like biotin and zinc, respectively, which are good for your hair.
Fruits like oranges, berries, and grapes are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. These help protect your hair follicles. Vitamin C helps improve iron absorption to produce more collagen, which is vital for building hair proteins.
Oats and Walnuts
Oats are loaded with fiber that helps improve digestion and absorption. Together with walnuts, they also contain essential nutrients like zinc, iron, and omega-6 fatty acids in abundance, helping maintain normal hair and skin development. These ought to be a part of your androgenetic alopecia diet or a part of your diet in general.
Greens are an indispensable part of a natural diet for male pattern baldness. Spinach, kale, collards, and other similar leafy greens are packed with nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and more that help fight hair loss. Carrots are a great source of vitamin A too, which is excellent for nourishing the scalp. If you’re particularly low on zinc, add some prunes into your diet to replenish your reserves.
Fishes like salmon, tuna, shrimp, seabass, and mackerel are rich in essential fatty acids like omega-3. They’re also a great source of protein and vitamins B and D and should be a part of your diet to fight androgenetic alopecia.
Do I Have Alopecia?
This question haunts most men who can’t narrow down the guilty party behind all their hair loss. As always, the best person to answer this question is a qualified doctor; however, it doesn’t hurt to stay informed about the common causes of hair loss. It’s worth remembering that not all hair fall is synonymous with alopecia, and self-diagnosing can do more harm than good.
Here are some other common causes of hair loss:
Even if you don’t have androgenetic alopecia and you worked to incorporate the best diet to prevent male pattern baldness, you may still experience hair loss due to genetic factors. If you’ve inherited a certain gene from your parents, you could be vulnerable to this condition. This is hard to reverse, although there’s still medication out there that can help slow down hair loss and even promote regrowth.
There’s another form of alopecia known as alopecia areata, while it sounds similar to androgenetic alopecia, its effects are quite distinct. Alopecia areata occurs when the body’s own immune cells begin attacking hair follicles, leading to heavy amounts of hair fall. This can occur almost anywhere on the body, including the nose, ears, head, and even body hair. Luckily, treatment can help the hair grow back.
Diets for androgenetic alopecia don’t account for the physical stress that’s brought on hair follicles when men use headgear and hair products for extended amounts of time. If you’ve got long hair, pulling it back and keeping it in a tight bun can cause significant lasting damage to your hair, making it extremely difficult to grow back.
The best way to avoid this type of hair fall is to make immediate lifestyle changes. If you’re a biker, use helmets that don’t pull on the hair as tightly, and if you’re someone who likes to keep their hair tied back, it would probably be a good idea to go easy for a while.
With the high amounts of pollutants and infectious pathogens flying around, it’s not hard to find yourself with a scalp infection. Both infections and male pattern baldness can creep in even if you’ve got a natural diet. Scalp infections are usually distinguished by the spotted and discolored areas on the scalp, they can appear as yellow or red patches. Scalp infections don’t routinely lead to hair loss for everyone, but can play a significant role in it at times. The good news here is that once the infection has been treated, the hair does tend to grow back. A healthy diet for androgenetic alopecia and scalp conditions can help lessen the severity of symptoms.
Another common scalp condition that people suffer from is psoriasis. Scalp psoriasis is easily spotted by the dry, white flakes on the scalp. They can form incredibly itchy spots on the scalp and are hard to treat without the help of dermatologic shampoo. If you suspect you have psoriasis, it’s always a good call to head to the doctor and get professional advice on the course of treatment. Using the wrong shampoo here can make your condition worse.
Yep, you read that right. Not all poisonings are instantly fatal. Due to the prevalence of pollution and high levels of contaminants in our food and water, it’s incredibly easy to slowly poison your body over the course of multiple years. Insufficiently purified water can contain dangerous levels of fluoride and arsenic, among other chemicals. Ingesting these can lead to severe hair loss.
Treating poisonings isn’t as easy as jumping into a healthier diet for androgenetic alopecia. Diagnosing this particular form of hair loss is incredibly difficult without a toxicology screening, so when in doubt, it’s best to head to the nearest doctor.
Treating Androgenetic Alopecia
When it comes to androgenetic alopecia, diets are just the tip of the iceberg. Even if there’s no real way to prevent male pattern baldness from occurring, there are many avenues open for men who would like to slow it down or change the way they look.
- Medication: Natural diets can only do so much for male pattern baldness. Thankfully, there are medications available that can slow down the onset of male pattern baldness and give you more time with your natural head of hair. These include medications like Rogaine and Finasteride. Minoxidil can slow down hair loss, and for some men, even stimulate the growth of newer hair follicles. It takes about a year to see results though, so you’re going to have to be patient.
As easy as medication might sound, options like Rogaine and Finasteride come with their own suite of disadvantages, and should never be taken without the advice of a trained professional. The biggest downside here is that if you happen to stop taking Minoxidil, you’ll also end up losing all the hair you grew back, even if you’re following the strictest androgenetic alopecia diet. Additionally, there’s also a host of side effects that come with these medications, including erectile dysfunction.
- Transplants: Transplants are a popular route taken by many men dealing with androgenetic alopecia. The reason for the popularity of transplants is the fact that it gives men hair that looks natural, healthy, and much more permanent than what they’d get with Minoxidil.
This treatment is far more invasive than the others on the market, and involves multiple treatments to obtain a full head of hair. The biggest downside to this is the cost involved, which might not be affordable for everyone with the condition. With steady advancements in technology and healthcare, the cost of a hair transplant is expected to fall eventually.
- Getting Creative: The cheapest option to deal with male pattern baldness, along with a natural diet, is to get creative! Supplement your androgenetic alopecia diet with clever hairstyles. Talk to your barber about getting shorter cuts that’ll bring out a more confident side of you. If you’d like to avoid cutting off too much hair, there’s also certain comb overs that might hide the hair loss in the short term. That said, it’s almost always better to rock a shorter cut and roll with the punches.
Another clever way of managing hair loss is to get a wig. While there’s a certain stigma attached to the idea of using wigs, it’s fast being dismantled as we move towards a more inclusive notion of beauty standards. There’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to wigs, and you might even find one that you’ll absolutely love!
Whether it’s a diet or transplant, there are a lot of ways to deal with androgenetic alopecia, and the biggest constraint people face between picking one of these available options is finances. Before you decide on a course of action, make sure you’ve talked it through with your doctor first.
Can You Prevent It?
There’s no real way of preventing androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, natural diet or otherwise. Since the factors behind it are mostly genetic, if you happen to have inherited that particular gene, chances are you will probably have to face it sooner or later. Interestingly, there are certain theories that stress can play a role in triggering hair loss. If you’re someone who leads a busy and stressful lifestyle, it might be worth trying to manage your stress through relaxing activities by scheduling out time to go for a walk, reading, or even playing video games.
Fighting Hair Loss
Hair loss can often dent one’s confidence and self-image, but it’s important to remember that it’s not inevitable. There are some steps you can take to delay male-pattern baldness, and a healthy diet for androgenetic alopecia is foremost among them. If you want a more potent and faster-acting remedy, you should consider incorporating dietary supplements into your routine. Howdy Handsome’s Hair Enhancement biotin gummies are cherry-flavored chews that contain a unique mix of 11 hand-picked ingredients capable of restoring healthy hair growth. Write to us with any questions you have. Keep tuning in to our blog for more tips and suggestions for men’s health.