Confused as to what to do about thinning hair? The good news is there are more options than ever. Rogaine comes in a very easily applicable foam… if you’re willing to fork over $40 a month for the rest of your natural life. There’s also Propecia, which has shown amazing results not just at maintaining, but also at regrowth. But again, it’s a lifetime commitment and some guys just aren’t comfortable taking a pill every day. And then of course there’s the big move…. shaving it down. Lately, you see guys everywhere owning this look, from celebrities to friends to co-workers.
So what’s best for you? Here are some things to consider in the great battle against hair loss:
1. How Old Are You?
If you’re a young man in his twenties and you’re starting to see signs of balding, there’s no reason to hesitate. Take the plunge and buy the Rogaine, and even consider getting a prescription to Propecia. There’s an inverse graph to be had here, which is: the older you are, the less you really need to be concerned about losing hair. When Bruce Willis “came out” in Pulp Fiction, it worked because the look was age appropriate – he was playing an aging boxer with a little wear on the tires. He didn’t just make the look acceptable, he owned it — a true pioneer. But that same look might not play on a 20 year old. You have to take your age into consideration. For the most part, if you’re young, just starting to lose your hair, and have plenty to maintain or even regrow, consider using the products.
2. How’s Your Head Shape?
Statham. Willis. Stewart. Those are some fine noggins. How’s yours? Unfortunately, this is a double-edged razor of a question because you won’t know until you shave it. But in every balding man’s life, there will be that day, that decisive day, when you stand before the mirror with the clippers and you shave it down. And on that day, the lord shall stateth whether you can get away with being a close-cropped baldly for the rest of your life. Men of a darker persuasion have a serious leg up in this department. Tan is always better on a bald pate. Tip: when you do decide to find out the shape of your dome, don’t go all Dr. Evil nude on it. The flat-razor shave is a look that’s ridiculously hard to pull off. Instead, set your razort at 1/8 or even 1/16 and give that a whirl. A little stubble goes a long way.
3. Don’t Know What You Got ‘Til It’s Gone
If you’re the kind of guy who says I’ll wait and see how bad this gets before I make a decision, you’re in for a rude awakening. Being lazy is the absolute worst thing you can do with thinning hair, because every day matters. It’s far easier to maintain than regrow with these products. To be clear: almost everyone can slow their hair loss with Rogaine and Propecia. Very few will regrow it once it’s gone. So ask yourself the hard question up front: am I okay going bald? If you are, fine. If you aren’t, don’t procrastinate. Foam up.
4. Does Your Significant Other Care?
It’s far easier to pull off the chrome-dome look when you’ve got someone like Rosie-Huntington Whitely by your side. The world inverts, and you suddenly are the coolest guy in the room.
5. Hair Transplants Are Not an Option
Like they say, “How would you know if you’ve ever seen a good hair transplant?” For some, if you have the money and you want to take the risk, a transplant is an option. But the risks are extraordinary. Even if you come out of the procedure happy with what you look like, it’s only a temporary solution. Don’t be fooled by the Bosley Institute or any of these others, especially if you are young (20s-early 30s). They can give you nice looking hair density for a little while, but eventually all your other thinning hair will fall out around the plugs — leaving you with only the implants. The resulting Barbie-doll look is possibly worse and harder on your self-esteem than going bald. Don’t do it, at least not when you’re young. Until your balding pattern has settled down, and you are closer to your 30s or 40s, you simply can’t predict how your hair loss is going to play out. Transplants are a brutal option, whereas Rogaine and Propecia offer legitimate methods of retaining what you have.
6. No Hair, No Worries
Until you’ve experienced the absolutely carefree feeling of having a shaved head, you can’t explain it. You feel free, ready for battle, ready for anything. Your prep time is literally 1 minute. Sure, there is the weekly shave, as you’ll likely start to look a little spikey if you let it grow longer than 5-7 days, but that’s a minor inconvenience. Get yourself a pair of Braun clippers, pick your setting, and just run that mini-mower over your cranial lawn for about 10 minutes and you’re good to go. 10 minutes, once every five days. Bonus: Winter time. Sliding your head into a ski cap is like turning yourself into melted butter and dripping yourself over a loaf of warm bread.
7. The Look of The Future
In our fathers and grandfathers day it would have seemed odd. Today, you can’t go a few blocks without seeing a guy sporting a shaved head.
8. Comb Over
Are you really going to do the comb-over before the shaved head? A choice between these two ain’t no choice at all.
9. Cover Ups
There’s a product out there called Toppik, and it’s big in Hollywood. For a patch-up job, cover-ups like this one can actually get the job done. Movie stars use it all the time on their thinning hair (we’re looking at you, Travolta, Dennis Miller). But what a mess. You sprinkle this stuff on like powder sugar on French toast, and somehow, using magnetically charged or static charged technology, it clings to your hair blades and creates the illusion of a full head of hair. If it’s your wedding, or some big event, and you want something to make you look a little less bald for a couple hours, you can try some kind of cover-up. But it’s no long term solution.
10. Slick It Back
You can get away with this if you have blonde or even gray hair, and it’ll provide you with a nice solution for awhile. It’s not quite a comb-over, it’s more like a comb-back. Jack Nicholson has been making this look work for decades.
In the end of the day, it’s all about confidence. What kind of guy are you? Are you more confident by going natural, either with a slick-back to cover the balding area, or a simple head shave? Then do that. Or is your hair your shield, and you can’t imagine a life without it? Then use the products. Rogaine alone will do a pretty good job of maintaining your current thinning hair for a long time. Rogaine and Propceia will almost guarantee that you will maintain and possibly see some nice regrowth. If you’re a young dad wrestling with these issues, just make a decision and move on. But remember, eventually, father time catches up to all follicles.