If there is one thing that unites us past all differences, it is that we all want beautiful and healthy hair.
Just like our clothes reflect how we wish to present ourselves; hair truly allows for a great impression and it is our business to be proactive with hair care.
Hair loss is one of the most common problems faced by people around the globe. So how to prevent hair loss for black men?
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Losing hair can feel like it hits you like a truck out of nowhere.
One day you are chilling with a great head of hair; the next, your house is riddled with hair strands.
The fact is hair loss is a natural part of aging, this does not suggest you cannot slow it down.
Meaning, you need to begin caring for your hair and notice the signs you missed before. It is now time to take charge to bring back what was once lost and to lose no more.
WHAT CAUSES HAIR LOSS OR THINNING
Hair loss is a normal and natural occurrence. So, there’s no need to worry over a few strands falling off. It is important to keep track of the rate at which you are losing hair.
The causes could be many including dietary intake, mineral deficiency, medications you consume, stress, pollution exposure as well as genetic roots.
There are a variety of things you can do to prevent hair loss but the strategy you choose would depend on what is causing the problem for you.
How To Prevent Hair Loss For Black Men
What you eat has a direct impact on the health of your hair. By introducing nutrient-rich foods into your diet, simultaneously avoiding those that only cause you harm—you can influence the thickness, growth and the rate of shedding of your hair. It is time to get to the root of the issue, pun intended.
First, you and I need to know what nutrients specifically allow an environment of healthy hair. Let us take a look at the nutrients that encourage hair growth:
- Biotin: a variety of vitamin B that helps strengthen and grow hair.
- Vitamin D: it allows for the stimulation of hair follicles that may have become dormant over the years.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: their anti-inflammatory properties counteract any hair shedding that may be triggered by an inflammatory reaction.
- Vitamin E: the oxidative stress in the scalp can be reversed by the potent antioxidant activity of Vitamin E. This type of stress is known to be associated with alopecia.
- Iron: Iron deficiency has been linked to hair loss.
- Vitamin C: it allows your body to absorb iron fairly easily.
Some foods are scientifically proven to help your hair that also include the nutrients mentioned above.
Almond butter: This contains a large variety of nutrients— like protein, healthy fats, and certain vitamins including vitamin E.
Tangerines: Tangerines contain vitamin C. This makes it easier for your body to absorb iron, which gives your hair strength.
Salmon: The benefits of Salmon affect your hair in a big way, it is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have a number of health benefits. Omega 3s are known to be anti-inflammatory and will be your best bet if your hair loss is triggered by inflammation, as is for many.
Eggs: Chocked full of protein and essential nutrients, eggs contribute to hair health. They include nutrients such as choline and vitamins A, D, and B12. Lutein and Zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in eggs that play an important role in keeping cellular health, especially for your hair. Eggs are a great source of biotin and vitamin D, which helps hair grow and strengthen.
Carrots: The beta-carotene in Carrots protects against dry hair and stimulates the glands in our scalp to produce sebum. This along with Vitamin A and E, also present in carrots, allows hair growth and makes the roots of your hair much stronger.
One of the most important things to keep in mind and notably the easiest way to promote hair health is to keep hydrated.
Drinking enough water helps energize and support hair growth from root to tip. It also helps fosters a healthier scalp.
You will have fewer chances of developing problems like dryness, itchiness, or dandruff. Hydration can prevent split ends and a brittle hair texture that results in hair loss.
Your hair shaft comprises 25% of water, it goes without saying that replenishing the water we lose throughout the day is essential.
Foods to avoid include –
Swordfish: these have high levels of mercury which may be linked to hair loss.
Sugar: it hurts your health by speeding up hair loss. Sugar hinders the absorption of protein which is essential for hair development.
Alcohol: lessen your alcohol consumption as drinking alcohol reduces hair growth. Alcohol is known to slow the levels of zinc in your body.
Zinc is an important mineral for healthy hair and growth. Drinking alcohol also dehydrates your body, which will make your hair more brittle and susceptible to breakage and shedding.
Avoid smoking. Cigarettes reduce the amount of blood that flows to the scalp and this causes reduction in hair growth.
Take Care of your Hair
It is imperative that we keep our hair and particularly the scalp clean and healthy.
You can do this by washing the roots with organic shampoos that are free of harsh chemicals that can strip your hair of moisture and essential nutrients.
Cleansing your scalp will remove all the dirt and product that might be clogging the follicles causing it to suffocate. Allow your scalp to breathe so it can produce new and healthy hair. I know we like to wet our hair almost every shower we take.
It is easy for most of us men, who have short hair but keep in mind to not use a shampoo every time you do so this will strip your hair of all the healthy naturally produced oils.
This will inevitably cause your roots to lose strength and your hair to be prone to breakage and shedding.
Using essential oils on your scalp can keep it moisturized and strengthen your roots. It is especially beneficial in case you suffer from dry scalp.
Oils such as lavender or rosemary, when applied to your scalp and hair promotes hair growth. Lavender oil has been shown to be successful in helping treat thinning hair.
Massage the scalp for a few minutes while applying the oil, this will promote circulation to your hair follicles providing them all the important nutrients it requires.
Avoid using fine-tooth combs entirely. There is no need for Black men with natural hair to use such combs to style hair. These are aggressive to black hair and cause breakage and stress to the roots. In regard to cleaning and untangling your curls, you can use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently detangle.
Wearing caps, hats or helmets that cause friction throughout the day could also be another common reason for loss of hair in men. This is not to say Durags cause hair fall, in fact the use of durags while sleeping prevent hair breakage as most durags are made of satin or silk materials which cause minimal friction.
Keep your head sweat free. Men with oily hair experience dandruff due to sweating which will increase your chances of hair fall. Use shampoos that have ingredients such as aloe vera and neem. These can help keep the head cool and prevent it from developing dandruff.
During summers, men who wear helmets often experience major hair loss. The sweat that accumulates in the pores, weakens hair roots.
This ends up causing hair loss. So, wearing a scarf or bandanna over your hair or a terry cloth
headband can prevent hair loss.
Excessive Itching is important to note. The condition of your Scalp as well as certain disorders can be the cause for partial hair loss.
Even though issues like dry scalp, dandruff, eczema and dermatitis are not always the root cause of hair loss but the subsequent itchiness can lead to excessive scratching. This will lead to damage of the scalp and the hair follicles.
This inevitably results in partial hair loss.
These conditions are all treatable and can be easily managed by using the right products.
You must avoid products that contain Sulphates and SLS since these are the major ingredients that strip your hair of its natural oils. This further causes your hair and scalp to dry out.
Hair Styling Practices
Most often the balding may be concentrated in specific areas such as the frame of your hair.
This can be confusing but the simple answer for this type of receding hairline can be the hairstyles you have been choosing.
Tight braids or simply pulling back your hair into tight buns or styles can become more harmful to hair health than protective. You must loosen up your hair. Hairstyles that are too tight and pull or tug at your hair follicles can eventually cause baldness.
This is a very common issue faced by many black men across the globe also known as Traction Alopecia.
Traction Alopecia can happen to any person at any age. This occurs when tight braids or extensions tug at the natural hair.
This causes hair to weaken and break. Usually, the effects are to the hairline just above the forehead and, in some cases, the sides of the hairline.
This is where the hair is most fragile and of a finer texture.
In the initial stages, traction alopecia can be reversible but prolonged tension will destroy the follicles of your hair, which will inevitably prevent any possibility of new growth of hair. It can also lead to folliculitis.
This means the balding cannot be reversed. In moderate cases, if the tension or the braids are removed, it can take anywhere between three months to a year for hair to grow back.
In addition to the facts mentioned above there are various products that may help prevent or curb the hair loss you have been facing.
Using products that are directly aimed for our community is the best way to go. Black hair requires care different from most hair care products displayed in the mainstream as they do not aim at the requirement of our textured, kinky curls.
Just like you would care for your health you must care for your hair and trust me your hair will thank you for it with volume, shine, bounce and more!
It is time for us to flip the script. No longer will you be suffering from it but now will be defeating hair loss.
Using the Right Shampoo
Baebody Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
This shampoo helps rid hair and scalp of impurities and restores natural luster. It prevents Dandruff, Dry Hair and Itchy Scalp, which are directly related to hair shedding.
Tea Tree Oil is nature’s calming and healing agent, known for its cleaning properties. It’s an essential oil that aids in keeping your hair and scalp healthy, removing buildup.
The product includes natural ingredients like hyaluronic acid, retinol, argan oil, activated charcoal and tea tree oil.
Lipogaine Big 5 Hair Stimulating Shampoo
This product uses natural ingredients aiming to stimulate hair growth. It is free of harsh chemicals.
The properties of the shampoo strengthen & nourish hair and help prevent hair thinning & hair breaking.
This includes a proprietary blend of Biotin, Caffeine, Argan Oil, Castor oil and Saw Palmetto and other DHT blockers that help in preventing hair loss and thinning.
Condition Your Hair
PURA D’OR Biotin Deep Moisturizing Conditioner
This hair conditioner is a blessing for dry, damaged and frizzy hair. It is made with Argan Oil, Pumpkin, Rosemary, Honeysuckle and Vitamin E.
Aims to thicken, soften, smoothen and moisturize, preventing hair loss and breakage. This includes a moisturizing Aloe Vera formula which replaces H2O.
SheaMoisture Hydrate & Repair Conditioner
A rinse-out conditioner that softens, detangles and infuses damaged hair with intensive moisture for hair repair.
Made with Manuka Honey, Yogurt Extract, Mafura Oil, these allow damaged hair treatment and conditions curly hair leaving it stronger and more resilient.
Use Hair Oils
Coconut oil: This is the best oil to use keeping in mind its high moisturizing effects. It is known to prevent hair damage from grooming and protects from ultraviolet (UV) light exposure. Coconut oil contains Lauric acid.
It helps bind protein in hair, protecting the root and strand from breakage. Massaging coconut oil into the scalp may promote better blood flow and help with regrowth.
Olive oil: It strengthens hair by penetrating the hair shaft and preserving moisture. It can be used to deep condition hair.
Applying olive oil directly to hair and letting it sit for 30 minutes before washing out protects it from dryness and associated breakage.
Hair is such a large part of one’s appearance that it comes as no shock that innovations in this regard have been fast and frequent.
Today, there are sophisticated techniques to restore the receding hairline and bring back the glow of youth. Hair transplantation is the only permanent solution to the problem of hair loss.
Since being first performed in 1952, the process has come a long way with efficiency and a high success rate.
The procedure includes transplanting hair follicles from the back of one’s head to the front where the balding is prevalent.
It is proved that the hair at the back of the head is not susceptible to the aggressive and rampant balding process and hence can continue growing after being transplanted.
The procedure of hair transplantation in Black demographics is highly successful. The success rate can be estimated to exceed 90% in Black men.
You may have noticed that most, if not all, of the advertisements for hair transplantation are not aimed at our community.
Due to this, most hair loss sufferers and clinicians are given the impression that this procedure is not for us. This could not be further from the truth.
Transplanting Black hair, which is naturally coarse and curly would easily appear to be of greater density and volume. This in fact, would be the ideal situation.
When to see a doctor
Consider making an appointment to see your doctor if you have been experiencing sudden or extreme hair loss.
In case you notice that the hair loss is persistent, consult a profession. If your consistency with the previously recommended solutions has not shown any response, there must be a more serious underlying cause.
Your healthcare provider may be able to diagnose if your hair loss is caused by factors like thyroid issues, stress, scalp infections, androgenic alopecia, or simply aging.
If unfortunately, your hair loss is genetic there are prescription medications that can help you such as finasteride and minoxidil, which will help in slowing down the balding process and stabilizing hair loss for men.
Consult a doctor to find the best treatment suited for your case.
Most of the solutions on how black men can prevent hair loss are already near at hand. Any and all of the recommended solutions mentioned here are easy to pick up and start with.
Once you begin the process step by step, you will start to find yourself slowing down on your way to Bald City. You may be able to stop the loss altogether with proper maintenance, consistency and care.
Do not forget that we are all allowed to lose a couple of strands, make mistakes and yet can always rock it!
Keep in mind that any treatment you use may take anywhere from six months to a year to show improvement on areas where hair loss has already occurred. Be consistent with your hair care solutions for the desired results.