As time passes by and we begin to age, our bodies have no choice but to age with us.
Along with a beer belly and aching joints, for most men a receding hairline is one of the most dreaded signs of maturing. Unfortunately, the statistics don’t look all that hopeful…
The American Hair Loss Association states:
“By the age of thirty-five, two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss, and by the age of fifty, approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair.”
Whilst some men aren’t too bothered by a little hair loss, for others it can be damaging to their self esteem.
A receding hairline occurs when strong hairs are gradually replaced by tiny see through vellus hairs. The process can creep up on you if you’re not careful, and can progress to full on baldness if you don’t take action…
Can a Receding Hairline be Stopped?
Thankfully, the odds can be beaten.
Many men have been able to reverse a receding hairline and regain their youthful, flowing locks.
It is achieved by simply reactivating the vellus hair follicles that have been miniaturized. The vellus hairs can sometimes be tricky to spot, and only show up in certain light. When reactivated, they become larger and regain their usual colour.
The reactivation process involves reconnecting the follicles to their nutrient supply and then protecting the hair from the negative impact of DHT (a steroid hormone produced in the body), calcification and free radicals.
How to Prevent and Reverse a Receding Hairline
There are a number of techniques that you can use to protect your self against a receding hairline, and reverse the process if it does occur. We highly recommend using a combination of the below treatments to ensure the best results.
1. Clear the pores in the scalp
To protect your scalp and nourish your hair, your body naturally secretes oil called sebum through the skin on your head. If you’re not careful, sebum can combine with pollutants, hair products and dead skin cells to produce a layer of plaque that embeds itself into the scalp.
This plaque can clog the pores of your skin and prevent the proper growth of hair.
Although removing the layer of plaque is not always easy, it can be done. Once the plaque is cleared, the hair follicles can grow freely once again.
Some people have success using an aloe vera based shampoo and conditioner, which is thought help bring the plaque to the surface and then break it down.
Taking a morning shower may also help. A Japanese study showed that those who showered in the morning had less plaque build up and sebum production throughout the rest of the day.
Performing regular scalp massages with herbs have also worked for many men. Concoctions of rosemary and nettle can help to reduce the secretion of sebum and reduce any excess plaque and oils.
2. Up your intake of specific amino acids
Our hairs are made up of two main structural proteins – keratin and collagen.
Keratin is the fibrous protein that makes up the bulk of the hair shaft. It is also found in our skin and nails. Collagen helps to maintain the strength of the hair, and is involved in the growth process.
Proteins are essentially made from chains of amino acids, which are joined together by peptide bonds. We produce some amino acids in our bodies, but others we must get through our diet.
Many people suffering from a receding hairline have seen success by including foods (or taking supplements) that contain high amounts of the amino acids that make up the proteins keratin and collagen. It is thought that these amino acids can improve the structural integrity of hair follicles, and promote faster growth.
Keratin requires four key amino acids: methionine, lysine, cysteine, and arginine. To produce collagen, the body needs methionine, lysine, glycine and proline.
Methionine and lysine are ranked as essential amino acids, meaning that our bodies cannot produce them and they must be obtained from food. The body can create the other amino acids, but it may still be worth upping your dietary intake to be on the safe side.
Methionine acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect hair follicles from free radical damage and oxidation. It is also essential for the production of the precursor to collagen, called pro-collagen. It is readily available in leafy greens, seeds, broccoli, and nuts
Lysine is the other essential amino acid helps to repair damaged hair. It stimulates collagen growth and helps to maintain the health of hair follicles. Lysine is found in pulses, legumes, spirulina, nuts and seeds.
Cysteine is involved in the production of antioxidants and helps to build keratin. It is commonly found in leafy greens, legumes, broccoli and whole grains
Arginine is involved in the production of nitric oxide, which helps to improve blood circulation to hair follicles, improving hair growth. Arginine is found in seeds, oats, and most legumes.
Proline helps in the formation of collagen and is found in legumes, cruciferous vegetables, and meats.
As well as improving nerve function, glycine is involved in the formation of collagen and the maintenance of healthy hair follicles. You’ll find it in spinach, bananas and soy products.
3. Improve the blood circulation to your head
Blood flow to the head is an often-overlooked piece of the hair loss puzzle.
Your hair receives all the nutrients and amino acids it needs via the bloodstream. Those who suffer from a receding hairline often have issues with blood circulation to the scalp, starving their hair of the nutrients and amino acids needed for healthy hair growth.
There are a number of ways in which you can naturally improve the blood circulation to your head:
One of the most effective supplements for increased blood flow is Ginkgo Biloba. It has been used in China for thousands of years to improve circulation to the head and brain region. Aside from its ability to promote better hair growth, some students take the supplement as they believe it helps to improve their brainpower and creativity.
We spend the majority of our day either upright or horizontal, so the body has to fight against gravity to pump more blood to the head.
Performing certain exercises that invert the body and allow better blood flow to the scalp can encourage better hair growth. Yoga inversions such as the downward dog, headstand and handstands can be particularly beneficial.
3. Scalp cleansers
Scalp cleansing treatment is an effective way to reduce skin tension and encourage blood flow to your hair follicles. Apple cider vinegar is often used as a natural remedy, or you could opt for over the counter formulas.
4. Optimize other factors which influence your hair
Aside from specific hair growth techniques, there are also a number of everyday things that are often taken for granted that can affect the quality of your hair.
A healthy diet
A healthy balanced diet is essential for the growth of healthy hair. Do your best to include plenty of fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds, whilst avoiding heavily processed foods.
Foods rich in B-Vitamins (such as bananas and brown rice) can also help to promote hair growth. A sure sign of a B-Vitamin deficiency is brittle, thin hair.
Zinc is another important micronutrient that can help stop a receding hairline in its tracks. It is involved in the building of keratin and collagen, which as discussed earlier are both major structural components of healthy hair. Look to include zinc rich foods such as seeds, lentils and quinoa into your diet.
Vitamin C is also important for healthy hair growth. It allows the mineral iron to bond to red blood cells, which can then reach the roots of the hair, improving the availability of nutrients and amino acids.
Reduce stress levels
The stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine that are released during stressful times have been shown to alter the natural growth cycles of normal, healthy hair. Our bodies are designed to withstand acute, short-term stressors, but long-term stress can cause significant problems.
Where you can, look to eliminate any forms of long term mental or emotional stress form your life.
In the modern world, avoiding stress is not always possible, so you can instead include exercises that will help change your relationship with stress. Regular meditation works wonders for some, whilst others prefer journaling, yoga, or walking.
Find something that works for you, and practice regularly to keep calm.