How to get your hair back
So here’s the thing guys; hair loss sucks. And I mean like proper SUCKS. It can be traumatic. It can be lonely. And it can leave you feeling like you're losing your looks and losing your identity.
So you don’t want to be bald, right? Well then, what are your options? We’ll break them down below…
Before we do though, we just have to take a step back for a few moments (bear with me) to briefly discuss what it is you're actually suffering from.
The chances are, you’re probably suffering from Male Pattern Baldness. In the industry it’s abbreviated to MPB. What’s MPB? Well, that’s when your nice thick head of hair slowly and uncontrollably starts to fall out. And I bet you weren't expecting it to happen when it did! Here’s the thing though; MPB is almost always hereditary. Which means that it’s within your genes. It’s kinda like a ticking time bomb. If you’ve inherited the gene, it’s almost certainly going to happen - it’s just a case of when. And I can bet it will never come at “the right time” for you.
Some people suffer from MPB as early as their late teens. Others in their twenties. Some in their thirties. And if you’re lucky - you might get away with it for longer than this.
The good news then, is that you’re not alone. In fact - you’re the majority. Hurrah! Over 75% of men suffer from MPB. There are the lucky few, that carry a nice thick head of hair all the way through their life - but they’re very much the (lucky) minority.
So if you're the majority, what’s the problem then? Just accept it right? Well no. Not everyone suits thinning hair or being bald. Most will admit they feel far more confident in all aspects of their life with a full, thick, styleable head of hair.
That said, all of us regardless of our genetics will have our hair thin as we age - that’s normal. Even women have their hair thin. But it becomes a problem when our hair has thinned more than we wish. And it’s left us either completely bald - or looking prematurely aged. Oh man, it’s a proper confidence knock isn’t it :(
Because we’re guys, we often try and cover up the emotional effect this has on both our personal and professional lives.
The classic journey we go through is:
- Deep depression
If you’re at Stage 1 or Stage 2 - we feel you man. We’ve been there. And it’s a dark place to be living.
To make things worse, stages 1 and 2 are usually encompassed by complete obsession of the problem. You’ll find yourself regularly checking your hair to see how thin it looks and panicking each time you see a hair fall out. Not fun.
The thing you have to remember though is that (if you suffer from MPB) your hair is going to fall out. And as horrible as that sounds, you need to arrive at that realisation because it puts you in a position where you can make a decision that’s right for you. And only once you’ve come to terms with this will you be able to truly know how you feel about it.
The worst thing you can do is spend too long at (or never graduate from) Stage 1. As you’ll never truly know how you feel about your hair loss. And then you won’t be in a great frame of mind to decide which method of treatment is right for you.
So, you need to decide. You either take a step back and say “You know what? I’m going to be comfortable with losing my hair.” -or- you say, “I’ve decided I'm unhappy and I’m going to do something about this...”
If you’ve decided to take action and do something about your hair loss, then congratulations are in order. Get the champagne on ice. As you’re no longer at Stage 1 and you’re firmly at Stage 3. However, this is where the hair loss industry tends to let itself down.
As you stand naively at the start of your journey towards solving your hair loss, the problem is often made worse by the companies that prey on your vulnerable position. The male hair loss industry can be a dark place. Trust us, we’ve been around long enough to witness it. There are companies that want you to pay huge fees for consultations. And others that want to lock you in to long term pay-monthly contracts. There are all sorts of lies thrown around too - and illegal medication sold. Not cool.
And let’s just have a quick reality check by remembering what we’ve just learnt; your hair loss is hereditary. It’s genetic. And there isn't a cure. Not as of 2020 anyway :(
It might seem stupid that we put Neil Armstrong on the moon in 1969, yet we still don’t have a cure for baldness. But it’s a hugely complex scientific problem to solve. So when a company sells you a bottle of Snake Oil and tells you it will stop your hair falling out, then know that it’s probably just wasting your time and money. And the company that is trying to sell you this stuff are very much the industry baddies.
Okay so enough of the introduction already! What are your options?
Option 1 - Shampoos/Lotions
In a nutshell: Great for making your hair appear thicker
This is where almost everyone starts. You notice your hair thinning and immediately head out to buy a bottle of specialist shampoo or the like. These lotions are pretty good at making your hair appear thicker. They often don't have too many conditioning ingredients within them - meaning that your hair looks fuller - and has more grip.
They’re pretty cheap too. Which makes them a great place to start if you’re at the very early stages of MPB. The thing to remember though - is that there’s an extremely small chance that any of these will actually make any new hair grow. In fact, they might not even decrease the rate of your current hair loss. But as I said - they do make your hair look fuller.
We’re a fan, as there shouldn't be any side effects from these types of products. So they’re nice and low risk.
So, if you’re at the very early stages of hair loss, then there’s no reason not to try a few of these out. We’ve listed some of our favourites below (which you can buy on Amazon).
Alpecin Double Effect Caffeine Shampoo
Anti-Hair Loss Shampoo
This is a mild, concentrated anti dandruff shampoo. The Shampoo product is suitable for mild to moderate hair loss. Long-term use can repair hair roots and improve the status of hair loss. It is recommended to use the cycle of 3-6 months. Great bonus is that it uses only Organic Ingredients. It's also Sulfate and Gluten Free. Herbal extract ingredients. Hypo-Allergenic.
Option 2 - Hair Fibres
In a nutshell: A neat short term solution, but with significant limitations
Fibres are cool. For all of about 10 minutes! Okay, so that’s a bit harsh! Let’s dig a little deeper. Hair Fibres are thousands of tiny electrostatically charged fibres that usually come in a small dispensing can. On their own they don't look like hair, but when applied to your head they grip to the tiny hairs that you do have (and often can’t see) and do an incredible job of then looking like natural hair! They blend in really well aswell. They’re best used as a way to temporarily fill in bald or thinning areas. They only take a few minutes to apply and there shouldn't be any side effects - so they too are nice and low risk.
The issue however is that they’re very much temporary. You can't really apply the fibres and then style your hair - as you’ll take the fibres out. Also, they can’t take any kind of water. If your hair gets wet they wash right out.
I believe fibres to work best for things like hitting the town on a night out. If you’re going a bit thin and you fancy looking your best for a few hours then it’s genuinely a neat little product. And not too expensive either. But as for a long term day-to-day solution it’s not really going to give you the confidence you’re looking for. We’ve listed our favourites below (which are available on Amazon)
Option 3 - FDA Medication
In a nutshell: Expensive, relentless and nasty side effects
This is the next step up. Your hair has probably now thinned beyond what you believe to be acceptable. You’ve either been digging around Google, or you’ve been talking to someone - and you’re now armed with the knowledge that there are FDA approved medicines available to treat your hair loss. Great.
There are two main medications available:
Minoxidil (Rogaine). Minoxidil is an over-the-counter liquid or foam that you rub into your scalp twice a day to grow hair and to prevent further hair loss. Finasteride (Propecia). This prescription drug is available only to men.
With Minoxidil between 60% to 70% of users report renewed hair growth, but only 8% to 30% describe this result as ‘cosmetically satisfying’. So that’s not a great success rate.
Completely new hair growth on bald patches occurs rarely. Minoxidil works mainly on men who have not been balding for long (around 5 years) and losing hair mainly on their crown. It doesn't work particularly well on the temples.
The news gets slightly worse, as the hair that does grow back due to Minoxidil always remains ‘Minoxidil dependent’. Or to put it another way, the hair that has regrown will be lost again if the treatment with Minoxidil ceases, or if use is combined with other hair growth stimulants such as Finasteride (discussed next). So this means that if you do decide to use Minoxidil, you have to stick with it. And it ain't that cheap!
Also although Minoxidil stimulates hair growth, in fact, it does nothing to the underlying cause of MPB. Ultimately, use of minoxidil alone won’t be sufficient to prevent definitive hair loss.
Now on to Finasteride. Finasteride is a pill and actually does strike at the cause of MPB (don’t worry, we won’t bore you with the science here). It has a higher success rate when compared to Minoxidil. One study showed that after five years of treatment with Finasteride, 48% of men had increased hair growth, 42% experienced no change and a small 10% experienced hair loss. That’s pretty decent.
But here’s the nasty part. Men taking Finasteride are at increased risk for impotence, erectile dysfunction and ejaculation disorder. Ouch. Obviously that isn't a great quality of life. And if you’re going to consider prolonged use of Finasteride, you really need to ask yourself if you’re prepared for the risks.
And for us - this is where we lose interest. Expensive no-end-in-sight drugs with nasty side effects? No thanks mate.
I’m not going to link out to either of these medications - as at The Underclub Club we don't condone them.
Option 4 - Scalp Micropigmentation
In a nutshell: Great solution if you suit the shaved head look
You can think of Scalp Micropigmentation as like someone tattooing a series of tiny dots on your thinning or bald areas. Each dot is to represent a single hair follicle. You can opt for permanent or semi-permanent Micropigmentation depending on whether you’re convinced the procedure will suit you.
Obviously the fact that it’s pigmentation (and not actual hair) means that the procedure will leave you with the “shaved full head of hair head” look. This means that you’ll have to keep your head shaved for the results to look acceptable. If you’re the type of guy that suits a this look, and you want a youthful hairline - then this is a great option. It’s not too expensive - doesn’t require maintenance and shouldn't have any sideeffects. One thing to mention however is that over time the pigments do fade - so there’s a high probability that you’ll want a number of procedures over time.
Our pro tip is always get a personal recommendation from the company you plan on using before handing over your cash
Option 5 - Hair Transplant
In a nutshell: Too expensive, too high risk, no guarantees
Now we’re getting serious. Hair Transplants get a lot of attention these days. But you need to remember; this is surgery. Cosmetic surgery. And surgery should always be your absolute last resort. You need to take this stuff seriously lads.
The number one thing to remember is that a hair transplant does zero to combat your hair falling out. The surgery moves hair from one place on your head to another. And that’s it.
The area where the hair is taken from is called the “donor area”. The limitation of the donor area is that there isn't a huge amount of hair available. This means that the hair that’s used to cover your bald areas has to be done so very thinly. Which results in a head of hair that isn't particularly thick. The donor area would need to be probably 5 or 6 times larger than it currently is to be able to give you a full head of hair. And that sadly just isn't reality.
Also you won't be ready for surgery if your hair hasn’t receded significantly. As if you undertake surgery too early (to say fill in a receding hairline) then the rest of your hair will slowly fall out and you’ll be left with terribly unnatural head of hair. You’ll have hair at the front, and then none at the back! Not a good look. This is why the best surgeons will only consider you for surgery only once your hair has done almost all of the falling out it is going to do.
So if you’re to consider high quality surgery you need to be comfortable waiting until your hair has all but gone before taking action. This is fine for some people. But most want to take action before “waiting ‘til the end”.
There are a couple of other key things to keep in mind too.
When you have a transplant, there’s no guarantee that the hair that has been transplanted won’t fall out in the future It’s very rare that someone has a single hair transplant. Two or sometimes three are more common. So you’ll need to budget for this. The best results are often seen 8 to 12 months after your surgery. (No immediate results) You may be left with a visible scar from where the surgeon has removed a segment of skin from the donor area.
And what about cost? In the UK you’re looking at £15,000 to £30,000. Abroad around €10,000. If it’s less you should approach with caution. So if you're to have 3 UK-based surgeries over say a 15 year period, it's going to set you back between £45,000 and £90,000
If you do decide you want to undergo surgery, then here’s a pro tip; be sure to review the surgeons that are registered as part of the ABHRS. What’s the ABHRS? Well, it’s the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgery and it’s the only recognized certification for hair restoration surgery.
And please please please don’t go somewhere without getting a personal recommendation from a previous patient. There are places out there that just want your money and won’t care one bit about giving you the look you want. You only need to Google “Hair Transplants Gone Wrong” and you’ll see what I mean.
Option 6 - Modern Hair System
In a nutshell: Thick styleable hair, no risk, inexpensive
A modern hair system is a indetectable (often lace) system that has hair weaved into it. When the lace is against your skin you can’t see it. The system is attached using cosmetic bond - which means it acts and feels as natural as your real hair. You can design the hairline that suits you and you can also pick length, style and colour (including grey percentage). Key thing to remember lads is that a modern Hair System isn’t a wig!
The cosmetic bond is water resistant - which means that you can swim, shower and exercise as normal. What’s more you can keep the system on for up to 4 weeks at a time depending on your lifestyle and body type. After that time, you remove it, regroom it (which takes about an hour) and you’re good to go again.
Each hair system lasts around 6 months before it’s time to get a replacement. There are some customers that have kept theirs for an entire year - so it all depends on your lifestyle and how well you look after it.
It doesn't matter whether you’re completely bald or just thinning - a hair system can be worn by anyone of any age. There aren't any side effects and wearing a hair system does not affect your existing hair or affect the rate of your existing hair loss. So on terms of risk, there really isn't any.
More and more men are turning to modern hair systems, as there are no permanent changes. No huge bills and no major drawbacks. The only thing you have to do (in order to hair the perfect head of hair you’ve always wanted) is to be prepared to maintain the hair system.
To fill you with confidence of just how simple it is, check out our free video tutorials now and you’ll see what I mean...