Battling the bald

Battling the bald

ARE YOU starting to stress out about a receding hair-line? Then good news may be around the corner as a team of scientists in the US have made a breakthrough that could lead to a new way of growing hair.

The method focuses around identifying immune system cells that play a key role in hair growth, and the function of ‘hair triggers’ that can stimulate hair follicles.

The studies have been encouraging as androgenic alopecia, otherwise known to barbers as male-pattern baldness, accounts for over 95% of hair loss in men and two-thirds of men find themselves adjusting their grooming accordingly by the age of 35; that is unless the new science quickly plays catch-up.

Master Barber, Stel Nicolaou, shares some of his tips and advice to aid with the ‘battle of the baldness’.  It could be a hairy trip!

Be vigilant

Keep an eye out for hair loss early on, whether that’s hair on the pillow, or in the plug hole of the shower. Androgenic alopecia results from a by-product of testosterone blocking the hair follicle, and can therefore strike at an early age when testosterone production is high. “Men can begin to notice hair thinning from the early-twenties,” says Nicolaou. “Sticking to a good routine early on will ensure you create a good environment for hair growth.”

Bad shower habits

In and out the shower in minutes? That’s fine if people find themselves late for work or an appointment, but it pays to invest time in a shower routine. Spend at least a few minutes working the suds into the hair and scalp. “This stimulation improves blood flow directly to the scalp, so make sure you are giving your head a thorough massage,” Nicolaou says.

Don’t delay in taking action

When it comes to the best styles for thinning hair, men are often tempted by longer cuts in hope that it will appear fuller. But give these misconceptions short shrift. “Shorter cuts work better because they help to seamlessly blend lengths, making the thinner areas less obvious,” Nicolaou advises. Reconsider shaving your head to disguise balding (otherwise known as ‘the reverse combover’) too – it just isn’t necessary.

Poor haircut choice

A good barber will know how to work with whatever hair is presented to them, but it doesn’t hurt to arrive armed with ideas. “If you are losing hair from the crown, a rough crop about 1-2 inches on top, styled with a good matte product can help to disguise thinning. Avoid partings too because they accentuate sparser areas. Instead, maximise on texture to help give the illusion of thickness and bulk.”

Wrong styling products

Oil-slick hair is not the answer. Opt for lightweight, matte-effect products, as they help hair to look lustrous while going easy on the grease. Use no more than a 2p-sized amount of product.

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