Fifty percent of men older than 50 experience hair thinning and loss, though this process can start as early as the teen years, says Dr. Alan J. Bauman of the Bauman Medical Group and an expert contributor to Hair-Styles.org. Although genetics accounts for 99 percent of all hair loss, factors such as stress, illness, poor diet and medication side effects can play a role. If you’re embarrassed about thinning hair, don’t despair. Help in the form of a haircut awaits those with receding hairlines, bald spots and the classic “horseshoe” pattern baldness.
A lot of men don’t pay too much attention to their hair until it thins or starts to fall out. One of the easiest ways to deal with thinning hair is to shave it off. But not many men can get away with such a bold look. People often perceive men with shaved heads as threatening or domineering, so Jeff Sacino, former head stylist for NBC television’s “The West Wing,” doesn’t recommend the average guy opt for this style. If you have the confidence to try it, buzz your hair down to stubble and then finish up with shaving cream and a sharp razor.
Short styles offer the most flattering haircuts for thinning hair and reduce the appearance of hair loss, especially for those with receding hairlines or “horseshoe” balding. Gone are the days of the ugly comb-over. Sacino talks about the importance of finding the right person to cut your hair. Generally speaking, barbers do an effective job if you don’t have a lot of hair to cut. If your hair is just starting to thin, choose a salon instead. A trained hair stylist will advise you about which cut best suits your face and hair type. When it comes to using products on thinning hair, opt for creams or texturizing lotions. Avoid gels, as they tend to weigh hair down and separate it, making the scalp more noticeable.
If you’re just starting to notice thinning hair and are not ready to commit to a short style, then your objective is to create the illusion of a full head of hair. With more hair to spare on top, Sacino suggests applying a lightweight gel and then blowing it dry using a round styling brush. Ask your stylist for tips about how to properly dry and style your hair for maximum fullness. Avoid the temptation of growing your hair long, though. Long hair, even if it is thinning, weighs the hair down and creates parts that expose the scalp.
Don’t forget about the hair on your face. A well-groomed beard, goatee or mustache detracts from the thinning hair on your head and gives you a more balanced appearance. Trim facial hair every few days so it does not look unkempt.
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