My 30s are on the proverbial horizon and I can braggadociously say that I have a full head of hair that shows little to no signs of receding; but I certainly don’t just chalk it up to genetics (not in my favor, if I may add). With years of trial and error (and research) I have developed my own heuristic process of hair care that I would consider a proactive solution in keeping my scalp healthy, hair full, and confidence at an un-wavered high. Here’s how I did it.
My personal journey of research and testing began about ten years ago while I was a sophomore in college. I had noticed my hairline was in serious trouble; it was brittle and showing rapid signs of recession. To this day, I am unsure if it was genetics catching up with me (two of my older brothers went bald by their late teens), external environment, stress, or my diet. Whatever it was, I knew I had to come up with a solution – and quick. And thus my hair regimen was born.
Gentlemen, I completely understand that you have questions and may be struggling with where to begin. Luckily for you, I have done the leg work for all my brethren out there who may be struggling with a not so luxurious head of hair.
There are a few important things you need to have in your stash so you can proactively maintain your scalp health and fortify your strands, and they are grouped as the following: Vitamins, Oils, Shampoos, Conditioners, and Ayurvedic.
Please be aware that I am not a medical professional and that these tips, hacks and products have worked for my hair but may not work for you; even more so depending on where you are at in your hair loss journey. This guide is meant for those who have caught sight of hair loss very early, or know it runs in the family and are looking to proactively (preemptively) maintain healthy hair.
Here’s what’s in my arsenal to fight hair loss.
It’s often said that it’s equally as important what you put into your body as what you put on your body. Biotin has been my go-to supplement for many years. It is said that a symptom of biotin deficiency is hair loss. Biotin isn’t only known for being good to stimulate hair growth, but is said to make hair grow faster. Whenever possible, I prefer chewable (or drops) Biotin to capsules as it absorbs better into your system.
My second go to is Collagen. And not just regular Collagen, but Marine Collagen. Although most sources say there isn’t a quantifiable difference between Marine and Bovine Collagen, I have noticed more drastic growth (and healthier looking skin) when consuming Marine Collagen (after years of using regular Bovine Collagen).
Since I have curly hair (3b/3c, to be exact), my hair loves oils, and if you’re not using oils on your hair, then I think it’s time to finally give it a try.
Keeping your scalp healthy is without a doubt the number one rule for healthy hair growth. Oils are considered an effective and natural tool in not only moisturizing hair strands (which protects your hair from becoming brittle and falling out), but also in promoting hair growth and stimulating the hair follicles on your scalp.
My hair’s best friend is Jamaican Black Castor Oil. Of course, you can substitute this for regular Castor Oil, but studies have shown that the ash content in Black Castor Oil makes it more effective in stimulating hair growth by improving blood circulation. It also thickens the hair by penetrating the outer layer of the hair shaft. It’s also great for treating dandruff, reducing split ends and controlling hair fall.
I always pair my JBCO with an essential oil like Cedarwood or Rosemary which has the ability to improve cellular generation comparable to minoxidil (Rogaine) and packs a powerful kick.
Depending on your hair type, I highly suggest mixing the JBCO and the essential oils in a small bowl and placing it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Allow it to cool off and apply it to your hair for a nice hot oil treatment. By adding heat, it opens up the hair follicles, allowing the oil to penetrate deep in your hair shaft. Massage onto your scalp for about two minutes and let sit for about 10. Then continue on with your normal wash routine – which leads me to…
This is without a doubt the most important part of my wash routine and my “Holy Grail” product, if you will. My sophomore self was scrambling frantically about the internet seeing if there was a sustainable solution that a broke college student could afford that would help my hairline woes. Alas, I learned all about DHT blocking shampoos, which brought me to one that my mother had used for years: Nizoral.
This was my saving grace and a life changer for me. After two weeks of using, I noticed my brittle hair was slowly coming back to life and my hairline was growing back and filling in. After ten years of use, I still laud the efficacy of this shampoo and its key DHT active ingredient: Ketoconazole (whose main purpose is fighting dandruff). This is my main shampoo and I have used it weekly for the past ten years. I work it into a lather with my handy Scalp Massager and leave it on for about two minutes while I continue with my shower routine. Be warned that it is crucial to follow up with a deep conditioner as this shampoo will dry out your hair.
Conditioners serve the purpose of adding moisture back to your hair after stripping it of its natural oils while shampooing. But there are two types of deep conditioners I recommend.
The first type is a strengthening conditioner such as Shea Moisture. I recommend this conditioner because it’s made from natural ingredients and omits chemicals and additives that ordinary conditioners may have that are not good for your scalp. These include Mineral Oil, Parabens, or Silicones (which can create a barrier on your hair strands that block moisture from penetrating). I also enjoy adding essential oils in my deep conditioner to add a layer of awesome scalp invigorating power such as peppermint, eucalyptus, cedarwood, rosemary, lavender etc.
The second type of conditioner everyone should have and use at least once every month is a Protein Conditioner. Even though our hair is made up of protein, it occasionally needs a protein-rich conditioner to help balance the moisture in your hair and fortify the strands. I prefer this conditioner because it works for my protein sensitive hair (adversely using too much protein too often on your hair can cause it to become brittle).
5. Ayurveydic Treatments
The last and final frontier of my proactive hair regimen.
Ayurvedic treatments have been around since ancient times and have proven to be useful in modern times too as an effective cure for hair loss and to stimulate hair growth. Best of all, they are easy to use. Simply add water to create a paste-like substance and apply it to clean hair, or you can mix in a tablespoon to your deep conditioner and let it work its magic on your hair for about 15 minutes. Depending on your personal preference, you can start by incorporating these powders into your routine at least once a month.
The first Ayurvedic powder I recommend is Bhringraj, also appropriately known as “The King Of Herbs”. And true to its name, this potent herb is known for reversing balding and promoting strong healthy hair growth.
Another popular Ayurvedic powder that I highly suggest is Neem. Because of its medicinal and healing properties, Neem is considered a great multipurpose powder that is great for numerous ailments; including hair loss. With its potent anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties (which factor into hair loss), you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by adding this to your routine.
Other Helpful Tools
I am always testing out new products, tools and methods that other people have used to help them along their journeys.
I have recently introduced the Derma Roller to my regimen, and to my surprise, it’s quite the popular method for not only helping to grow back hair, but men are using it to help their beards grow thicker and faster. The idea behind using a derma roller is that it increases blood flow to your hair’s follicles and activates your scalp’s natural regeneration process. But be warned that if you are new to derma rolling, it can be a little uncomfortable; but hey – no pain, no gain, right?
I am currently using this about once a week, normally as I am applying my hot oil treatment (better absorption of oils to my scalp) and right before I hit the shower to use my DHT blocking shampoo (both mentioned above).
A less painful and way more relaxing way of circulating blood to the dome is by using a scalp massager.
You can easily incorporate and pair this tool with your favorite shampoo or conditioner for an added boost. I have been using my scalp massager for about a month now and don’t see myself washing my hair any other way.
The purpose of my “natural” regimen is to prolong my body’s ability to regenerate healthy hair follicles for as long as it can, so that I don’t have to depend on things like Minoxidil (such as Rogaine).
But for an added boost there’s also “hims,” a non-prescription option that provides supplements for hair loss and addresses common issues that cause low self-esteem among men including Erectile Dysfunction and Anti-Aging Skincare.
At the end of the day, hair loss isn’t the scary “end all and be all” that many men make it out to be. With some careful research and a steady roster of products, it’s something that’s totally manageable – and easy to do from the comfort and convenience of home. It’s time we stress less about hair and take control of the situation once and for all. You’ll find that it’s a lot easier and a lot less painful that you think.