How To Prevent Hair Loss: 5 Ways To Avoid It

January 5, 2022

While aging is a factor, genetics are the real determining metric for most men's hair density over time.

Hair loss for most men, called androgenic alopecia or male pattern baldness, is largely a result of hormones working against your hair follicles, reducing their ability to grow strong, long hair over time. 

Depending on those inherited traits, you may experience hair loss as soon as your 20s, and men often see hair loss begin in their 30s. 

While you can’t change your genetics, there are treatment options and lifestyle practices that can help combat hair loss. The best thing is to start these preventive practices sooner than later.

What Causes Hair Loss?

The vast majority of men that experience hair loss will do so as the result of a hereditary condition known as androgenic alopecia, or male pattern baldness. More than 95% of hair loss in men is caused by male pattern baldness, according to the American Hair Loss Association. 

A genetic sensitivity to a secondary byproduct of testosterone, called dihydrotesterone (DHT), is primarily responsible for receding hairlines and a thinning crown. In men who are predisposed, hair follicles that are sensitive to DHT tend to shrink over time. When these affected hair follicles get smaller, the life span of each hair becomes shorter and the hair can grow thinner and weaker. 

Eventually, affected follicles stop producing hair altogether, or at least the quality of hair that they used to produce. 

Male pattern baldness typically follows one of two predictable patterns:

  • Hair starts to thin on top of the head and around the temples. This pattern may eventually leave a “horseshoe” of hair around the side and back of the head. 
  • Hair starts to recede from the front of the hairline, pushing the hairline further and further back on the top of the head.

5 Ways To Prevent Hair Loss

Depending what's causing your hair loss, some of these tips may prove more effective than others. Still, these lifestyle changes can help most guys slow hair loss and even stop it in its tracks.


Minoxidil, known more commonly under the brand name Rogaine®, is an over-the-counter medication that's effective for roughly two out of every three men who use it. All you have to do is apply the liquid or foam version to your scalp daily. Side effects may include scalp irritation and acne at the site of application.

Minoxidil is effective for most guys who try it, and it works (scientists think) by increasing blood flow to your follicles. It's also available inexpensively as a generic mediation today.

Another effective medication is finasteride, known originally under the brand name Propecia®. This prescription pill can help to slow down hair loss and even promote new hair growth in some men. Finasteride works best when you still have some hair to save, and it's not appropriate for women.

These two medications are both widely respected in the dermatology community and have been used by millions of men since approval by the U.S. FDA about twenty years ago. 

Hair Care

Keeping your scalp healthy and clean can help to protect you against hair loss too. Washing your hair regularly with a mild shampoo is key, as formulas with harsh chemicals can cause your hair to break easier, resulting in hair loss. The same goes for dyes and bleaches: the more you tamper with your hair's natural strength the more likely you are to cause lasting damage or accelerate loss. Be gentle is the simplest advice.

Among the ingredients that may be able to help with hair loss, coconut oil may prevent hair damage that occurs from grooming or ultraviolet light exposure, according to a recent review of published research studies. Lauric acid is found in coconut oil and helps to bind the protein in your hair, which can protect it from breakage. Massaging coconut oil into your scalp can also promote better blood flow and help with hair regrowth. 

Other ingredients are intended to help reduce the effects of DHT on your follicles. Saw palmetto is a natural DHT blocker, and it's included in many over-the-counter shampoos or conditioners for that reason. 


A study from 2018 found that a diet containing raw vegetables and fresh herbs, such as the Mediterranean diet, can reduce the risk of androgenic alopecia or slow its development and onset. The best results were found when participants consumed a high amount of parsley, basil, and salad greens more than three days each week. 

Protein is another important factor in your diet, as hair follicles are mostly made up of keratin, a type of protein. A study from 2017 found that participants who were experiencing hair loss also had nutritional deficiencies that included a lack of amino acids, the building blocks of protein. While more studies are needed, it’s possible that a diet rich in protein can help to prevent hair loss. 

Another crucial aspect of your diet is getting enough vitamin A. This vitamin is composed, at least in part, of retinoids, which have been shown to increase the rate of hair growth. In addition, vitamin A can also help with the production of sebum, which keeps the scalp healthy and able to retain more hairs. 

If you aren’t already eating these foods, you should start eating more:

  • Avocados
  • Beans
  • Berries 
  • Eggs
  • Fatty fish like salmon, herring, or mackerel
  • Nuts
  • Oysters
  • Seeds
  • Shrimp
  • Spinach
  • Sweet peppers
  • Sweet potatoes

Vitamin Deficiencies and Supplements

In addition to vitamin A, vitamin D is also associated with the hair growth cycle, especially non-scarring alopeciaIf you think you may have a vitamin D deficiency, talk with your doctor about taking an 800 to 1000 IU daily supplement. 

Another critical supplement is biotin, also known as vitamin H or B7. Biotin is involved in the synthesis of fatty acid by your body, which is essential to the hair life cycle. A deficiency may result in hair loss. Speak with your doctor about taking a daily supplement of three to five milligrams. It may be ideal to simply take a daily multivitamin, especially if you're unsure if you're dealing with deficiencies. Vitamins A, B, C, D, iron, selenium, and zinc are all crucial to both hair growth and hair retention. Most grocery stores or pharmacies will sell them, but you can always ask your doctor for guidance. 

Medical Procedures

Low level laser therapy (LLLT) can be an effective way to improve the density of your hair, especially for people with male pattern baldness or hair loss stemming from chemotherapy. This therapy works by using red lasers to stimulate epidermal stem cells and potentially grow new hair. These devices can be used at home and cost between $200 and $2,000. 

Another option is to inject platelet-rich plasma (PRP) into the scalp to help stimulate growth in areas impacted by hair loss. During this procedure, some of your blood will be drawn and run through a centrifuge to separate out platelets. This plasma is then be injected back into your scalp wherever the hair loss is occurring. A 2017 study found that some participants experienced 30% more growth in thinning areas after just four sessions. 

Each session can cost between $500 and $1,000 and is typically not covered by insurance plans. For most people, minoxidil and finasteride will be a more appropriate and cheaper place to start.

The Takeaway

In many cases, men can stop their hair loss. Medications like minoxidil and finasteride, making changes to your diet, taking certain supplements, treating your hair gently, and some medical procedures have all proven effective in delaying, and sometimes reversing, hair loss in men.

Male pattern baldness can be tough to accept, but it's incredibly common. Effective treatment is possible, many times with minimal effort and affordable medications. 

Rex MD can help, with hair loss treatments – including prescription finasteride – sent to your door. Learn more by clicking here.