There are several things both men and women can do to prevent hair from falling out – and even a few remedies that may spark regrowth.
: If you experience any adverse side effects after using minoxidil or finasteride, discontinue use immediately.
Step 1: See a doctor Consult a doctor to discuss your options. Besides genetics, a hormone imbalance, scalp infection, medical condition, certain medications, and even stress can all cause hair to fall out. Knowing why you're losing your hair might help you stop it.
Step 2: Be gentle Be gentle when drying your hair. Vigorous towel drying – rather than patting your hair dry – can break hair, as can frequent blow-drying, especially on a hot setting.
Step 3: Lighten up Limit wearing your hair in styles that tug hair at the scalp, like tight ponytails, pigtails, cornrows, and hair extensions. The stress on the follicles can lead to a type of permanent hair loss called traction alopecia.
Step 4: Use dandruff shampoo Use dandruff shampoos that contain zinc, which has been shown to promote modest hair growth.
TIP: Make sure you get enough zinc in your diet, too. Good sources include oysters, lean beef, turkey, peanut butter, and pumpkin seeds.
Step 5: Stop smoking Stop smoking, or don't start in the first place. Researchers have linked it to hair loss.
Step 6: Try topical or oral medication Talk to your doctor about the topical solution minoxidil, available over-the-counter as Rogaine, and the oral prescription finasteride, known by its brand name, Propecia. Eight out of 10 Rogaine users stop losing hair after several months of applying it twice a day. Propecia slows hair loss and grows visible hair in about 50 percent of patients.
: If you stop applying Rogaine or taking Propecia, you will lose all the hair you would have lost had you never used them in the first place.
Step 7: Try laser treatment Try laser therapy, which may stimulate hair growth by increasing blood flow to hair follicles. Some dermatologists and many hair-loss centers offer in-house sessions, or you can purchase a laser comb or brush that you use at home.
FACT: In 4,000 B.C. Egypt, men rubbed a concoction of oil, dates, and ground animal parts onto their bald scalps in the hope it would make hair grow.