A full head of hair can be a badge of honor for a man, and baldness can be a demoralizing thing. While some guys like Yul Brynner or Telly Savalas used their shaved heads (yes, they really had hair) as career trademarks, most guys choose to keep our hair, and most women choose that we do. This is because not a lot of guys look good bald (though there are exceptions).
There are several ways in which a man can keep his ego intact by keeping hair on his head, with a couple of them being FDA-approved chemical alternatives.
- Rogaine is a topical foam that can help restore hair on the heads of men who have experienced hereditary hair loss. Rogaine’s main ingredient is Minoxidil, which has been clinically proven to regrow hair. The good thing about Rogaine, which has helped contribute to its popularity, is that it is available over-the-counter. Rogaine’s side effects are minor, mostly redness and itching. Rogaine can also work for women.
- Propecia is a daily pill for the treatment of certain types of male pattern hair loss in men. Propecia works by helping reduce dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a hormonal substance that is a key contributor to hair loss. Like Rogaine, Propecia is approved by the FDA, even though it works internally and not topically. Unlike Rogaine, Propecia is available by prescription only. And it has to be taken long-term; if treatment is discontinued, results may not be maintained. A downside with Propecia is the possibility of sexual side effects in a very small amount of men who use it, including lessened desire for sex and difficulty in achieving an erection. So a man taking Propecia has to decide if the small possibility of these side effects is worth the tradeoff.
- Hair transplantation has been an option for balding men for many years, and a favorite of many celebrities (allegedly Matt McConaughey, Mel Gibson, Nicolas Cage and countless others). The thing to consider with hair transplantation is its success rate, which can vary wildly, depending upon who you ask. Overall, men who are 100% satisfied with their hair transplants seem to be in the minority.
- A rug. Or wig, or toupee, or whatever you want to call it. Just make sure it doesn’t look like Tony Curtis’s wig. If it looks as good as William Shatner’s, well, that might work.
In the end, nobody wants to lose his hair, but there are options. Transplantation and wigs are the two most obvious, while Rogaine and Propecia are also extremely popular. Do some research and speak to a qualified medical professional if you want to go with one of the latter and have any questions about which alternative is the best for you.
Either that, or get out that razor and end it all. Like Yul and Telly, it might be the best move you ever made.
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