Wise Head, Young Shoulders

As someone who has been there, done that and got the Bruce Willis singlet, I have a fair understanding of the devastating effects that a receding hairline can have on a young gentleman’s life. Take my situation… there I was one day in front of the mirror, looking and feeling great, running my fingers through my luscious locks. Then… literally in the blink of an eye… I’m the spitting image of a Tibetan Monk. Well… not quite, but you get the gist.

One thing I’m certain of is, when I first noticed my follicle challenges, it was a real kick in the guts. Right there and then I could feel the self-confidence start to ebb. I started to question my sense of self worth, not to mention my masculinity. The world’s most successful business peeps always have a good thatch ‘up top’ right? And what about the lack of female attention that I’d have to endure? Plus, all the ribbing I’d get form the boys?

The negative thoughts that entered my head became both frequent and varied, and were made worse by the bucket load of balding myths that had been doing the rounds since Tim Berners-Lee first invented the internet. Had I been washing my hair too much? Over-using product? Wearing a cap a little too often? Of course, the reality is, none of these myths actually causes hair loss. But I didn’t know that at the time.

Even more worryingly for me was the discovery that miracle hair growth products didn’t actually exist. And by that I mean the so-called one-stop remedies; oh yes, those amusing, nasty, shocking, ridiculous remedies. In my time, I’ve pretty much tried them all. If I wasn’t ingesting some foul homemade potion, I’d be dabbling in vitamins peddled by evil pushers who might as well have been lurking on dark street corners. Hey, you’ll do anything if someone convinces you that it’ll work right?

But the truth is, if I’d spent less time worrying about the ‘what ifs’? and more time focusing on real solutions, then I’d have knocked my hair loss issues on the head a lot sooner. So, where does that leave you and your hair I hear you ask? Well it’s a good question and if I was to ‘do it all again’ here’s the path I would take.

Each to their own

Before I go on, it’s worth noting that some of us chaps deal better with MPB than others, so first up I’d urge you to get some pro advice from a physician who can take you through the list of options that would work best for YOU. Remember, surgery is always the last resort. And although it was a resounding success for me personally, there are some great products out there that can still do the job for you. In my humble opinion, below are some that are worth considering before booking yourself in for a full-on hair transplant.

Medicinal Therapy

Using a medicinal therapy such as Finasteride (Propecia®) or Minoxidil (Rogaine®) has been proven to diminish further hair loss and could buy you valuable time if you suffer from severe MPB. These two treatment are the most proven and effective.

Vitamin B Complex

8 essential B vitamins; B6, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3) and biotin. You’d be right in thinking it sounds like a commercial for a fortified breakfast cereal but don’t let the voices in your head tell you that you can get what you need by chugging down a bowl of rice puffs. This is a supplement you can count on for its top-quality composition and it’s an affordable addition to your hair health arsenal.

Vitamin E

Long recognised for its ability to improve your skin and hair health, Vitamin E is packed with powerful antioxidants that have been proven to improve the hair health of people with alopecia. And the best thing is, it’s easy to incorporate vitamin E into your diet as it’s found in spinach, kale, wheat germ and even almonds.

ATP/ SMP (tattooing)

A relatively new and drug-free technique that involves no ‘surgery’ or scarring, Scalp Micro Pigmentation is a highly detailed process where pigments are applied directly to the scalp to replicate the natural appearance of real hair follicles- giving you the appearance of a thicker head of hair again. I have recently ATP’d by own noggin to increase density and coverage in the donor region along with the crown area with very positive results.

Remember, it’s marathon, not a sprint

Whether any of these options appeals to you or not, it’s important to understand that hair loss treatment is a lifelong journey. In this age of instant gratification, it can be difficult to persuade young people to wait for what they want. With the ability to download tunes by your favourite artist in an instant, or binge watch that must-see Netflix Series; it can be frustrating to find out that something is out of reach “until you’re older”. My advice to you here would be patient and check out the alternative treatment options available to you.

Nadeem Khan Clinical Director of The Harley Street Hair Clinic The Harley St Hair Clinic in London concurs. (young patients),”desperately unhappy due to onset of their hair loss want an immediate solution”. Most commonly this is usually a low, strong, straight hairline, which mirrors their favourite footballer or big-shot Hollywood actor.

Sadly, hair transplant surgery is not as simple – and certainly not nearly as enjoyable – as a Saturday morning appointment at your high street hair salon. So before you decide to go all in with surgery, do your research, speak to as many knowledgeable people as you can and make a calm and considered decision that will work best for you in the long run. Further information at spexhair.com.

Spencer Stevenson

Spencer ‘Spex’ Stevenson is well known to hair loss sufferers throughout the world and has been helping educate them for over 10 years. He has endured wigs, laser and ten hair transplants surgeries via different techniques. His website spexhair.com was set up to mentor and counsel others who are experiencing male pattern baldness and considering hair restoration via hair transplantation.