Do Not Ignore The Problem
Many men decide that no action is the best action. They continue to style their hair in the same way they have for a decade or more, even though there is less and less hair there. I guess they are hoping no one will notice if they don’t change anything.
Wrong! People will notice more.
They might not even be able to put their finger on it at first. It will just be clear you don’t look as good as you used to.
Do a search on Brendan Frasier. He was an up and coming heartthrob in the 90’s with, what my girlfriend at the time called, “run your fingers through it hair.” If you look at pictures of him in the 90’s, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Then, look at more recent pictures.
He has the same exact 90’s hairstyle, just 70% less hair. You can see patches of scalp. It’s thicker in some areas and obviously weaker in others. Frankly, it makes him look as if he’s ill. NOT a good look.
John Travolta had this same struggle in the early 2000’s. It was tragic and so was his career. Then, somehow, he seemed to embrace his thinning hair situation. Nowadays, he alternates between a longer buzz and a well-trimmed brush back and his career is doing much better.
If you need a more modern example, look at the English crown Prince William. He has had the same style for more than a decade, but now he has less than half the hair. I promise you, if he weren’t a prince he would never have caught such a beautiful princess.
Don’t ignore the problem. Those who don’t know you’re losing hair will just think you’ve lost “it.” You will not look youthful, you will look aged. Aged, and not aged gracefully.
Just Say No To The Comb Over!
Ahhh, the comb over. I once had my barber refer to this as the 100% natural toupee. Either way, it is an interesting concept used by millions of balding men in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s to cover up a bald patch on top. Interesting, but not appealing.
I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, but just in case let me explain a comb over.
Essentially, a piece of hair on the side of a man’s head is grown out exceptionally long and then combed over the bald spot on top of the head to the other side. It is like putting a sheet of hair over the bald spot.
It isn’t fooling anyone, especially if the wind blows that long piece back over. You can use a gel or pomade to hold it in place, but then you add a greasy look to your already oily scalp. The pomade will also begin to separate your hair strands letting the scalp shine through. This is NOT a good look and it is frequently made fun of.
Now, if your hair is only slightly thin to one side, you can do a side part. Grow out hair EQUALLY long but then part the hair to the thicker side. This allows the bulk of your hair to fall over the slightly thin spot.
But if your thin spot is turning into an actual bald spot, it is time to try something else. Ted Danson, famous for his coif in the 80’s but now clearly not so thick anymore, pulls off this side part look very well and it looks very distinguished.
When Thinning Is Mild, Go Tossed And Messy
If your hair is just starting to fall out, but you still have a well-concealed scalp it is not time to make dramatic changes.
You will have a good quantity of hair and there’s no sense in taking the clippers to it. However, there are some style changes which will help you achieve a sexier look.
Let go of the style you’ve always had. This is especially true if you sported a polished look- smoothed down and/or parted to one side.
Forcing hair down and in a certain direction is a sure bet that it will fall out of place and spotlight the thin areas.
Instead, let hair go where it will. The tossed or messy look is popular with men thinning and not. It can be used on hair that is just a couple inches long all the way to 4-5 inches long. It is also good for curly or straight hair.
Essentially, using product to make the hair shaft both thicken and stay in place, you run your fingers through your hair when wet.
Make multiple quick zigzags, forcing the hair to point in its natural direction. For an even more extreme “mess”, use the blow dryer during the zigzagging to solidify the product.
It may be hard to visualize, so I encourage you to look up pictures of celebrities with this tossed look. Jude Law is constantly, but successfully trying out different lengths of this messy style.
Timothy Olyphant and Val Kilmer are also good examples, although Val Kilmer seems to go through episodes of a nice messy trim and a long shaggy mess.
As With Most Things, Balance Is Essential
In previous decades, men seemed not to know what to do with their hair. Hairstyles for men with thinning hair seemed either non-existent or to grow the existing hair out into some sort of shaggy mess that resembled a homeless street person.
There was a lack of balance and its unattractiveness only made the hair loss problem bigger. Unfortunately, a few of those imbalanced hairstyles are still lingering around.
What is imbalance hair? Consider your head as an oval. If there is less hair on the top of the oval, you cannot put an excessive amount of hair on the sides or bottom of the oval. If you do this, you end up with a triangle.
What does a triangle look like? An arrow. Much like the arrow on a caution sign: Danger ahead! It’s an arrow pointing directly to the bald spot on your crown or your receding hairline.
For a very long time, Nicholas Cage was a perfect embodiment of this awful triangle imbalance.
Instead of accepting his quickly receding hairline, he decided to grow out the back and sides of his hair which were growing just fine.
It looked long and shaggy. His total head was imbalanced, pointing to the bare spot on top.
This is not the look you want.
The Better Way To Be Bald On Top Or To Recede
Instead of losing all balance and becoming a hair triangle, there are better ways to deal with a balding crown or a receding hairline. In fact, it is a very popular and easy maintenance style. Many of the world’s biggest celebrities sport this look, and you can too.
When you are going thin on top or your hairline is receding, it is best to trim up the back and sides. While you may not be able to obtain that original “O” oval aspect ratio, you will want to keep the sides and backs short enough that you do not form a circle.
To achieve this affect, you will grow the top, thinner, hair just slightly (no more than an inch) longer than the sides and hair will be very short at the base of your neck.
The slightly longer hair on top is then brushed back. It will gently fall over the shorter, but thicker, hair on the side and back. Often product will help volumize this look as well as keep it in place.
Once again, if you are having trouble visualizing this you can look up almost any popular celebrity over age 35 and see it.
The famous lead singer, Sting, has one as does Liam Neeson. Everyone’s favorite winner, Charlie Sheen, pulls it off quite well.
Leonardo DiCaprio looks rather suave and distinguished with this combed back style.
Even my old favorite, Nicholas Cage, finally ditched the hair triangle for this much better combed back look. These are all men with different hair types and face shapes, yet they all look great and you can too!
When (And When Not) To Shave
At some point, you looked at the hair in your sink and thought “I should just shave it all off.” That was something you said out of hostility toward the situation, but that doesn’t mean it was a bad idea.
Some men find it easier to live with thinning hair when there is no evidence of it thinning because there is no hair there. There are other styles which help eliminate the appearance of thinning hair, but this one makes it look like a lifestyle choice.
That being said, the decision to shave your head should not be rash, you will need to put some thought into it. Anyone you see with a shaved head will automatically tell you to go for it when you ask their opinion.
They like their low-maintenance style and have no regrets. What you’re not seeing are the many men who shaved their head, regretted their decision, and then let their hair grow back even though it was thin.
How do you know if shaving is for you? Well, here are some tips from men who successfully and others who unsuccessfully shaved their head. These should help you make the decision for yourself.
1) If you are thinning on top but still consider that you have more hair up there than not, it may not be time to shave yet. There are other options available to you, as mentioned in this article. However, if you just want the shaved look to feel more secure, then go for it.
2) It is a light, cool style. It eliminates at least a ¼ of an hour off the time it takes to get ready.
3) Shaving must be done regularly or you will get just as an unkempt look as if you didn’t shave your beard. It will last longer when done with a razor, but you may want to practice doing that at home on the weekends to avoid going out with razor burn. Otherwise, invest in a good electric shaver and plan to use it often.
4) Consider the shape of your head. Do you feel your head is a comfortable shape? The easiest way to know what you’re dealing with it to have someone take a profile picture of you when your hair is wet and you’ve done all you can to plaster down close to your scalp.
5) Do you have any lumps or crevices you wouldn’t be comfortable showing? Some men are fine showing it all and others are not.
Next time you’re using one of the scalp massage treatments from The Hair Loss Black Book, take a few extra minutes to run your fingers all over your scalp and make a note of any indentations or bumps you find.
6) Do you have a significant other? If so, they should be consulted. They have to look at you a lot more than you have to look at yourself. It is a dramatic change and they would probably appreciate the input.
7) How comfortable are you with being touched? Something about a shaved head makes others, especially women, want to touch it. If you’re a single man, you will find many a lady will touch your head without even asking!
They will show more restraint to a married or attached man, but your significant other may not.
If you have ever shaved your head or worn an extremely short “buzz” before, obviously you know if you are comfortable with it or not. If you’re thinking about doing it again, it shouldn’t be a problem. Part of you liked the way you looked before or you wouldn’t be considering it.
The Buzz On Buzzing
If you do think you’re ready but you still have small reservations, there is a compromise. Try an extremely short, “buzz” style. This is another one of the most popular men’s hairstyles for thinning hair.
This is ideal for someone who is unsure about bumps or scars on the scalp or is worried about the ability to shave the head regularly.
Leaving the hair at a length of no more than a ¾” (1/4” being the classic military buzz) will place a thin camouflage over unaesthetic spots.
Bruce Willis (concealing a bald spot on top), The Rock (concealing a receding hairline), Jason Statham (same receding hairline) and Samuel L Jackson (who conceals a receding hairline and frequently alternates between shaved and buzzed) are all examples of a successful buzz.
As worried as you are about you hair, you should now be able to see you have lots of options. Although men’s hairstyles for thinning hair were once neglected, now there are plenty of options which are not only fashionable but are rather handsome too. You only have to choose one.
This is why it is so important that you stay on track with the Hair Loss Black Book program.
I know I felt a lot more secure when styling my hair after my first year on this program than I did in the 3 years leading up to writing the book. I believe you will feel this relief too.
It is important to me that you not give up, because feeling attractive is good for your mental health and that is good for fighting DHT. No matter how much hair you have lost, you can still have style.
You can and will look desirable. All you have to do is open your mind to something new and make the brave decision to shake things up.