How to Reverse Male Pattern Baldness Before It Becomes Worse

It's important to identify how to reverse male pattern baldness. Otherwise, hair loss can damage a man's self-esteem, especially when in public.

Man holding the sides of his balding head

Contrary to popular belief, hair loss is normal. Everyone loses an average of 50-100 strands of hair daily. However, a condition called androgenetic alopecia (better known as male pattern baldness) can cause a receding hairline for 80% of men with noticeably thinning hair. This condition can occur in some men as early as the age of 20. Old age and underlying health issues can exacerbate the condition, speeding up the rate of hair loss. As a result, many men may not only end up going bald but suffer a loss of confidence and self-esteem as well.

So how to reverse male pattern baldness effectively?

Understanding the Causes of Male Pattern Baldness 

Here are a few of the common causes of the condition and ways to address receding hairline naturally.

Sensitivity to Dihydrotestosterone 

Genetics directly influences a man’s sensitivity towards dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — a type of testosterone hormone that increases after puberty. DHT can cause hair follicles to shrink, resulting in strands that grow back finer, shorter and thinner. 

In the long run, it’ll take hair much longer to grow back until eventually, these follicles will cease to produce new hair altogether, leaving the scalp barren.

Insufficient Nourishment of Hair 

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes a person’s hair health relates directly to their internal organs’ health. According to TCM physician Lim Sock Ling, a common cause of hair loss in men is from “an accumulation of dampness and heat in the spleen and stagnant qi (life force) in the liver.” When this happens, blood flow to the head will decrease, resulting in inadequate nourishment for the hair. 

Also, the health and abundance of a person’s hair link directly to kidney essence (jing). As such, a weakness of the kidneys can also lead to hair loss and grey hair.

Natural Approaches to Treat Male Pattern Baldness

Man with acupuncture needles inserted into his scalp
Acupuncture can stimulate blood circulation and flow to the head and block the formation of DHT.

The combination of lifestyle changes and natural, holistic treatments can help reverse male pattern baldness.

Acupuncture 

The insertion of thin needles into the bald areas of a person’s scalp can be beneficial for increasing blood flow and improving blood circulation to the head. Studies have shown that acupuncture inhibits DHT formation, which helps in preventing hair loss. 

Likewise, acupuncture is also good for stimulating the function of the cerebral cortex in locating affected scalp areas, improving brain electrical activity and increasing the alpha wave index voltage. Specifically, the alpha wave is responsible for inducing spirit relaxation. Consequently, acupuncture will regulate emotions, thus preventing adverse mental health disorders like anxiety and depression from aggravating hair loss.

Herbal formulations and ingredients 

“Prescriptions usually include herbs to remove dampness and heat or nourish blood and improve qi circulation,” explains Physician Lim. For instance, the consumption of a herbal soup known as si wu tang is especially effective when we combine its four ingredients. White peony (Bai shao) and Rehmania root shu di huang can nourish the blood, whereas chuan xiong and danggui can regulate blood and qi. Beverages like chamomile or rosebud tea may also help improve blood circulation. 

“The patient should also avoid alcohol and foods that are cold, fried, spicy or sweet,” says physician Lim. She adds these foods can impede the spleen’s function and ability to transport fluids, allowing dampness and heat to accumulate.

Nutritious Foods to Promote Hair Health

A variety of nutritious foods on a white marble top
A balanced diet that includes iodine and vitamin E-rich foods can promote healthy hair growth.

A balanced diet that consists of foods like fish, meat, beans, and eggs are good for hair health. In the same way, foods rich in iodine — kelp and seaweed — are critically important to ensure the normal functioning of the thyroid gland and the healthy production of thyroid hormones.

Conversely, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism — insufficient or excess amounts of thyroid hormones, respectively — can cause hair loss. This hair loss is diffused and likely to involve the entire scalp. A person’s hair will also appear to be uniformly sparse. 

Vitamin E, too, is equally important for healthy hair growth. Tocotrienols, a group of chemicals from the vitamin E family, can help reduce lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress in the scalp, which can trigger the onset of alopecia. Examples of food that are rich in vitamin E are celery, spinach, and black sesame seeds.

We can also reverse male pattern baldness optimally through the conjunctive use of traditional remedies and lifestyle changes. Physician Lim deduces, “We cannot reverse hair loss due to genetics, but changing habits and addressing root causes which may be causing premature hair loss is certainly possible.” 

This is an adaptation of an article, “The Bald Truth”, which first appeared on Eu Yan Sang website.

References

  1. US National Library of Medicine. 2014. Hair Iodine for Human Iodine Status Assessment.[Accessed 15 October 2021] 
  2. British Thyroid Foundation. Hair loss and thyroid disorders. [Accessed 15 October 2021] 
  3. US National Library of Medicine. 2010. Effects of Tocotrienol Supplementation on Hair Growth in Human Volunteers. [Accessed 15 October 2021] 

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