By Stephen J. Praetorius.
If you’re lucky, this article will never apply to you. Instead, you’ll be able to live on in luscious, thick-maned bliss, never worrying for a moment about whether or not the pale skin of a bald spot might be peeking through between the follicles. Unfortunately, let’s just say that the odds are not in your favor. That’s because, according to scientists, 85% of guys will lose some measure of their hair at one point or another in their lives. And for a lot of guys, that’ll mean one, dreaded thing: a big ol’ bald spot, smack dab at the back the head.
Bummer, we know. But don’t lose hope if you find yourself counted among their ranks because, believe it or not, there are measures you can take to make a thinning crown less ... shall we say, conspicuous—and we’re not talking about toupees. And so, for all the George Costanzas of the world, we’ve compiled but a handful of the things a guy can do to manage a worsening bald spot, here.
1. Don’t Make It Worse
We’ve got bad news and we’ve got bad news. First, the bad: Once a bald spot’s begun to take up residency on your crown, there’s pretty much no going back, at least not naturally. Get used to it, friend. Now for the good news, and that’s that there are are ways to minimize the spread of exposed scalp. For one, stop wearing hats that hug your head, because by restricting the scalp’s ability to breath, they can be doing more harm than good. Also, quit smoking if you’re still doing that, eat better, and try not to stress out. Oh, and quit it with the man braids, people.
2. Stock Up On the Right Stuff
Once you’ve slowed down the progression of a bald spot, you next move needs to be using what you’ve still got to the best of your ability. That means swapping out your go-to gels, pomades, and waxes for styling products that won’t weigh down the hair, but instead instill it with the volume it’s so desperately lacking. Volumizing powders are your best bet in this regard, as they’ll both give your unfortunately sparse locks the volume they need while at the same time cleaning away built-up oil and residue. And while you’re at it, it’s not bad idea to consider updating your choice of conditioner, too.
3. Reach For Hot Air
Using a blow dryer to style your hair has about a million benefits. Consider making your bald spot less visible one more among them. You see, as opposed to air-drying, which will cause strands to fall straight, and towel-drying, which yanks at hair (the last thing you need right now), drying by way of hot air will lift and separate strands, giving the appearance of one’s mane being thicker than it really is. Can’t argue with that, really.
4. Go In For A Cut
So, you’ve tried making do with your current ‘do, but no matter how hard you try, you can’t quite seem to make your bald spot any less apparent? Well, that’s where a good ol’ haircut comes in. If done correctly—by which we mean, your barber crops everything nice and close to the head, with enough texture to distract the eye from anywhere hair might be lacking—a solid chop can make all the difference when it comes to embracing your new bare-scalped reality. And here are the testimonials to prove it.
5. Go See a Professional
You may not be satisfied with any of the above at-home solutions to your bald spot woes. Which makes sense, really, because no matter how you slice it, they all don’t really cut to the root of the problem, which is that you’re simply lacking the hair that used to be there. So if you really want, there are procedures that can be done by your doctor, little pills that can be prescribed to restore what was lost. Be warned, though: they’ve all got side-effects, and none of them guarantee results. And even the best plugs tend to look fake upon inspection.
You may be better off just tattooing your hair back on.
This story originally appeared on GQ.com.
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