8 Steps to Prevent Hair Loss

Written by
The Manual Team
Medically approved by
Dr Earim Chaudry
Last updated
10th February 2022

In 30 seconds…

For a healthy head of hair and minimal hair loss, it’s important to make positive lifestyle changes, such as eating a varied diet, taking exercise, and reducing the amount of alcohol you drink. This will ensure your hair follicles are well nourished so they can produce strong hairs.

However, to tackle the hair loss associated with male pattern baldness, you might want to take a more direct approach. Two effective treatments you can try are Finasteride and Minoxidil, which are clinically proven to prevent and even reverse hair loss.

When it comes to preventing hair loss, the key is to get in there early. Male pattern baldness (MPB) is a progressive condition that affects about 10% more men per decade of life – around 40% of men in their 40s and so on. So the younger you start thinking about hair loss, the better chance you have of halting its progress.

In this article, we share our 8 steps to stop hair loss. From diet and lifestyle to hair-care and medical treatments, there’s a lot you can do to nourish your mane and keep it stronger for longer.

1. Eat Well

To nourish your hair follicles so they keep producing healthy hairs, it’s crucial to eat a healthy and varied diet. Factoring in plenty of vegetables (particularly green leafy veg), wholegrains, nuts, seeds, and oily fish should provide the vitamins and minerals your hair needs to thrive.

As your hair is mainly made up of a protein called keratin, eating a protein-rich diet may also help to strengthen your hair and reduce hair loss. Healthy sources of protein include eggs, chicken, nuts, beans, and low-fat dairy products.

2. Take a Supplement

If you find that your diet isn’t providing enough of the essential micronutrients your hair needs, you could also try a vitamin and mineral supplement. Look for supplements that include B complex vitamins, Biotin (vitamin H), selenium, and L-lysine.

Iron-deficiency anaemia can cause or exacerbate hair loss, so if you’re following a restricted diet such as vegetarianism or veganism you might want to try an iron supplement to keep your hair healthy.

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3. Keep Hydrated

There’s no getting away from it – the old H2O is essential for our overall health. After all, about 60% of the body is made up of water!

Not drinking enough water (around 6–8 glasses a day) can lead to dry, brittle hair that snaps or falls out more easily. In contrast, staying hydrated helps to optimise hair growth and retention.

4. Get Active

We all know exercise is good for us – but did you know it’s good for your hair too? Regular exercise such as walking, cycling, and running helps you maintain good blood circulation and keeps your heart healthy. This, in turn, ensures sufficient blood flow to the scalp so your hair follicles can get all the nutrients they need. Exercise also plays a part in reducing stress, another factor behind hair loss (see below).

5. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

For stronger hair – and other health benefits – try cutting down on alcohol and smoking. Drinking alcohol has been shown to cause nutrient deficiency, as a result of poor absorption, and this can impact your hair follicles’ ability to produce healthy hair.

Moreover, research into smoking and hair loss has demonstrated that smoking can harm hair in numerous complex ways, including causing damage to the DNA of the hair follicle and disruption to the hair growth cycle.

6. Reduce Stress

The experience of losing hair can be stressful, but hair loss can also be a consequence of stress – and this sometimes leaves sufferers in something of a vicious circle. Certain types of hair loss are more likely to be caused by stress. These include Telogen Effluvium, where a traumatic event can lead to temporary hair loss, and Alopecia Areata, where the body’s immune system attacks hair follicles.

Various lifestyle changes can help to reduce stress and the associated hair loss: try getting plenty of rest, taking exercise, rethinking your workload, or talking through your worries with a friend or counsellor.

7. Review your Hair Care Routine

Have a think about your hair-washing and hair-styling routine. You could try regular (but not excessive) shampooing with a hair loss treatment shampoo, gently massaging the product into your scalp and rinsing out thoroughly.

Avoid rough brushing or combing for hair that is already fragile, and perhaps reconsider the use of styling products containing harsh chemicals near your scalp. Find a rhythm for your hair-care that works for you.

8. Try a Hair Loss Treatment

There are two clinically proven treatments for the hair loss caused by male pattern baldness: Finasteride and Minoxidil. Factoring one or both of these treatments into your routine at an early stage of the balding process can help stop hair loss in its tracks.

Oral Finasteride is taken as a tablet once per day. It works by blocking hormonal changes in your hair follicle that cause the hair follicle to miniaturise and stop producing healthy hair as you age.

Topical Minoxidil is a treatment that’s applied directly to the scalp, in the form of a spray, foam, or solution. It helps to increase blood flow to the scalp, so that damaged hair follicles can receive the nutrients they need to rejuvenate.

Key Takeaways…

While hair loss from male pattern baldness can’t be prevented by lifestyle choices alone, making positive changes should still help your hair stay stronger and healthier, and prevent hair loss from other factors.

Then, if you do choose to treat your MPB hair loss with Finasteride or Minoxidil, you’ll be giving these effective treatments the best chance of success. 

While we've ensured that everything you read on the Health Centre is medically reviewed and approved, information presented here is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

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