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Styling Tips for Hair Loss


We live in a society that prizes youth and vitality. Most men and many women for that matter, as they age experience hair loss, and as barbers, working in the appearance industry we see first-hand how appearance influences behavior. Take for example what happens when someone gets a haircut and then looks in the mirror and sees an improved appearance. Their mood is brighter and their perspective on themselves is elevated. Hair is a large part of appearance and the way it is styled can make a major statement about the person, and that in turn dictates how others treat them.

Baldness affects many kinds of people many kinds of ways for many different reasons and evokes many different responses. Because of time and space we’ll confine ourselves to the most common scenario; that of the middle-aged man whose hair line is receding. According to an article in Web MD the American Hair Loss Association states that two of three men begin experiencing hair loss by age thirty five and by age fifty, eighty five percent have significantly thinning hair. It’s commonly referred to as male pattern baldness. The professional term is androgenic alopecia.

hair loss norwood-hamilton (1)

The long standing stereotype is that a man who is losing his hair is past his prime. Hair loss is sometimes a symptom of illness which is another reason that in years past it’s been viewed as undesirable. Many people think it makes them unattractive but these days that’s a presumptive misperception. Societal attitudes about baldness are being driven more than ever by the strength of the individual. Choosing to go completely bald can be a bold statement. Take any of the following examples and you’ll see what I mean, Yul Brynner, Telly Savalas, Patrick Stewart, Vin Diesel, Avery Brooks, Charles Barkley, Shaq, or Michael Jordan.

Patrick Stewart             Avery-Brooks

Most guys though aren’t looking to make that kind of statement. They just want to gain the best look they can with what hair they have so here’s a few options and guidelines for those who are thinning. Keep in mind that guidelines are general and non specific.

Comb Over

If the hairline is still at or below the forehead and there’s enough coverage to mask the baldness a Comb Over is a good option. Keep in mind that a good Comb Over is one that doesn’t look blindingly obvious from the front.

If this guy looks familiar it’s because he’s a former New York City mayor.


Low Cuts

A low cut of some kind, whether a crew cut, a wave cut, or possibly even a flat top depending on growth can be a good option if there’s sparse coverage on the crown. Here’s why. A flat top has the shortest hair over the top of the crown while the hair around the outside is left longer. This is then cut level and creates what is commonly referred to as the “landing strip” or the “horse shoe.” That means that it could be a good choice to minimize the appearance of thinning because the style itself is cut lower where the thinning is taking place.

Flat top

This example shows a guy who hits about a # 3 on the scale above that illustrates the progression of alopecia. His hairline is sliding back on the sides, and if he has a bald spot at the back of the head it’s hidden by the cut.

Other low cut styles like crew cuts and wave cuts can also be tapered to leave the top longer which compensates for thinning because hair that’s finer, and more sparse requires more length to provide the same amount of scalp coverage that thicker more densely packed hair can give. By tapering, an illusion of uniform hair growth can be created, within limits, and thus the baldness is less obvious.

Yeah, Statham rocks it.


Still, you don’t have to be a star to have it work.

Low even all over

Clean Shaven

Aesthetically speaking the time to look at trading the comb for the razor and going all the way is when a comb over is no longer effective to mask the hair loss or when a low cut can no longer provide a uniform appearance.

Incidentally we’ve conducted an informal poll of some corporate professional women and they prefer that a guy who can’t get a decent comb over should go clean shaven.

This guy might want to consider taking the ladies advice.

combover bad

The style no longer hides the hair loss, and the uniformity is completely gone. That’s partly due to the wave in his hair. Many times as hair thins manageability is more difficult because there’s less hair to hold the remaining hair in place.

Okay in all honesty Shaq is wearing a wig in this photo. Even so, it’s a great example of how going clean shaven can improve appearance.

Shaq in wig                    Shaq clean shaven

Skin Conditioning

It should be obvious that the more skin there is visible the more important it is to take care of it. It’s about exposure, and clean shaven is as exposed as it gets. Protecting your scalp from damage and the sun, and maintaining a healthy appearance is important. Sun screen, moisturizers, and essential oils are needed to prevent dryness and serious cumulative damage especially here in Florida. Those things are the minimum here. Keeping skin supple and really healthy requires a bit more than that, and it doesn’t take much over the course of time to make a difference either good or bad.

As we age our skin naturally thins, and as time goes by having a scalp massage or scalp treatment as little as once a month can pay dividends. A massage is great for keeping the adipose (fatty tissue) layer of the skin healthy because massage facilitates even distribution of collagen and increases circulation. The Adipose is the layer of the skin that provides its cushion, fullness, and youthful appearance. Massage also moves lymphatic fluid which supports the health of cells and tissues. That’s even more important when you understand that cancer is caused by a breakdown at the cellular level. What cancer is; is the multiplication of tissue cells that have become abnormal. It stands to reason that the healthier you keep your skin cells the less your chances of developing cancer and the better you’ll look.

1 Comment

  1. That’s interesting that low cuts can help to hide sparse coverage on the crown. I’ve been worried about losing my hair and was wondering what hairstyles I could do that might be able to hide hair loss. Perhaps talking with barbers at barber shops would also be a good way to figure out what type of hairstyle would be best.

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