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Hair Growth For Men: Science-Backed Tips For Fuller Hair

Kirsten Nunez, M.S.
Contributing writer By Kirsten Nunez, M.S.
Contributing writer
Kirsten Nunez is a health and lifestyle journalist based in Beacon, New York. She has a Master of Science in Nutrition from Texas Woman's University and Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from SUNY Oneonta.
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Raise your hand if your hair seems a bit thinner than usual. If so, rest assured that you're not alone—hair shedding is extremely common in all genders. What's more, there are myriad reasons behind hair thinning, some of which are out of our control.

But that doesn't mean it's impossible to naturally boost hair health. Ahead, learn about holistic remedies for promoting hair growth in men, from supplements to light therapy.

What causes hair shedding in men?

First things first: Many factors can contribute to hair shedding and loss. It's a complex situation, and often, promoting fuller hair will call for a whole-body approach.

Possible causes for thinning hair include:

  • Aging. For most people, regardless of gender, aging is the main reason behind hair loss. The hair growth cycle naturally changes over time—i.e., the anagen (growing) phase decreases, while the telogen (dormant) phase lengthens or stays the same. And if more hair follicles are in the telogen phase, the more you'll experience shedding—which, unfortunately, is a normal part of getting older.
  • Genetics. Genetics also play a role, says board-certified hair loss surgeon William Yates, M.D. Specifically, if you have a relative with androgenetic alopecia (which is simply the scientific term used for common hair shedding in men and women), there's a good chance that you'll have it too. After all, it affects 30 to 50% of men by age 50, making it the most common reason for hair loss in men. This genetic trait can also come from either side of the family, notes Yates.
  • Stress. It's no secret that everyday mental and emotional stress can take a toll on your body. This includes hair health, as indicated by research on stress and hair shedding. Basically, stress triggers a spike in hormones, neurotransmitters, and cytokines, which can throw your body's homeostasis (balance) off-kilter. This can mess with your hair growth cycle, resulting in hair shedding.
  • Nutritional deficiencies. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD), low levels of certain nutrients—like biotin or zinc—can lead to significant hair thinning. (Biotin deficiency is rare in the U.S. population; overt zinc deficiency is also rare in the adult U.S. population, although the potential zinc gap from our diet isn't anything to gloss over.)

Additionally, sometimes, underlying issues can lead to hair thinning. If you suspect your hair shedding may be caused by something other than the above, be sure to check in with your health care professional.

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How to support healthy hair growth.

Fortunately, there are ways to naturally support hair fullness:

1. Scalp massage

Aside from feeling oh-so-good, scalp massages can support hair growth via mechanical stimulation of hair follicles, according to research. Additionally, the practice increases blood flow to the scalp, further contributing to hair health. It also doesn't hurt that scalp massages can help relax the body and mind, potentially easing some of the stress associated with hair thinning.

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2. Hair and scalp oils

For maximum benefits, add a hair-friendly oil to your scalp massage routine. Rosemary oil is an excellent choice, as it's packed with antioxidants that can combat oxidative stress in the scalp—a major culprit of poor hair growth. In fact, one compelling study found that rosemary oil works just as well as minoxidil, a popular hair growth topical product.

Another option is pumpkin seed oil, which has a comparable effect. Case in point: A 2021 study found that the oil works just as well as minoxidil. According to the researchers, pumpkin seed oil decreases hair shaft diversity, a scenario in which some hair follicles become smaller in size.

3. Hair supplements

Some beauty- and hair-focused supplements may improve the overall health of the scalp and hair in general—which may contribute to fuller-looking hair. Collagen supplements, for example, are made of amino acid peptides, which are the building blocks of the protein keratin (as well as elastin and collagen, their namesake).* If you're looking for the top options to try, see our guide to the best collagen supplements.

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Additionally, as we noted some nutrient deficiencies can contribute to hair shedding, according to a scientific review in Dermatology Practical & Concept. This could be anything from the obvious protein macro to the more granular micronutrients like biotin, zinc, etc.

Thus, if your hair loss woes are rooted in nutritional gaps, taking hair supplements can help, says Dina Strachan, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and director of Aglow Dermatology.* But take note: According to Strachan, if you don't have an actual nutrient inadequacy relevant to hair health, these supplements may not make a difference (in terms of hair growth, at least). That said, if you suspect you're low in a certain nutrient, chat with your practitioner before investing in hair supplements.

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4. Red light therapy

Another solution is red light therapy, which is often available at spas and some dermatology offices. As indicated by one research review, the remedy can promote hair growth in men and women by helping hair follicles enter the anagen phase. Additionally, according to Strachan, red light therapy can reduce oxidative stress, increase blood flow, and decrease DHT, a hormone derived from testosterone that's involved in hair loss in some people. These effects can help minimize factors involved in hair loss, thereby supporting healthy hair growth.

5. Visit a derm or hair professional

Whether you're losing a few strands or your comb is looking much fuller post-brush, it's a good idea to visit a dermatologist, trichologist, or other hair professional. As Strachan notes, "Hair loss can just be something that runs in the family—or it can be a sign of something more serious." By seeking professional guidance, you can receive personalized recommendations based on your hair and health history. After all, "there are many [remedies] that can be started right away to slow the thinning process," says Yates. Seeing a derm ASAP can protect the hair you do have and increase your chances of successful hair growth.

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6. PRP injections

If you're super serious about hair growth, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections might be just what you need. As Yates explains, PRP is a process in which your dermatologist takes a sample of your blood and spins it in a centrifuge, which is a machine that separates platelets from other blood components. (Platelets contain growth factors that stimulate your body's healing properties, says Yates.) Next, your dermatologist injects these platelets into your scalp, which stimulates your body's healing response. In turn, "the hair follicles [are] re-energized to grow healthy hair again," according to Yates. 

The takeaway.

Hair loss in men is often due to aging and genetics. Additionally, simple factors like stress and nutritional status can also contribute to hair thinning. Luckily, natural remedies like scalp massage, supplements, and hair oils can promote healthy hair growth in men.* And a professional can also provide therapies like PRP injections and red light therapy. For additional tips on hair growth, check out our stylist-approved guide to fuller hair.

beauty & gut collagen+
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(121)
beauty & gut collagen+

beauty & gut collagen+

Supports strong and healthy hair.*

beauty & gut collagen+

beauty & gut collagen+

Supports strong and healthy hair.*

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(121)
beauty & gut collagen+

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