by Monica Reinagel, M.S., L.D./N.
Q. I've just turned 21 and my hairline is receding! A bit of Google searching tells me I'm not alone, however that doesn't mean I’m willing take it lying down! There are pharmaceutical options, like Propecia. But I’ve also read that taking omega-3 and zinc, or eating more vegetables might help. Could dietary changes help me regrow my hair?
A. If your hair loss were due to a nutrient deficiency, getting more of those nutrients might help. Likewise, if extreme stress were causing your hair to fall out, the best solution would be to relieve the stress in your life. But chances are that the cause of your receding hairline is genetic—and there’s not too much you can do about your genes!
Improving your diet (by eating more vegetables, for example) is never a bad idea! But I’m afraid it’s unlikely to make your hair start growing. I’d also be wary of dietary supplements that are supposed to fight hair loss. A basic multivitamin and mineral is unlikely to do any harm but high dose supplements could actually make things worse! (Hair loss is a side effect of excessive selenium intake, for example.)
See also: Can You Get Too Many Vitamins?
All is not lost, however! Rogaine is a topical over-the-counter medication that can help with male pattern baldness. If that doesn’t work, your doctor can help you weigh the risks and benefits of the oral medication, Propecia. Both of these only work as long as you continue to use them, however. That might be why so many young men in your situation decide to embrace the shaved head look!
Balding Man photo from Shutterstock.