Thinning hair can be a hard topic for men to talk about. Luckily, we found four honest men with thinning hair to discuss their experiences. Though it’s been quite a journey, they’ve learned a lot along the way — and shared every bit of it with us!
Not only did they provide a variety of great tricks, haircut tips, and products for thinning hair, but they also opened up about how dealing with thinning hair makes them feel. From anger to acceptance, everyone’s process proves different. At least they know they aren’t alone. Read on to learn more about their experiences.
Hair.com: Can you tell us a little bit about how your hair is thinning and when you first noticed it?
Travis: “I first noticed it when I was about 19. It’s just my front hairline. It wasn't as thick as it was when I was like 16. It starts like most guys have—the widow's peak sort of starts to kick in. From 16 to 26, I noticed most guys experiencing thinning hair and that change in hairline at the beginning, and I wanted my old one back. I actually use a liquid eyebrow pencil to hide it for a big night out. I'll just draw in fine hairs all around my hairline.”
Hair.com: How long have you been doing that for?
Travis: “I've been using some form of the fiber wig or that little squeezy powder since I was probably 17. But I don't like to use the squeezy powder because it gets all over your hands and no one can touch you and all that kind of stuff. You have to hit it with a lot of hairspray to make it stay. So I like the eyebrow gel pen.”
Hair.com: How has your relationship with your hair changed since you started noticing it was thinning?
Travis: “I'm just angry at it. I’m like ‘why have you forsaken me? Why can't you come back?’ And I find myself looking at other guys’ hairlines, wanting theirs.
Hair.com: Is there anything that your stylist tells you to do to prevent, embrace it, or combat it?
Travis: “I think it's more just embracing it. Everyone's struggle is different and mine is sort of minor in their eyes and I can't really do anything about it. But I learned from my hairstylist not to mess with it when it's wet. There's always some that aren't with the pack of the bunch and I go to [my hairstylist] to cut those little ones, but you know those [little hairs], they're special and they're important.”
Hair.com: When did you first start noticing that your hair was thinning?
Brendan: “Around the time I turned 30.”
Hair.com: And how did you feel about this change?
Brendan: “I don't know if I was upset, but bothered, for sure. Because, you know, I kinda just liked my hair I guess. I don't even think it was about getting older. It was just a bummer. I probably knew it was in the cards at some point but it was just earlier than I thought.”
Hair.com: How are you embracing it these days?
Brendan: “It doesn't bother me. Last year with the pandemic, I was forced to have haircuts at home. So [my wife] is my barber now. We just have a buzz clipper. And it just doesn't bother me.”
Hair.com I love that.
Brendan: “I've always liked wearing a hat. Growing up, I was always a hat guy. Now I just need to really wear them, or I’ll get sunburn on my head. Maybe some days I'm like, “it would be nice to have thick, luscious gorgeous hair”. But I joke with my girls that I have long hair and ponytails in my hair and they get a kick out of it. So it's more fun than it’s not. It doesn't bother me because they don't care. And if they don't care, then I shouldn’t care.”
Hair.com when did you first start to notice your hair thinning?
Hair.com: Was there any particular moment that you remember noticing it? Or was it kind of something you always knew was coming?
Jesse: “I guess I always knew it was coming because my older brother Brendan started balding pretty early on. But growing up, when I'd go to hair salon, everyone would always comment on how thick my hair was and that it was so different from my brother’s because my brothers’ was very thin. So I always secretly hoped that maybe it wasn’t going to happen to me. Then in college, I don’t think it was a specific moment or day, but I must've just gotten out of the shower and I noticed the peak. I was like “oh god, that’s really thin.” And I kept pushing my hair back and I was like “oh my god. That’s a spot missing”. Then I realized that this is the time that it goes away.”
Hair.com: How has your relationship with your hair changed since it started thinning?
Jesse: “I used to love my hair, especially in high school. I was rocking long locks and that was the style. I had a nice little wave, a gentle curl, and I didn't really have to do anything to it either. Then in college I started to panic a little bit. Now, I get very anxious if I can't get a haircut in time, because if it gets too long, I feel like it almost accentuates the fact that it’s thinning, especially on my forehead. I haven't noticed anything on that typical bald spot, like on the crown of your head, but definitely around the temples.”
Hair.com: The hairline?
Jesse: “Yeah, exactly. But now I would say that I'm sort of accepting it. I was talking to my barber, and he's bald, and I said, “when did you make the plunge to finally shave it off?” And he was like, “I don't know. I just got tired of it, so I just did it.” He said, “it's shocking at first, but then you just get used to it.” But he said I still have time. So I’ve sort of just accepted it. Now I'm leaning into the fact that I can grow a really fantastic beard. I have a feeling that when I do eventually go bald, and decide to shave it, I'm just going to grow like a really epic beard.”
Hair.com: When did you first start noticing your hair thinning?
Brendan: “When I was younger, my hairline was always shaped like a widow's peak. So for me. it was always just that's how my hairline is shaped. I mean, now it's not a widow's peak, it's just a receding hairline. But probably not until college. After [I shaved my head freshman year and it grew back] I was like, “Oh, that's not a normal hairline. That’s an older person's hairline.”
Hair.com: So how has your relationship with your hair changed since it started thinning?
Brendan: “Up until middle school, I always had a bowl cut. Then into middle school, because I went to Catholic school and we weren’t allowed to have our hair a certain way, I started styling it up. So I think the major change for me is that styling my hair is [now] always a chore. Styling my hair is no longer styling my hair to serve the purpose of making my hair look a certain way. It's making my hair not look a certain way. So now when I style my hair or when I get my hair cut, the number one objective is to cover the flaw instead of doing it a certain way that I want. For instance, now I'm trying to do this down messy bang, trying to get it curlier and add texture, because it's easier to hide the flaws in it.”
Hair.com: What types of tricks do you use to hide your hairline? How do you go in and request haircuts?
Brendan: “When I sit down with a barber, the first thing I always say is ‘short on the sides, longer on the top so I can style it.’ And I always ask him to leave it longer [at the top of the peak] where it’s receding. It’s always longer than it really should be. And it's because even when I style it, I bring it forward towards my forehead.”
Hair.com: What kind of products do you use?
Brendan: “The first thing I do, as soon as I get out of the shower. is either put in a sea salt styling paste, a thickening elixir, or a leave-in conditioner. Usually, by the time I let it air dry with that in it, it brings up the body a little bit more and adds some thickness. Then I use a pomade. I use very little and sometimes I'll even just scrunch it in. I won't comb it through, I'll just kind of put it on top. Then when I get it to a look that I like, I always go over it once with hairspray or dry shampoo, which I love for creating body and volume.”
Hair.com: How has the hairline affected your confidence in how you look?
Brendan: “It's not great. It's definitely something that's on my mind a lot. It's definitely something that I check before I leave the house every day if I'm not wearing a hat. I’m wearing hats more than ever, which I don't really have a problem with. I don't mind throwing on a hat.”
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