Matthew McConaughey is one of the most iconic faces in Hollywood. Known for his Oscar-winning performance as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club and frequently voted one of the most beautiful people, McConaughey has portrayed a variety of characters in his movies.
Yet, one thing remains constant in all of these films - his incredible hair. But would you believe that McConaughey at one point struggled with hair loss? Indeed, it is true.
In a 2017 interview, McConaughey was asked about his great hair, and he openly admitted to battling hair loss in the late ‘90s. However, looking at him today, you would never know his past struggles. Curious what he used to restore his hair? Spoiler alert: it is not hair transplants.
What’s the Deal with Hair Loss Anyway?
There is often a sense of relief when we hear about famous faces who experience the same things we experience. It makes us feel like we are not alone, and it often gives us hope: hope that we will be able to overcome our struggles and be our best selves; and hope that we will still be accepted despite our difference.
Hair loss can feel like an isolated, lonely experience. Yet, it affects a surprising number of people. According to the American Hair Loss Association, nearly two-thirds of men will experience hair loss by age 35, and by age 50, 85% of men will be affected. The story is similar for women as well: nearly 40% of people with hair loss are female.
The most common cause of loss in both men and women is androgenic alopecia, also known as male- or female-pattern baldness. This type of hair loss is likely driven by genetics and tends to run in families. One of the leading causes may be an overexpression of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) in the scalp, which can shrink the size of your follicles. Other theories suggest that hair loss may be due to an overgrowth of fungus on the scalp.
There are other causes of thinning/loss aside from androgenic alopecia. For example, hair loss can be caused by:
- Stressful events (both physical and mental)
- Hormonal imbalance
- Autoimmune conditions
- Harsh styling practices
- Poor diet
Most likely, McConaughey experienced male-pattern baldness. This type of hair loss tends to follow a pattern, where you have thinning in the form of a receding hairline, you have vertex thinning (where your hairline shifts to a ‘V’ shape), or you have thinning on your crown.
McConaughey’s Hair Loss Journey
McConaughey is one of those actors that’s surprisingly relatable. He has a wife, three kids, and is down-to-earth in every interview he has ever given. And yes, like many men, he has struggled with thinning in the past.
McConaughey admitted that he had noticeable hair loss in 1999. He started to lose his hair and reported that he had a silver dollar-size bald patch on top of his head.
When you look at him today, you would never suspect he had male-pattern baldness. His head of hair is now full, and his hairline is intact. Most people would attribute his luxurious locks to an incredible transplant specialist. Yet, McConaughey reports that he never had a transplant.
He even had a hair transplant doctor stop him in the street and ask to look at his scalp for proof he did not have a great hair transplant! Instead of surgery, he used products that he regularly applied to the area where he was balding, and his locks eventually grew back.
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What We Can Learn from Him about Managing Hair Loss?
McConaughey, with his silver dollar bald spot, serves as a perfect example of how to approach male-pattern hair loss. Here are the steps he took that we can learn from:
Early action is key.
Spotting crown thinning is challenging because of where it is on the head. Therefore, unlike a receding hairline, it can be tough to catch early on. Trouble visualizing this area may be one reason why McConaughey’s bald patch grew to a silver dollar in size.
If you have a family history of pattern baldness, it is never too early to start monitoring for signs of thinning. Even teenagers can experience early indications of male-pattern baldness. To keep track of your hair thickness, take a photo of your hairline and crown each month.
Ideally, you will want to be able to capture your whole head of hair in a few photos. With monthly pictures, you can monitor for any changes.
Use hair growth products right away.
If you do have thinning or balding, start using a hair loss treatment or hair growth products immediately to slow the spread and restore your lost hair. The earlier you start, the easier it is to fill in your hair once again.
Make sure to use the best products available. Hair growth products have changed drastically in the last several years. In particular, products containing Nanoxidil 5% add far more benefit without the side effects than any other product on the market. Along with Nanoxidil, you will also want a product that contains:
- Azelaic acid
- Copper tripeptide 1
- Piroctone olamine
Together, these ingredients work to:
- Stimulate growth
- Reduce inflammation
- Control Malassezia growth (a fungus that can take over your scalp if allowed)
- Prevent follicular fibrosis
- Increase the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor
- Suppress DHT (one of the biggest culprits in androgenic alopecia)
- Open ion channels to allow growth medication to penetrate deeper into the scalp
You can shop the Spectral line through DS Laboratories for products with these essential ingredients for stimulating growth.
Additional Tips for Hair Loss (We Bet McConaughey Tries to Do These as Well)
Eat a healthy diet.
Healthy locks do require a healthy diet. Therefore, it is essential to eat a diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Remember, hair is made mostly made of protein (called keratin).
Additionally, you need to meet all of your daily requirements for essential nutrients in order to nourish existing follicles and incentivize new strands to grow. If you are unsure if you are meeting your daily nutrient needs, consider taking a hair support supplement.
Stress doesn’t only cause thinning, it can hurt your whole body. Thus, the negative consequences of stress go beyond your image. Curbing your stress helps you allocate energy to other areas of your body, rather than continually serving organs responding to a heightened stress state. Indeed, when we are chronically stressed, vital nutrients and energy are deferred away from your follicles to other areas of your body.
Find healthy stress-relieving and coping strategies that help you better your physical health, mental health, and appearance. For example, try to implement a mindfulness practice or block off 30 minutes each day (to start) for self-care. Additionally, get plenty of rest so that your body has the energy to dedicate toward regrowth.
Growth products have come a long way since 1999. Today, we have made significant technological advancements in growth systems that are more effective with fewer side effects. If you are struggling with hair loss like Matthew McConaughey once was, try using a hair growth product to keep your locks thick and preserve your self-image.