23/04/2013 13:29 BST | Updated 22/06/2013 06:12 BST

Can The Ponytail Ever Work For Men?


The MTV Movie Award head honchos must have thought all their Christmases had come at once when legendary heart throb actor Brad Pitt agreed to do the honours and present the award for 'movie of the year' at the ceremony last week. However, they may have not quite got what they bargained for when the World War Z star rocked up looking a little too dad-chic in casual clothes and his hair tied up in a ponytail.

Of course, a handsome chap like Brad needn't worry about looking a little under-dressed, but compared to his usual film star style, Mr Angelina Jolie appears to be aging a little ungraciously as he teeters on the brink of his fifties.

It's funny what men will do to appear younger, from the obligatory mid-life crisis sports car to suddenly adopting a penchant for leather jackets, and Brad is certainly leading the way in dodgy hairdos. Of course, as you age, it becomes increasingly likely that your hair will become thinner, and judging by the scalp that appears to be showing through Brad's ponytail, he might have ill-advisedly thought that a ponytail was a solution to covering up his hair loss.

Of course, trying to conceal hair loss through various weird and wonderful solutions is certainly nothing new, from Donald Trump's spectacularly bad comb-overs to the many male celebrities who have bizarre penchants for wearing hats inside, not to mention the dodgy hair transplants!

That said, a hair transplant is necessary if you want to improve your hairline where hair has completely stopped growing and the area is shiny and bald, however research must be done to ensure that your surgeon uses the FUE method rather than the rather outdated strip surgery to avoid unsightly scars on the back of your head, something that will make you want to adopt a Brad-style ponytail out of desperation!

Now, you might get lucky with your genes and find that your hair remains thick into your 80's...this can happen, so don't go getting cynical about any OAPs you spot with luscious locks, they could well be wig-free and not using a hair loss treatment! Because we inherit the predisposition to baldness from our family tree, we can't switch it off, although if you're lucky, stress or other potential triggers won't come into play, and hair loss will begin later rather than sooner.

Whilst there is still not enough credible research out there to say with certainty that stress and other lifestyle factors can make hair loss begin sooner than it would otherwise have done, we do know that it can begin at any point after puberty. So, whilst the ponytail may work in the short term to hide the beginnings of a thinning crown, it certainly shouldn't be looked to as a long term means to conceal your hair loss, no matter what your age.

If you're currently tempted to grow your hair longer to hide your shedding, a better plan might be to attempt to thicken your locks back up by blocking the cause of male pattern hair loss (the most common type by far) DHT. DHT causes hair follicles to shrink and produce weaker hair, and over time is the reason that men can go completely bald on top. As part of a hair loss treatment programme, Propecia can halt hair loss and regrow thinning, meaning, thank heavens, that the ponytail isn't necessary and can stay in the style sin bin.