A Dad's Guide To Growing Old Disgracefully

It’s a phenomenon that all men of a certain age will recognize. One minute you’re 18 years old, you’re just about to start college and your whole life is a roadmap to success laid out in front of you with a big fat pot of gold waiting at the end. Summers seem to last a lifetime and it feels like everything will go on like this forever. Then you blink again and it’s your wedding day, you blink again and you’re holding your first born, you blink again and dropping your kids off at school, you blink again and your kids have grown up and you’re using incontinence pads for men!

And then it happens.

You look in the mirror and this old dude who looks a bit like your Dad stares back.

While the ladies like to say that we get more handsome as we age, that’s little consolation when you look in the mirror at the crow’s feet and receding hairline that greet us every morning to remind us how far behind our glory days seem to be. It also doesn’t help if friends from our teenage years don’t seem to be aboard the ageing waggon with us.

But don’t despair! There are still plenty of options for the image conscious family man, whose confidence went out just about the time Limp Bizkit were coming in. Even if you’re on a modest budget there are plenty of ways to make yourself look younger and more revitalized so you can look the reaper in the eye and say “not today!”

First of all, you need to stay in shape!

Nothing gives you a youthful glow more than being fit and healthy. This doesn’t mean that you need to become an obsessive meat head who pumps iron every spare moment, in fact strength is just one element of fitness, and while big muscles can be impressive, they’re not necessarily an indication of fitness. High intensity interval training is proven to be the best way to improve cardiovascular fitness while lots of stretching will keep your muscles and joints youthfully limber.

A huge part of looking younger is feeling younger, and inhabiting a fit, healthy, flexible body that doesn’t break into a sweat when you climb a flight of stairs or creak when you bend to pick something up is a great start!,

You also need to clean up your diet. You may have spent years eating virtually nutrition-free convenience foods that are actually assisting in the ageing process. High sodium, preservative laden pork products like sausages and bacon deprive your body of water while sugary foods cause inflammation of the skin, making it look puffy and blotchy.

Opt instead for naturally anti-aging foods rich in antioxidants like olive oil, blueberries, nuts and fish.

Needless to say, if you’re serious about looking and feeling younger you should eliminate age-accelerating alcohol, tobacco and caffeine and drink lots of water to keep your skin and vital organs hydrated.

Hair loss. You are NOT alone

Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition that affects 70% of men, yet all those full heads of thick lustrous hair we see in movies and on TV would have us believe otherwise. Would it help if I told you most of them were wearing wigs? Because a lot of them totally are!

It doesn’t help with the way bald men tend to be portrayed in popular media. I mean, name one positive bald character in film or TV (no, Homer Simpson doesn’t count). Whereas Walter White, Lex Luthor, Voldemort and Pinhead are just a few among the bald villains that haunt popular films and TV shows.

Many men get very sensitive about their hair loss and while there are a great many women (and men) who believe that bald is beautiful, many men find themselves wishing that they could hold on to the hair they have. Fortunately, science has made this easier and more affordable than ever. While transplants are the most effective ways of addressing the issue, depending on your hair loss (and budget) a trichologist (scalp doctor), may prescribe topical Minoxidil or Finasteride tablets to prevent or even reverse your hair loss.

If a transplant is the way you’d like to go, check out Sure Hair International to see which hair transplantation techniques are available through the miracle of modern science. Most transplant surgeons now use FUE (Follicular Unit Extraction) technique to extract individual hair follicles without scarring while FUT (Follicular Unit Transplantation) involves the extraction of strips of skin from the sides of the head where the hair is thickest, to different areas of the head to cover areas of hair loss. While less expensive, the latter does leave scars and is not recommended if you prefer to rock the short back and sides look.

If a transplant is a little out of your price range, your options are far from limited. Keratine Fibers are a cheap and extremely effective way of disguising thinning hair and bald spots, blending seamlessly into your existing hair.  While wigs have an unfortunate reputation, they remain an option for those who can’t or don’t want to resort to surgery. Great innovations have been made in wig design since the 70s and the heyday of toupe jokes. Fine microfiber mesh attaches the wig to your head which feels natural and unobtrusive (gone are the days when wigs were attached with metal braces).

Love the skin you’re in

Aside from your hairline, your skin is the thing most likely to give away your age, and while a face lift can be an option, we all know what it looks like when they go wrong. As with most things, prevention is the best cure, and looking after your skin in your thirties and forties is a great way to ensure that people remark upon your youthful looks in later years.

Men’s skin is generally thicker and oilier than women’s and prone to being dried out by harsh sulphate soaps and cleansers (which is all most of us use). Check out these moisturizers, cleansers, exfoliants and toners that will make your skin look instantly younger and more vitalized.