A lot of us grew up with the belief that our hair was our “crowning glory”. And so, while it may also be difficult for men to deal with hair loss and thinning, when it starts to happen to us, it can be pretty close to devastating.

If you are someone who is seeing signs of either issue, you should take note of the fact that it could be the sign of an underlying health issue because two outward things that indicate the state of our physical well-being are our hair and nails.

Now, this doesn’t mean that there’s necessarily cause for major concern. You may be having a vitamin and mineral deficiency, you may be going through a hormonal change or it may be due to you experiencing high levels of stress. The main thing to keep in mind is that if nothing improves after trying a couple of these recommendations, you might want to set up an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist for further review.

With that in mind, here are five proven things that you can do to help prevent hair loss and/or thinning:

Take your vitamins. As previously mentioned, trouble with hair growth is oftentimes directly attributed to a vitamin and mineral deficiency. Vitamins A, B, C and E are all great ways to nourish the hair. Also, don’t forget to take some iron. It’s a mineral that will improve the blood circulation in your scalp.

Stop smoking. If you’re a smoker and you need one more reason to quit, this would be it. There are many reports that support the fact that smoking does the exact opposite of what taking iron supplements do; it hinders blood circulation to the scalp, which can significantly affect how your hair grows.

Drink more water. Did you know that our hair shaft is made up of almost one quarter water? Amazing, is it not? Even if you’re not a big water fan, there’s really no way around the fact that drinking at least 6-8 glasses of it daily is one of the absolute best things that you can do for every part of your body, including your hair.

Consider laser therapy. If you’ve tried some of the more natural methods and you have been unsuccessful, there are other measures that can be taken. One popular one is laser therapy. The infrared light therapy combined with laser technology does wonders for the scalp by using direct light on the scalp to awaken the cells around the damaged hair follicles in order to stimulate healthy hair growth.

Ease up on the chemicals. If you do constant perming and hair coloring, over time, the heavy chemical use can also cause some thinning that may lead to hair loss. Before needing an FUE hair transplant to replace all of the damage that has been done, make sure to not over-process your hair by coloring or perming too soon between regularly-scheduled appointments. Also, unless you are a professional stylist, it’s recommended that you go to a salon for your major styling needs. Your hair is one of the most beautiful accessories that you have. Make sure to take care of it.