There’s a lot of hearsay about hair loss, but do you know truth from fiction? Despite male or female pattern baldness being a common condition, many still fall for the lure of fake facts. From the causes of alopecia to hair loss treatments, we’ll spare you from the sugar-coated information and tell you what science says. Here are 11 hair loss myths, busted!
Myth #1: Going Bald Means Getting Old
Truth: Hair loss in men and women can happen at any age, so balding shouldn’t instantly equate to aging. Growing old does increase your chances, but alopecia isn’t limited to those in their “golden years.” For most guys experiencing premature hair loss, it’s usually due to Androgenetic Alopecia, or male pattern baldness. However, for younger women, the cause may be more serious hormonal problems such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), which can also cause irregular periods. Children are also not exempt, with 3% of pediatric medical visits being hair-loss related.
Myth #2: It’s Your Mom’s Fault You’re Bald Truth: We’ve all heard that it’s the genes from your mother’s side that causes hair loss. This is an overly exaggerated version of the truth. While your mother’s genes may slightly be stronger, common baldness can be inherited from either of your parent’s gene pools. Hair loss, like many of our traits, is just a randomly selected gene that we were unfortunately made with. However, if it’s a pretty common thing in your family, whether it’s in your mom or dad’s side, the chances of you going bald are higher. So unless your mom’s nagging makes you want to pull your hair out, it’s time to stop blaming her.
Myth #3: Too Much Testosterone Takes Away Your Hair Truth: They say bald men have higher testosterone, and may actually be better in bed. While guys may see this as a redeeming factor, we’re sorry to break it to you boys — it’s fiction, not fact. According to CBS News, research shows it’s actually another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), that causes hair loss in both men and women. When follicles on one’s scalp are extra sensitive to this certain hormone, it can cause follicles to shrink, causing thinning and eventual balding.
Myth #4: If You Want To Keep Your Hair, Stop and Stay Away From the Shampoo!
Truth: The “No Shampoo” movement has been gaining traction, but sadly, if you’ve got it in your genes, this isn’t going to help stop the hair loss. For women, it’s pretty common to have clumps of hair fall out in the shower. Shedding dead and dry hair is a natural, even a good thing. Plus, you’re not really affecting the roots of your hair unless you drastically pull the strands while taking a bath. You’re simply cleansing the scalp, which shouldn’t trigger hair loss. As for men, gel is the mythological no-no, but it’s also not something you should be staying away from. The truth is, the only thing withdrawing from hair products will do is give you a bad hair day.
Myth #5: Hat Hair Turns Into No Hair
Truth: While hair loss is largely genetic, there is such a thing as Traction Alopecia. This is a type of gradual hair loss due to psychological problems that result in hair pulling, or specific hairstyles such as tight buns, braids, and ponytails. Wearing a hat, however, is a very unlikely cause of this condition. Unless you’re constantly wearing extra tight caps, if someone has ever told you that wearing a hat can make you go bald, they probably just didn’t like your headwear.
Myth #6: Birth Control Causes Balding
Truth: This is a very woman-specific myth, but one that should definitely be addressed. Apart from contraception, “The Pill” has many positive and negative effects — from weight gain to mood swings, acne to hair loss. The truth is, it can actually go both ways. Hair loss in women is a possibility, but it can also cause unusual hair growth. It really depends on the chemical composition of the pill you’re using. Usually, pills heavy on progesterone are those that cause thinning. However, to be safe, it’s always best to consult a doctor.
Myth #7: Stress Reduces Strands Truth: Dermatologist Piradi Mirmirani says this isn’t completely false. It all depends on the kind of stress you’re experiencing. Everyday events like deadlines, running late, or minor spats with your spouse or partner probably won’t cause your hair to fall out. However, traumatic experiences can cause hair loss due to psychological conditions, and can trigger habits like hair pulling. Problems that makes you lose your appetite and suffer from sleepless nights can trigger hormonal imbalance and, consequently, your hair to fall out. More than that, if your hair loss is caused by stress, you’ve got to look about three to six months back to pinpoint the exact event that’s affecting your scalp.
Myth #8: Going Natural Helps Your Hair
Truth: Especially in the age of the organic and paraben-free products, purchasing products made of natural ingredients is a trend that’s staying strong. However, while this may be a healthier option for you, they might not be the most effective when it comes to helping with hair loss. In fact, The Bald Truth author, Spencer Kobren says that while he advocated natural supplements in the past, there is no clinical proof that these will actually prevent or even slow down thinning. If you’re shelling out serious cash for such pills and serums, you’re better off investing in neo-grafting, or other hair loss treatments out there.
Myth #9: You Can Revive The Dead! (Follicles)
Truth: Just as zombies remain fiction, so is the revival of dead hair follicles. Most people mistake balding for sudden falling out of strands. However, how hair loss actually happens is that thicker strands are gradually replaced with thinner ones, until hair no longer grows back. According to Huffington Post, medication or laser therapy can slow down the hair thinning process and can also make hair follicles grow thicker and healthier. However, once the follicle is dead, hair transplant is your only remaining choice.
Myth #10: Hair Restoration Never Looks Natural Truth: Most people will laugh at the thought of hair restoration. This is because the first image that comes to mind would probably be a middle-aged man with a “plug-ly” transplant, almost resembling a bad toupee. These kinds of procedures are, if not, should be obsolete. Today, advanced technology provides us with hair loss treatments that are practically invisible. As long as you remain wary of disreputable doctors, it’s highly possible no one will even notice you availed of a hair transplant.
Myth #11: Once You Go Bald, You Can Never Go Back
Truth: It all depends on what kind of hair loss you’re experiencing, but then again, there is always hope. Shedding from stress and hormonal imbalances are most likely to be temporary. Hair lost due to psychological conditions or nutritional deficiencies will also probably grow back. On the other hand, hair loss due to scars or dormant and dead follicles probably cannot be naturally restored. However, whatever the severity of your shedding, there are plenty solutions available. They range from taking medication to undergoing a neo-grafting procedure. It’s all up to you and to what lengths you’re willing to go to reclaim your crowning glory.