Call (866) 471-8869 for FREE Consultation
8 Hair Loss Myths: Fact vs Fiction
Hair loss is an embarrassing condition that affects millions of Americans today. Hair loss can hit both men and women, and can be linked to a variety of causes. For years, people have done much speculating about what these causes are and, in the process, created some completely false hair loss myths to explain their thinning hair and premature balding. With continued scientific research and hair loss studies, we continue to learn more about the true mechanics and causes of hair loss. In this article, we have debunked some hair loss myths, and validated some others. Let's take a look at some of the more commonly held hair loss myths, and see which ones are accurate.
Popular Hair Loss Myths
1) Baldness is passed down from your mother's side: False
Genetic hair loss, or androgenetic alopecia, is considered the main cause of hair loss in women and in men. According to the Hair Loss Learning Center, genetics accounts for 95% of male hair loss. Long considered a trait inherited from our mother's side, genetic hair loss actually results from a combination of the genes from our mother's and our father's sides. So, although you can't entirely predict the future of your hairline based on your mother's or your father's scalp, you can get a good indicator from comparing the collective hairlines of your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.2) Tight hairstyles and use of hair dryers can cause hair loss: True and False
It's true that constant use of tight ponytails and cornrows, and excessive blow drying can put a lot of stress on hair follicles and cause strands to break or become damaged. In extreme cases, the tight pulling of hair over time can create minor bald patches known as traction alopecia, but the hair loss is only temporary and growth will resume when severe styling is discontinued. These hair styling habits don't create permanent hair loss because they typically don't damage the root of hair follicles underneath the scalp's surface.3) Medications and steroids can cause hair loss: True
While medications and steroids might not cause hair loss for someone who isn't genetically predisposed to hair loss, both can exacerbate balding tendencies in someone who's genetically susceptible. Various medications such as certain anti-depressants, birth control, and antineoplastic drugs have hair loss listed as a possible side effect, but it's not guaranteed. It's best to check with your doctor right away if you notice sudden thinning hair after being put on a new medication. On the other hand, steroids have been shown to greatly increase occurrences of permanent hair loss. Anabolic steroids boost the production of the hair loss-causing hormone, DHT.4) Stress, vitamin deficiency and illness can cause hair loss: True
While none of these symptoms are known to create permanent hair loss, they can all create significant temporary hair loss in men and women. Aside from the hair loss that can result from chemotherapy and radiation treatments, patchy hair loss called alopecia areata can result from autoimmune disorders such as thyroid disease, lupus and diabetes.
When it comes to vitamin or nutritional deficiency and intense stress, the resulting temporary hair loss is called telogen effluvium. This hair loss happens when the body experiences a shock, either from psychological stress, sudden excessive weight loss, metabolic changes, vitamin deficiencies or a virus. When one of these situations occurs, the hair is forced into the resting stage of the hair growth cycle prematurely, resulting in sudden drastic hair loss.5) Hair loss can be prevented by frequent hair brushing or standing on your head: False
Some people have maintained that constant brushing increases scalp circulation and thus boosts hair growth. However, because alopecia is primarily caused by the presence of DHT and genetic predisposition rather than blood flow, hair brushing will have no positive effect on hair growth. Similarly, standing on your head might give you a head rush from the increased blood flow, but it won't have any effect on your hair.6) Regular haircuts make your hair grow faster and thicker: False
Getting frequent haircuts is a good way to keep existing hair healthy by removing damaged, split ends, but haircuts have no effect on your hair's growth rate or thickness.7) Smoking causes hair loss: True
Although this myth has been discounted in the past as being an unvalidated assumption, recent studies by research groups such as the British Medical Journal (BMJ) have found sufficient evidence to claim there is a significant link between smoking and hair loss. It's still uncertain whether the connection is due to the effects of tobacco toxins, or the fact that smoking accelerates aging and other health problems.8) Hair loss cannot be treated: False
In the past, there were no effective treatments in sight for hair loss and hair thinning patients; the only solution was to cover up hair loss with hats and artificial hairpieces. Fortunately, there are many effective hair loss medications and treatments on today's market that can either prevent future hair loss, or replenish balding hairlines.
The most popular hair loss medications include Rogaine® (Minoxidil) and Propecia® (Finasteride). Rogaine acts as a hair growth stimulator while Propecia prevents hair loss by inhibiting DHT production and activity.
For more severe cases of balding and hair loss, hair transplant surgery is one of the newest and most effective procedures out there. Hair transplant surgery takes hairs from the back and sides of the scalp that are more resistant to balding and implants them onto thinning areas. There are also some well-known topical hair therapy treatments that are good to use in the beginning stages of hair loss.
To learn more about hair loss, or to find out which treatment method will work best for you, it's best to meet with a professional hair loss specialist in your area. They will be able to analyze your specific scalp and hair conditions, identify what type of hair loss you have, and recommend the most appropriate treatment for you.