Over the years we’ve heard a lot of myths when it comes to hair loss. We are here to help set the record strait!
1. Wearing hats too often can cause hair to fall out.
This is not true, hats have no effect on the hair itself. They can pull on the hair, which over the course of 30+ years could potentially make the hair more brittle. But hats themselves have no effect on hair loss.
2. Genetic hair loss is passed down through your mother’s side of the family (specifically mothers father).
False, there are hundreds of genetic factors that can contribute to hair loss. It can come from either side of the family, or just a bad mix of genetic factors.
3. Shaving your head makes you go bald.
False, shaving the head does not affect the hair at the level of the follicle, which is where thinning and loss are occurring. It can look thinner to the naked eye when it shaved down, but does not affect the hair.
4. You don’t have to worry about it when you’re young.
Hair loss can start at any age, but for most men starts in their 20-30s. Hair loss tends to be progressive, but the earlier you start treating it, the better the results of protecting it.
5. All hair loss is permanent.
There are hundreds of types of hair loss and not all are permanent. Hair loss from chemotherapy is a good example of a temporary hair loss. The most common hair loss (male and female pattern loss) tend to be permanent.
6. Stress is causing your hair loss.
True, stress can cause hair loss. Cortisol is the stress hormone and it has been shown to inhibit hair growth. It can also cause hair follicles to go into a dormant phase.
7. Only older people suffer from baldness.
False, hair loss can occur at any age. Some people lose a large amount of hair in their 20s, while others don’t lose any until their 40s.
8. Hair loss is only a problem for men.
False, women suffer from hair loss as well. There are many types of hair loss that affect both sexes.
9. Bald men have more testosterone.
False, bald men have been shown to have both high and low testosterone.
10. Washing and shampooing your hair too much can cause hair loss.
False, although it can dry out the scalp and create a tougher environment for hair growth. However, it will not cause the hair to fall out.
11. Taking vitamins will promote hair growth.
It can, although it wont cause much growth. But having a healthy diet and getting enough vitamins and nutrients is important for hair.
12. Getting your hair cut often will make it grow back thicker and faster.
False, haircuts have no effect on thickness or density of hair.
13. Only men experience hair loss.
False, women suffer from hair loss as well
14. Overwashing can cause hair loss.
See above, hair washing will not cause hair loss.
15. OTC hair loss products aren’t that harmful.
They should be reviewed with a doctor before being taken, as some can affect you if taken in too large of a quantity, but in general, most of them are benign.
16. Shampoo makes you lose your hair.
False, see 2 hair wash myths above.
17. Everyone goes bald by 50.
False, depends on genetics. Some people go bald earlier, some later.
18. Direct sunshine is bad for your hair.
True, direct sun can damage the individual hair strands.
19. Hair styling products like gel, clay, etc. causes hair loss.
False, most hair products don’t negatively affect the hair.
20. Masturbation makes you bald.
False, masturbation doesn’t affect hair
21. Hair loss only happens around your hairline.
False, hair loss can occur on all parts of the scalp.
22. Ponytails cause hair thinning.
False, although repeated pulling over many many years can cause damage to hair.
23. Dyeing your hair causes thinning.
If the dye damages the hair, it is possible to thin out the hair. It is good to use a dye that doesn’t hurt the hair.
24. Weaves and braided cause hair loss.
True, due to repeated pulling on the hair, braids and weaves can cause hair damage. This is called traction alopecia.
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The Most Common Causes of Hair Loss in Women
Hair loss in women can be the result of many different processes and tends to be slightly more complicated than male pattern hair loss. Female pattern hair loss tends to follow a pattern of diffuse thinning, which is a very different presentation than male pattern hair loss. Many women notice thinning through their parts as the first sign of hair loss. But there are many different things that can cause this presentation.
Similar to male pattern baldness, female hair loss can be due to a combination of genetics and hormonal effect. Some women produce more androgens than others and androgens (in both men and women) cause the hair to shorten its growth phase, elongate the shedding phase, and grow in thinner and thinner as time goes by. This results in the classic female pattern loss presentation of diffuse thinning hair. Treatments like PRP or minoxidil can help with this type of hair loss.
Auto Immune Hair Loss Conditions
Auto immune conditions are more common in women than men and there are many auto immune processes that can affect hair. There are many types of alopecia such as scarring alopecias and inflammatory alopecias that have some underlying auto immune process contributing. These types of hair loss can usually be treated if the underlying autoimmune condition can be controlled.
Iron and Thyroid Issues
Both iron levels and thyroid issues can affect hair quality and both are very common in women. If women start noticing thinning hair, getting iron and thyroid levels in the blood checked is important as this could be the culprit. If one of these is the issue, iron supplements or thyroid medications could restore hair density alone. Adding PRP or oral supplements can also help increase the density of the hair.
Female pattern hair loss can be due a variety of factors and should be evaluated before treatment is started. Since there are so many different variables, treatments can vary widely. Speaking to a hair restoration specialist can give direction in terms of treatment.
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