More than half of the male population aged 50 and above suffers from some form of hair loss. There are many products and treatments available to combat this problem. Unfortunately, many of the hair loss solutions available today are not as effective as they claim to be. It can be quite difficult to determine which products are the best options for hair loss.
Much like the treatments out there, there is also a lot of information and misinformation about hair loss itself. Patients can’t differentiate between the myths and facts. Here are some of the most common misconceptions people have regarding hair loss.
1. You will suffer from hair loss if one of your parents did
While it is true that hair loss is genetic, you can’t expect it simply because one of your parents has this problem. Like most inherited traits, hair loss is brought about by the genes of your immediate and extended relatives from both sides of your family. There are several other factors that contribute to hair loss aside from your genes. These factors include hormonal imbalance, systemic diseases, poor nutrition and certain medications.
2. The hair loss gene comes from your mother’s side
Hair loss is not necessarily inherited from the mother’s side. Inheritance is stronger on the maternal side but hair loss can be inherited from the paternal side as well. If the condition is present on either side, you’re still at risk for it but not as much as when it runs on both sides of your family.
3. Hair loss only occurs in older people
Hair loss is commonly seen in older people but that doesn’t mean that the younger ones won’t suffer the same fate. No one is too young for hair loss especially if you’re genetically predisposed to it. Hair loss can hit as early as the teenage years. If you notice that your hair is not as thick and full as it used to be, it might be a sign of hair loss. Hair thinning is progressive and often the first step to hair loss. The best thing to do is have it checked by a specialist because the sooner it is treated, the better the treatment options.
4. Hair fall is the first sign of hair loss
Contrary to popular belief, hair loss is not synonymous to hair fall. It isn’t the first sign either. You don’t become bald because of the hundred or so hair strands that fall off your head on a daily basis. Hair loss is brought about by your hair being replaced by thinner hairs. This process is known as “miniaturization.” Hair fall is actually a normal thing. But if large amounts of hair are falling off, there may be some underlying problem and it is advised that you see your doctor right away.
5. Pulling hairs can cause hair loss
The repeated pulling out of hairs can lead to what doctors call traction alopecia. This type of hair loss is caused by repeated trauma to the hair follicle which then leads to scarring to the point that the follicle can no longer produce hair. This follows the same reasoning as plucking your eyebrows. Plucking hairs on a regular basis can get rid of them for good. However, occasional pulling out of some grey hairs when needed should not cause any serious problems at all.
6. Stress leads to hair loss
Stress can lead to many things but hair loss isn’t one of them. Just think about it: If everyday stress can cause hair loss then we’d all be bald! Hair loss and stress are often associated with each other because people tend to lose some hair due to extreme stress. Hair loss that is caused by extreme psychological distress is known as telogen effivum where the hair follicles are driven to their shedding phase way too early. According to the American Hair Loss Association, this type of hair loss is most often seen during childbirth.
7. Wearing caps and hats will make you go bald
Wearing caps and hats does not cause hair loss. They would have to be tight enough to the point that they pull a lot of hair off your head for them to cause some hair loss. It is also a complete myth that caps and hats prevent hair follicles from getting oxygen. The oxygen supply of hair follicles is derived from the bloodstream and not from the air.
8. Frequent use of shampoo causes hair loss
People think frequent shampooing causes hair loss because they notice some hair falling out when they shampoo. Again, hair loss and hair fall are not the same thing. There is no evidence that connects hair loss to the number of times you shampoo your hair per week. In fact, shampooing less often can be bad for your hair. Shampoo cleans oil off the scalp and prevents dandruff. Be sure to shampoo your hair regularly and remember that it is normal to lose a few strands during the process.
9. Supplements can help hair grow back
Although some supplements are good for your hair, there isn’t a pill that can induce hair regrowth.
10. Hair loss can be prevented
Hair loss is caused by miniaturization and, so far, there is nothing that can be done to stop this process. There is no preventive measure for hair loss but there is early intervention. Once hair loss takes place, there are a few things that can address the problem. For men, certain medications and hair transplant surgery can help turn the hair clock back a couple of years.