Myths and Facts about Hair Loss and Treatment
Millions of people around the world deal with hair loss and baldness on a regular basis. The thought itself is stressful for many. Both men and women get disheartened when the early signs of hair loss appear, and look for solutions. Sometimes, the advice from friends and family members adds to the confusion regarding hair loss, as many misconceptions prevail. Let us look at some common myths around hair loss and treatment and clarify them with facts.
Myth 1: Hair loss can happen due to a lot of reasons.
Fact: This is not true. In the majority of men, hair loss is caused by a condition called male pattern baldness. In medical terms, it is called androgenic alopecia. It is caused by a hormone called dihydrotestosterone. This hormone shortens the growth cycle of the hair, which further decreases the size of hair follicles and causes hair loss.
Myth 2: If your father is bald, you will become bald too as it is a genetic condition.
Fact: While it is true that baldness can be genetic, it can be inherited from the maternal side, and not just the paternal side. After all, you acquire genes from both your mother and your father. The possibility of inheriting it depends on the dominant genes. If baldness runs in your family, you are more likely to experience it as well.
Myth 3: Hair loss is only observed in older people as it is age-related.
Fact: This is not true. Hair loss can occur at any age after puberty. It happens gradually and takes years to manifest as complete baldness. If you notice hair loss very early in your life, the outcome will be more severe as you age.
Myth 4: Hair loss happens all of a sudden and without any warning.
Fact: It has been observed that hair loss is a gradual process. It starts at the forehead and temples and progresses to the back of the head. Later on, hair starts to thin on the top of the head, which spreads later. The hair around the sides and the back of the head may remain unaffected, leaving behind a classic U shape.
Myth 5: Hair loss has no treatment options.
Fact: This is not true. There are several options available to treat hair loss. Your doctor may recommend several medicines that can be taken over the counter to slow down hair loss and stimulate hair growth. He may also prescribe medications that are clinically proven to prevent further hair loss. In extreme cases, the doctor may suggest hair grafts and hair transplant therapy. These treatments are scientifically tested and have proved to be safe.
Myth 6: Regular use of shampoo causes hair loss.
Fact: Does the sight of hair on the bathroom floor after a hair wash terrify you? It is not unusual. You lose some hair regularly after washing it with a shampoo, as part of the growth cycle. According to science, it is normal to lose around 50-100 hairs in a day. Shampoo is not the reason for hair fall. On the contrary, you can improve the health of your hair and scalp by maintaining proper hygiene.
Myth 7: Excessive exposure to sunlight will cause hair loss.
Fact: Not true. We all need a sufficient amount of exposure to sunlight to stay healthy and get vitamin D. Though excessive exposure may cause other problems, it is not the reason for your hair fall.
Myth 8: Baldness occurs because of the use of hats or helmets.
Fact: Although many believe that the use of hats or helmets can cause hair loss, it is not true. Your hair gets all the nutrition it needs from hair follicles, and does not need to be exposed to air. However, wearing an extremely tight hat frequently may exert pressure on the scalp and may result in hair loss. In medical terms, it is called traction alopecia. By following a few simple hygienic rules and wearing the hat properly, you can avoid this kind of hair damage.
Myth 9: Excessive testosterone is the main reason for hair loss.
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, excessive testosterone levels do not cause hair loss. Hair loss depends on the sensitivity of your hair follicles to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone.
Myth 10: The hair products you are using for your hair and scalp are causing the hair loss.
Fact: Although you might be looking for a valid reason for the hair loss, your styling gels, oils or other hair products are not the reason. Some hair treatments, like bleaching and hair color can damage your hair, but they don’t cause baldness, which is a medical condition. Blow-drying can damage the hair as well but is not related to hair loss.
Myth 11: Hair loss happens due to poor blood circulation in the scalp.
Fact: Do not get carried away by your hairstylist’s recommendation of a massage, to improve the blood circulation of the scalp, to prevent hair loss. Although hair follicles need good blood circulation for healthy growth, it is not the reason for hair loss.
Myth 12: Stress is causing baldness.
Fact: Your friends or family members may have pointed out that your being stressed is causing the hair to fall off. Although stress and emotional strain can cause temporary hair loss, it is not the reason for your baldness. Once you start managing your stress well, the temporary hair loss will be resolved.
Myth 13: Cut your hair to prevent hair loss.
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, cutting your hair does not improve hair growth or minimize hair loss.
To wrap it up, your friends, colleagues and even strangers might offer you a whole list of reasons for your hair loss or baldness, along with some suggestions to manage it in the short and long term. However, you should know that most of their reasons and solutions are based on myths. So, it is better to resort to science, if you wish to treat your hair loss. Your doctor can help in decoding the reason behind the hair loss and guide you appropriately. The good news is that there are several treatment options available that can prevent or control hair fall, and are safe for both men and women.