15 Hair Loss Myths

With 35 million men and 21 million women experiencing hair loss, the problem is at the forefront of cosmetic surgery. In the recent years, scientists have been able to identify the androgen receptors on the X-chromosome as the cause, but finding a perfect solution to reverse the effects is still far away. Let’s examine some of the myths surrounding hair loss.

Myth #1: Baldness only affects men.

False. Women lose hair in a different way than men, but they still lose it. Some 40 percent of women will experience the thinning of their hair during their lifetime, and eighty percent will experience significant hair loss by age 60.

Myth #2: If you mother’s father had hair, you will too.

False. All of the myths that point to a specific genetic source have been proven to be untrue. In fact, hair loss is polygenetic: a random mix of genes of your entire family tree.

Myth #3: Men with high testosterone have a higher probability of going bald.

False. While dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is responsible for hair thinning and baldness, and testosterone turns into DHT, it is not an accurate predictor of whose hair follicles are more sensitive to DHT.

Myth #4: Shampoo causes your hair to fall out.

False: Washing your hair simply removes the hair that is already loose.

Myth #5: Blow drying and hair products cause hair loss.

False. Excessive dying and use of styling products can weaken the strength of your hair, and repeated exposure to heat from straighteners and curling irons can also cause healthy hair to break. However, none of this causes damage to the underlying follicles, which are ultimately responsible for hair growth.

Myth #6: Brushing hair causes hair loss.

False: Even if you brush so hard that you pull out a few follicles, they will grow back.

Myth #7: Hair just falls out.

False. Baldness is not caused by your hair falling out – if you see more hair in the shower, it does not mean that you’re going bald. Baldness happens in the hair follicles – at first, thinning, and then disappearing.

Myth #8: Tanning beds can cause hair loss.

False. Hair actually needs vitamin D, and its deficiency can be a contributing factor to baldness. Tanning beds have been found to be harmful for other reasons, but baldness is not one of them.

Myth #9: Stress causes hair loss.

False. Everyone has stress, but not everyone goes bald. That is because most people – unless they have a serious medical or psychological illness, including eating disorders – do not have the stress it would take for the hair to fall out.

Myth #10: Wearing hats causes baldness.

False. Hair follicles get oxygen from blood vessels under your skin. So even if you wear your hat all the time, it doesn’t do any damage to your hair.

Myth #11: Cutting hair often will make it thicker.

False. It’s an illusion created by shorter hair. However, hair is already dead: cutting it does not affect the follicles.

Myth #12: Hair loss stops as you age.

False. Hair loss slows down for men, but does not stop entirely. For women, the opposite is true: hair loss can become more extreme after menopause.

Myth #13: There is no cure for baldness.

False. While hair loss cannot be prevented, it can be managed. Over-the-counter and prescription solutions may help some, and there is always laser procedures and hair transplantation for those who are ready for a permanent solution.

Myth #14: Products can help you grow new follicles.

False. Although advertising can insinuate that it’s true, the fact is, no treatment on the market today can regrow new follicles. Even the most advanced treatments – such as the ARTAS robotic technology – simply extracts existing follicles and moves them to a different place.

Myth #15: Hair restoration never looks natural.

False. The picture you have in mind is what’s referred to as is hair plugs – the results of the older, more invasive strip surgery. However, there are many newer, less invasive procedures on the market today, including follicular unit extraction (FUE) and the ARTAS robotic technology procedure. These procedures leave minimal scarring in the donor area that is barely visible to the naked eye, and the transplanted hair looks completely natural.