Over the years, numerous myths regarding the different possible causes of hair loss have been relentlessly floating around. Some of these myths have been in circulation for so long that, far too often, people mistake them for facts. While most of these falsehoods are completely implausible and with little to no scientific evidence, it’s easy to see how certain fabrications have become ingrained in popular belief.
Common Myths about Hair Loss
The following are nine of the most commonly believed and widely spread myths regarding hair loss that are, for the most part, untrue.
Blame Your Mother for Your Baldness
This one is only partially true. Different types of baldness and gradual hair loss are genetic, but that doesn’t mean your mother’s genetics are the only culprit for this. The truth is that both of your biological parents’ genes can lead to male- and female-pattern baldness and hair loss. It just depends on the various mixtures of genetics and how certain gene combinations interact with one another. Some genes are far more prevalent than others, and these can lead to hair loss as well, but the likelihood of hair loss comes from both parents equally.
Stress and Anxiety Cause Hair Loss
Stress and anxiety are only indirectly linked to hair loss, but they don’t actively cause it. On average, you normally lose about 100 strands of hair per day due to the natural life cycle of hair follicles. When you feel emotionally overwhelmed or on edge, however, this stress can contribute to various physical and mental conditions that cause your hair loss to seem more amplified. Stress and anxiety can lead to the following hair loss-related illnesses:
- Telogen Effluvium: the hair enters a prolonged resting stage during which hair continues to fall out normally without regeneration
- Alopecia Areata: an autoimmune disorder in which white blood cells attack health cells in the body, including hair follicles
- Trichotillomania: the compulsive urge to pull out your own hair
The good news is that, once you’ve completely removed the source of major stress in your life and get back on track, your hair growth patterns will eventually return to normal.
Exposure to the Sun Causes Hair Loss
Again, this myth is only partially true. Mild sun exposure, with proper skin and hair protection, won’t completely damage your hair or induce baldness. In fact, your body produces vitamin D naturally when exposed to the UV rays of the sun, which helps to promote healthy hair growth. However, overexposure to the sun can cause serious problems for your hair. It can dry out your hair shafts, weakening and dehydrating them. The good news is that there are other excellent sources of vitamin D that provide the same positive benefits as the sun without any of the health risks. You can try eating foods that are naturally rich in vitamin D, vitamin D-fortified foods, or even supplements that include vitamin D in them.
Wearing Hats All the Time Causes Hair Loss
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no scientific evidence to support the claim that wearing hats on a regular basis places exceptional pressure on hair follicles and results in a receding hairline. Yet, some people are under the impression that wearing hats all the time causes friction alopecia. According to most dermatologists, however, the only way this is even possible is if the hats you’re wearing are far too tight or small for your head and they’re relentlessly straining your hair follicles by pulling on them. But, that’s a very far stretch for many dermatologists to hang their hats on. Although, it’s possible to contract a scalp infection from wearing dirty, sweaty, or lice-infested hats; this could potentially lead to hair loss. The bottom line is that you should always make sure your hats are clean and never wear a brand new hat without washing it first.
Baldness Is a Prevalent Trait of Growing Old
Baldness and hair loss are often associated with a genetic predisposition of growing old. The fact is that most people actually start losing their hair in their early 20s, and as time progresses, so does the hair loss. Unfortunately, young people simply aren’t immune to hair loss. Sometimes, it’s a dominant gene that you’ve inherited from your biological parents.
Carbohydrates Cause Baldness
This one is a complete myth. Carbohydrates are full of nutrients that actively promote hair regeneration and provide essential proteins to hair follicles to strengthen hair and help it maintain its elasticity.
Frequent Trims Help Hair Grow Faster
Even though cutting or trimming your hair does promote healthy locks by getting rid of split ends and hair breakage, it has absolutely no influence whatsoever on how quickly or how thick your hair becomes. Your hair grows from your scalp, which means cutting it off from the bottom couldn’t possibly be correlated to how quickly it replenishes itself. This myth was probably born out of the fact that when people get fresh new haircuts, their hair gives the appearance of being thicker, but it’s actually not.
Excessive Use of Hair Products Increases Hair Loss
It’s true that not all hair products are necessarily good for your hair. Some shampoos and conditioners even contain ingredients that can strip your hair of its natural oils, causing it to become dry, brittle, and frizzy. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that frequently using large amounts of hair products will inevitably lead to noticeable hair loss. On the other hand, infrequently washing or styling your hair also doesn’t lead to hair loss or balding; although, dirty or unkempt hair can sometimes increase the risk of contracting a scalp infection.
Exercising Promotes Faster Hair Growth
Exercise is only indirectly related to healthy hair regeneration. When you exercise, your body naturally releases endorphins, a hormone that induces feelings of elation, high energy, and positivity. In the process, regular exercise reduces stress, anxiety, depression and the effects of other mental illnesses or conditions that typically cause hair loss. A good cardiovascular workout will strengthen your body’s stamina to fight off diseases and infections while also maintaining a healthy penchant for regrowth throughout.
Unfortunately, once a hair follicle has died, there’s no natural way to replenish, repair, or regenerate it. The only known cure for a dead hair follicle is to get a hair transplant. For over 20 years, the experts at the Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists have been advising on and treating mild to severe hair loss cases from all over the world. Our top priority is to help our clients regain their self-confidence and lead happy, fulfilling lives with a new lease on life. To schedule a complimentary consultation, please call us at (905) 272-0190 or toll-free at 1-800-563-3836.