It’s no secret that hair loss affects a huge portion of the world’s population. Whether it’s a genetic predisposition, a nutrient deficiency, a side effect of a health condition, or one of the many other potential causes, nearly half of men experience hair loss to some degree and a huge number of women experience it as well.
Though the list of potential causes of hair loss is a mile long, the list of myths surrounding hair loss might be even longer. Thinning hair can seem like it happened out of the blue, plus it can be understandably upsetting to notice your previously thick and healthy hair start to gradually become thinner and more brittle. These are the primary reasons why there is so much false information surrounding this unfortunate occurrence.
Not sure what to believe anymore when it comes to hair loss, its causes, and how to conquer hair regrowth? Here are the top 5 myths surrounding hair loss and the truth behind them:
1. Genetic hair loss is inherited from your mother’s side.
Most people have heard the old wives’ tale that the genetics you inherit from your mother’s side of the family determine whether or not you have a predisposition to hair loss. Though you may be more likely to lose your hair if your mother’s father was bald by 50, you’re equally likely to experience hair loss if the same thing happened on your father’s side. You’re especially likely to receive a genetic predisposition to hair loss if your father suffers from male pattern baldness.
2. Excessive levels of testosterone cause hair loss.
This particular myth often goes along with another one—the idea that a high sex drive is somehow related to hair health and hair loss. Luckily for men, neither of these myths are true, and neither your testosterone levels nor your sex drive have anything to do with whether or not you develop male pattern baldness.
Androgenetic alopecia, or male pattern baldness, happens as a result of your hair follicles being damaged or rendered inactive by the hormone DHT. This hormone is a byproduct of testosterone, which is likely how the myth got started in the first place. However, the amount of testosterone in your system has nothing to do with whether or not your hair follicles are particularly sensitive to DHT.
3. Shaving your hair completely will make it grow back thicker.
Many people swear by this statement, especially women in terms of the body hair that they regularly shave such as leg and armpit hair. Though this may have some truth in terms of body hair, the hair on your head is a completely different ball game, and if you’re experiencing hair thinning or hair loss, shaving it all off and starting over won’t fix your problems.
If you shave your hair off and grow it back with the intention of seeing thicker, healthier hair, you may be fooled at first as hair follicles are thicker at the base of the hair shaft than they are at the tip. This means that the hair growing back after a shave will appear thicker at first. However, as your hair continues to grow back in, it will gradually return to the same thickness and texture that you were experiencing before cutting, and the same locations on your head that were balding before will continue to struggle with hair growth.
4. Hat wearing can cause balding.
This is a common misconception surrounding excessive hair shedding. However, if you wear a hat daily and are noticing more hair coming out than usual, it’s almost certainly not your hat’s fault.
In order for a hat to affect the rate or health of your hair growth, it would need to be cutting off the circulation of blood flow to your hair follicles. If you wore your hat that tight, not only would you lose hair, you might lose consciousness!
5. Hair washing causes hair loss.
As the saying goes, too much of a good thing can turn bad. Washing your hair too frequently can certainly lead to dry, brittle hair, which can make excessive shedding during normal grooming routines increasingly likely.
However, this doesn’t mean that a healthy hair washing routine is a bad idea. In fact, quite the contrary. Washing your hair two to three times a week depending on your typical activity level can keep your hair healthy and strong and keep your scalp’s natural oils at a good level. In fact, incorporating some home remedies into your hair care routine can not only improve hair health and prevent hair loss but even support increased hair growth.