Busting 5 Common Hair Loss Myths
Hair loss and hair growth are two topics that aren’t specifically tied to the calendar—they are of distinct interest and intrigue regardless of the time of year. For many, however, summertime shines a seasonally-centric spotlight on their personal struggle with hair loss. Cookouts, beach days, and other outdoor activities can bring the topic of hair loss into focus, and provide the differentiator in the decision to move forward with restorative processes to promote new hair growth.
With August—National Hair Loss Awareness Month—just around the corner, it’s important to approach the issue of hair loss by addressing some commonly held misconceptions that surround it.
Myth #1. Hair loss is inherited from the mother
Of course there is a genetic component to hair loss, but one of the more pervasive myths is that the trait for it is passed down from the mother. The inherited predisposition for hair loss later in life is combined between genes from both the mother and father’s family.
Myth #2. If you enjoy wearing hats, you’re on the path to hair loss
This is more of a glorified urban legend than legitimate myth, yet it continues to make the rounds. No, wearing a hat will not increase your chances for male or female-pattern baldness. In fact, it has zero impact on hair loss whatsoever.
Hair growth and hair loss are chemical and organic processes, with hair follicles operating on a cyclical timeline of periods of growth and rest. That cycle is not affected by the fact that you’re a baseball fan.
Myth #3. Baldness is linked to high levels of testosterone
Busted. There is no correlation between high levels of testosterone and hair loss. The causal link between hair loss and testosterone results from sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a hormone released as a byproduct of testosterone breakdown. DHT causes the gradual thinning of hair, as well as the shrinking of hair follicles.
Having high levels of testosterone is not a precursor to eventual hair loss.
Myth #4. If you shave your head your hair will grow back thicker
Here’s somewhat of an odd thought: the hair on your head is already dead. That’s right: by the time hair appears on your head, it has already gone through the growth-and-death cycle. Everything you do to it after the fact—like shaving—has no effect on future hair growth or thickness.
What perpetuates this myth is the simple fact that shaving creates a blunt tip to the individual hair, giving the feeling of increased thickness immediately after shaving.
Myth #5. You can regenerate hair follicles
As unfortunate as it may be, once a hair follicle has died there is nothing that can be done to bring it back. Many hair growth products and treatments are geared toward boosting a hair follicle’s ability to generate hair with increased thickness and health, but absent an active hair follicle, traditional treatments and techniques are ineffective.
While myths abound in the area of hair loss, the fact remains that it affects millions of people worldwide, and can be an intensely personal topic. With a variety of new and innovative hair growth laser device treatments, hair restoration procedures and supplements now available, reversing the hair loss and regrowing hair is no longer mere folklore—it’s reality.