In the weeks Whiteboard Wednesday, I am going to debunk myths about hair loss so you can separate fact from fiction. Do you know any myths about hair loss? Or wondering about a myth that you heard about? Let me know in the comments below!
Hi, my name’s Tara, and I’m a patient advisor at Rahal. Today, we’re going to be talking about the top ten hair loss myths, starting with number one.
Hair loss is from your mother’s side. Thanks, mom. This is a myth. Hair loss can come from either parent. The balding gene is a dominant gene, meaning that you need only one gene on one chromosome to express the hair loss trait, although studies do show that multiple genes can affect the hair loss process. To get an idea of where your hair loss may be headed, talk to some family members. Whether you have an uncle, father, brother, or grandparent who are bald or balding, ask them when they started to lose their hair. It may be an indication as to when you lose yours.
Number two. Wearing a hat can cause hair loss. Also a myth. Hair follicles receive oxygen from blood flow in your scalp, not from the oxygen around us, so wearing a hat can’t suffocate your hair. The baseball cap that’s so often worn by men with thinning hair isn’t causing hair loss, but rather hiding their hair loss. However, hats that are worn for cultural or religious reasons, such as a turban, for example, that cause constant traction against the hair, may cause a type of hair loss, known as traction alopecia.
Number three. Decreased blood flow to the scalp is the cause of hair loss. Another myth. Decreased blood flow to your scalp is not actually the cause of hair loss, but rather the result of it. A full, healthy head of hair requires a lot of blood flow, but as you start to lose your hair, blood flow to the scalp decreases because you just don’t need a lot of blood flow if you don’t have much hair up there.
Number four. If I shave my head, I’ll look like Elvis. Although this is everyone’s dream, shaving your head will not make your hair grow back thicker. Hair grows at an average rate of about half an inch per month, regardless of whether you shave your head every day, or cut your hair every three months.
Number five. Hair loss is caused by clogged pores. If hair loss were simply due to clogged pores, you wouldn’t need much more than rigorous shampooing to maintain a full, healthy head of hair.
Number six. Hair loss stops when you get older. In fact, this is a myth. Hair loss doesn’t stop when you get older, but rather slows down. For women, the opposite is true. Hair loss that begins during menopause tends to get more aggressive as they age. For men, you won’t notice much loss past the age of 60.
Number seven. Frequent shampooing causes hair loss. This is a myth. Hereditary hair loss is not caused by hair falling out, but rather by normal hairs becoming finer and weaker. Therefore, as you are lathering your hair and shampooing and you see hair fall, that’s just miniaturized hairs that were destined to fall anyway.
Number eight. Brushing your hair often can cause hair loss. As you’re pulling at those tangles and knots in your hair, you may pull out a few follicles, but they’ll grow back, because brushing healthy hair doesn’t disturb the hair follicles below the skin’s surface. One tip is to try and choose a plastic comb with wider teeth, or a brush, as opposed to a comb that’s made of metal with fine-type teeth.
Number nine. Magnets can grow hair. This is a definite no. Sticking 20 fridge magnets to your head will not give you a full head of hair. Although, if you do try this, please send us a photo.
Number ten. Hair dye can cause hair loss. Also a myth. Hair is not alive, so you can’t kill it using hair products or a flat iron, although you can damage it. One tip is to select semi-permanent dyes. Although they may not last as long as permanent dyes, they tend to be less harmful in terms of the chemicals they contain. Try to select over-the-counter semi-permanent dyes, or talk to your salon. See if they offer any semi-permanent or less harsh options.
That’s it for our top ten hair loss myths. If you have any other questions, always feel free to contact us at Rahal. We’re here to help. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next week.