People go bald for various reasons. For some, it is personal and/or out of choice, while for others it is because of reasons that are beyond their control. It could be medical reasons or cultural reasons. Even so, it is extremely saddening that, up to date, there are numerous misconceptions spreading around about balding and hair loss.
Here are some of the myths about balding and hair loss.
1. That if you are balding, you are old
While it is true that sometimes people suffer from balding when they are old, this is most definitely not always the case. The truth of the matter is that hair loss can trike even in your teen years. It is also common among 20- and 30-year-olds. The earlier it begins, the more severe it will probably become.
It is interesting to note is that while the majority of men experience the onset of male pattern baldness in middle age, for up to a quarter of men the process will begin before they’re even 21. But that doesn’t mean that they notice it right away. Most hair loss can only be seen after half of the hair is gone.
2. Hats cause baldness
You have probably heard people being encouraged to do away with hats if they want to deal with their balding. This is another myth that goes around. Usually, the assumption is that your hair needs to ‘breathe’ in order to grow. The truth is that hats do not in fact cause baldness. Wearing one will not speed up your hair loss or affect growth in any way. However, dirty hats can lead to a scalp infection which in turn accelerates hair loss, so either make sure yours is clean.
3. Hair products like gel, hairspray and shampoo can cause baldness
It’s true that the products we use on our hair can have some influence on the amount of hair growth we experience. What is untrue, however, is that they can cause baldness. It’s been suggested that sulfates (cleansing agents) and formaldehyde (a preservative) can contribute to hair loss. To date, no research backs up these claims.
The cause of hair loss lies below the scalp surface when the hair follicle root is damaged. This means daily applications of hairspray does not damage your hair and will not directly lead to permanent hair loss.
4. Stress and anxiety can cause baldness
Here is another myth that you may have heard – that stress and anxiety can lead to baldness. While it may possibly lead to hair loss, physical or emotional stress “will never cause you to lose the hair you wouldn’t have lost anyway,” Dermatologist Gary Hitzig says. “If the hair is not meant to be lost, it will grow back.”
It is true that severe stress can cause your hair to go into a longer “resting phase” in which hair follicles pause to regenerate hair. Even so, these types of hair loss are typically linked to severely traumatic events, not everyday stress like a demanding job, a nagging boss.
5. Baldness is only passed on from the mother’s side
Typically, some forms of balding and hair loss are due to genetics. However, it is not entirely true that balding is passed on from the mother’s side. It is true that the primary baldness gene is on the X chromosome, which men get only from their mothers. However, other factors are also in play. In fact, a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that over 80 percent of people who experienced noticeable balding had a father who also lost their hair.
6. Too much testosterone causes baldness
You may have heard people say that too much testosterone is a cause of baldness. This is, in fact, untrue. Studies have shown that balding men have the same testosterone levels as their hairy brethren. This doesn’t mean that hormones don’t play a role, however. They do, and studies have shown a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) to blame. it is an androgen – a sex hormone that contributes to the development of “male” sex characteristics, such as body hair. Having too much of it causes your follicles to eventually stop producing hair.
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