Hair Loss Myths: Fact or Fiction?

People facing hair loss are usually pretty well-informed about the facts of their condition. Maybe they’ve heard that at least half of all men will have experienced some hair loss by the age of 50, that 40 percent of sufferers are women, or that the number one cause of hair loss is hereditary patterns. While these ones happen to be true, there’s also a lot of bull flying around, helping to fuel the $3.5 billion hair-loss industry. The trouble is knowing which stuff is true and which is a load of tosh.

Can you really blame your Mom’s side of the family for your hair loss? Does wearing a baseball cap really make people go bald? Here are five of the most common myths about hair-loss, confirmed or debunked:

1. Baldness Is Inherited From Your Mother’s Side

False! If you were looking to blame that maternal uncle of yours that you’ve always disliked, you’re out of luck. While male pattern baldness is indeed hereditary, scientists say the condition could just as easily come from Dad’s family as Mom’s. Being genetic, the condition is not preventable, but can at least be treated.

2. Wearing a Baseball Cap Can Cause Baldness

False! Keep the cap on, posers and sports lovers. Health experts say there is no scientific link between hat wearing and hair loss. In fact, only hats tight enough to cut off circulation to the hair follicles could cause such an effect. So unless you’ve got an odd attachment to that Boy Scout beret you wore when you were five, you should be good.

3. Mistreating Hair Causes Hair Loss

True! The overuse of styling products like perms and dyes can trigger hair loss. Health experts also recommend avoiding tight buns and braids that can lead to hair follicle damage and eventual hair loss. Women trying to bleach their hair with natural sunlight might also want to put a lid on it, as overexposure to the sun’s UV rays has been linked with hair loss, too.

4. Stress Causes Baldness

Sometimes true, sometimes false! You can stop blaming your boss and your misbehaving kids for your hair falling out. While extreme emotional trauma or medical conditions can cause sudden hair loss, scientists say the normal stresses of daily work and family life will not.

5. Hair Loss Only Happens When You’re Old

False! As all too many hair loss sufferers can attest to, male pattern baldness can start as early as the teen years. Women can also start experiencing hair loss in their 20s. In these cases, hair restoration specialists can help to rule out hormonal and other atypical causes.


Photo Credit: Chun-Hung Eric Cheng via Flickr Creative Commons

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