Hair Loss Myths
As we age, we begin to worry about the many different ailments we potentially face, not the least of which is the unfortunate thinning and or loss of your once thick and beautiful head of hair.
Let’s face it, we know that as we get older we will lose some hair and of course the dreaded grays will begin to appear, but did you know that overexposure to things like the sun, certain types of dieting, even the wrong kind of hair extensions and let us not forget chemical treatments can all take a toll on your lustrous locks.
It is estimated that anywhere from 40% to 50% of men will experience some form of hair loss by the age of 50. According to The International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery, the number of hair transplants that have been performed since 2007 has climbed to over 40%.
While these facts alone are very eye opening, there are also the myths that come along with them. We’ve heard it all, from blaming genetics on your mother’s side of the family, wearing of hats and even dead follicles can magically regrow again.
Studies have shown that eating foods like dark green vegetables, beans and salmon, all promote healthier and stronger hair. There are of course many other non-dietary ways to help stop thinning and hair loss such as laser light therapy, prescription medication.
Here are ten of the most common facts and fiction you hear about hair loss:
While ultraviolet or (UV) light from the sun can and does cause skin issues, it will not prevent hair follicle from living. However overexposure of the hair fibers to UV sunlight can diminish the fibers while disrupting the cuticle which will make them more susceptible to dullness, frizz and even breakage. An interesting fact… Hair grows faster in the summer months than in the winter months.
The fact is, plucking out a gray hair or any other color for that matter will not cause more to grow back. The bad news is most people get grey hair as they age anyway, so plucking them out is not the solution.
Many people notice that they lose or shed hair on a daily basis after they have showered and shampooed or even after brushing their hair. What you may not have known is hair follicles actually cycle on and cycle off over the course of their life span. It is not uncommon to see anywhere from as little as 50 up to a hundred hairs per day shed from your head. This is normal and actually is considered healthy. It is a signal that your follicles are about to enter a growing phase.
Also Not True
While this sounds silly, and it does, this has been one of the more commonly tried myths to help grow ones hair. There are many factors that can cause hair loss, and blood flow to the follicle is merely one of them. The fact is, even if standing on your head increased the blood flow to your hair follicle, thus stimulating its growth, you would need to be there so long that you would more than likely pass out and cause other health issues. There are treatments on the market today, such as Low Level Light Therapy or LLLT that effectively help stimulate blood flow while breaking down DHT around the follicle to help with hair growth from a living follicle.
Hair Loss in both men and women becomes more common as we get older. This is not to say you cannot experience hair loss at a younger age. Certainly we all know or have met someone in their early 20’s or 30’s who are experiencing some form of hair loss or might even be totally bald. This can be caused by many factors such as alopecia.
Yes, there is no magical miracle cure for baldness, that being said, there are some excellent treatment options like FDA approved pharmaceuticals drugs, laser therapy procedures hair transplants and even non-surgical solutions. All of these address hair loss.
Genetically speaking, What you inherit from your parents, both mom and dad is the sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone more commonly referred to as DHT. DHT is a hormone and a natural compound of testosterone that can cause hair loss in men and even some women. However, men that take testosterone, can experience accelerated hair loss.
There are over 185 genes that regulate your hair and its growth. Genes from both sides of the family play a role in your hair growth and loss. While its true that your mother’s father may in fact get some of the ‘blame’ it would appear that so does your fathers mother.
Not True, Well Mostly Not True
Hats do not cause hair loss so long as you are not wearing them too tightly. Anything pulling on your hair can cause your hair to fall out, such as a tight ponytail, a hat that is too tight, even hair extensions that have not been put in correctly. Hats by themselves worn properly however will not cause you to lose your hair.
While it is true that some medications and laser therapy, can help hair follicles grow thicker and healthier, once the follicle is dead and gone, the only option for regrowth is a hair transplants or a non-surgical solution.