Hair Loss Myths

Hair loss genetics is a result of your mother’s side.

This is partly true. Genetics is the most common cause of hair loss, but finding out what’s happening is the most important step toward deciding what to do about it. Here’s the scientific explanation. Research suggests that men who have a bald father are more likely to develop male pattern baldness than those who do not. The hereditary pattern is polygenetic, but the most important gene determining baldness is on the X chromosome. Men have only one X chromosome, which is from the mother. However, other factors are also involved. Epigenetics are important in controlling gene expression.

You are bald because of your age.

Age is not the cause of baldness, though the likelihood of hair loss does increase as we age. Hair loss can strike individuals in their teens and is common among 20 and 30-year-olds. The earlier that hair loss begins, the more severe it will likely become. Our goal is to slow down the process and preserve the hair you have. With modern solutions, you don’t have to accept baldness at any age. It is necessary to begin treatment at an early age because once permanent hair loss has occurred, the treatment options are limited.

Wearing a hat will make my hair fall out.

Unless you wear a hat at all times for cultural and religious reasons, this is not likely to be causing your hair loss. Infrequent wearing of hats or helmets does not cause any harm. If you wear the same hat all the time, be sure to use good hygiene in washing your hair and keeping the hat clean. Don’t wear a hat that fits too tightly. If you’re getting suspicious of your hat, it’s prime time to get a hair and scalp assessment.

Trauma can cause hair loss.

This is true. Physical or emotional stress can cause hair to fall out, even a few months after the event. A death, divorce, or even childbirth can cause individual hair follicle cycles to sync, meaning that instead of hair falling out at a rate of 100 follicles per day, large amounts can come out at the same time. Follicle cycles commonly sync after chemotherapy and rapid shifts in weight. Hair loss as a result of cycle syncing should grow back eventually and does not require a transplant. A non-surgical option might make you more comfortable or speed up the regrowth process.

Medical treatment with propecia and rogaine can prevent hair loss.

This is true, with the caveat that these medicines work when used to treat specific conditions. Rogaine and Propecia are the only two drugs approved by the FDA to prevent and treat hair loss. Propecia works by blocking DHT, which is a breakdown product of testosterone. The DHT attacks hair follicles and the genetically sensitive follicles will eventually be lost. Rogaine, also known as Minoxidil, is a topical treatment applied directly to the scalp to stimulate hair growth. Both drugs can have drawbacks. Propecia can reduce libido and semen production in a small percentage of men, and Rogaine must be applied daily and can irritate the scalp. Rogaine may be used by women, but Propecia is considered unsafe for premenopausal women due to potential birth defects.

Gel and hairspray cause hair loss.

Neither gel nor hairspray causes hair loss. Shampoos, frequent washing, dandruff, and most hairstyles won’t cause hair loss either. If you’re concerned about thinning hair or shedding and wondering what you’ve been doing wrong, there’s probably a problem below the surface in your hair or scalp. The only styling factor that might cause hair loss is pulling hair back tightly with continued traction. This can cause permanent hair loss. If you’re seeing a problem, be sure to shield your hair from damaging treatments, and see a hair loss specialist as soon as possible to find out what’s really going on.

Your blocked follicles cause hair loss.

This is a myth. Companies who claim that your clogged follicles are preventing the hair from growing out are being dishonest. Clogged or blocked follicles are not the cause of hair loss. Poor circulation in your scalp can cause hair loss.

Poor Circulation in your scalp can cause hair loss.

This is true and false. The scalp generally has very good circulation, so it is rare to have poor circulation causing hair loss. However, even though the general scalp has a very good circulation, the tiny blood vessel that feeds each individual hair follicle involutes as the follicles miniaturizes. So in this sense, is it the fact that the vascular supply decreased first prior to the miniaturization or just that the miniaturized follicle is associated with a miniaturized vascular supply? Another exception to this good scalp vascular supply is a scar on the scalp. Scars typically have poor blood supply and can make it difficult for even transplanted hair to grow.

Malnourished follicles can cause hair loss.

For the overwhelming majority of men, hair loss is caused by androgenetic alopecia, a genetic predisposition to hair loss. For women, low iron, insufficient vitamin D, low zinc levels or a poor diet may contribute to hair loss. Though supplementing follicle nutrition can improve the results of active hair growth, nutrition is rarely the primary factor when there’s significant hair loss.

Only foreign countries have advanced hair restoration treatments

For all practical purposes, this is a myth. Many of the leaders in hair restoration science are from the U.S. and have their practices in the states. That said, overseas researchers and innovators have developed some effective techniques for fighting hair loss that we’re delighted to share with our patients.