Hair loss myths seem to circulate around social media, no matter how much concrete and credible information is readily available. Unfortunately, the popularity and sheer temptation of self-diagnosis is difficult to overcome. Once you notice those few extra strands on your pillow or in your shower drain, placing blame on genetics, stress, diet, haircare or an underlying illness can be your initial (and often accurate) reaction. While these are the most common hair loss causes, outlying and unrelated factors are frequently accused of initiating excessive thinning or shedding.
Here are four hair loss myths that you should never believe:
- Women Don’t Have Genetic Hair Loss
Not only is female pattern hair loss (FPHL) a result of genetics, it’s one of the most common causes of women’s hair loss. According to the American Hair Loss Association, women account for nearly 40 percent of all hair loss victims. Keep in mind, androgenic alopecia – the clinical terminology for hereditary hair loss – does not affect men the same way it does women. Male-pattern baldness is more targeted with noticeable balding around the hairline, temples or crown. FPHL is more diffuse, causing a general thinning across the scalp. One of the first signs of FPHL is a widening part, though individual cases vary.
- Tanning Causes Hair Loss
Contrary to popular notion, UV radiation is not linked to hair loss. This myth is rooted in the misconception that sunshine damages hair follicles to the point where they shut down and fail to cycle through the hair growth stages as usual. While excessive sun exposure could lead to damage, breakage and skin cancer, you don’t have to worry about it affecting the volume of your hair.
- Balding is Linked to High Testosterone
At the pinnacle of all hair loss myths is the belief that balding men have more testosterone running through their systems. Although inaccurate, it’s easy to see where this fallacy lies. Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a derivative of testosterone that is scientifically linked to hair loss. Researchers say that the amount of testosterone isn’t the issue, but rather the level of DHT fastening to hair follicle receptors in the scalp. Typically, due to genetics or other hormonal changes, hair follicles develop a sensitivity to DHT and begin to miniaturize. This process shortens the hair growth cycle and eventually causes them to stop growing new hairs.
- Hair Loss is Inherited from Your Mother’s Side
If you tell a friend you’re worried about going bald, they’ll probably tell you to check your maternal grandfather’s locks first. However, your mother’s side of the family isn’t the only piece of your genetic makeup that puts you at a greater predisposition of developing androgenic alopecia. You’re just as likely to inherit hair loss from your father’s side, so consider all relatives before you stress about the future.
Only qualified hair loss specialists and dedicated physicians can formally diagnose a hair loss condition. At the Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we invite those concerned about thinning or shedding to undergo a comprehensive hair loss evaluation at our South Florida clinic. To schedule an appointment, call 305-925-0222 today.