What Really Causes Hair Loss – Dispelling the Myths About Causes of Hair Loss.
August is National Hair Loss Awareness Month and we are participating by doing some mythbusting. There’s no shortage of beliefs regarding hair loss and many of them are plainly untrue. So here’s a breakdown of several common misconceptions, as well as the reality regarding hair loss and overall scalp health.
Myth: Wearing Hats Often Causes Hair Loss
FACT: This is a false belief based on the idea that the scalp needs to breathe and that hats can block this. Headwear cannot cut off the surrounding air and either way the hair follicles on the scalp depend on the bloodstream to grow, not “breathing.”
So people can wear hats all they want without having to worry about their hair falling out. The myth may be due to correlation, many people cover up thinning hair and bald spots by wearing hats. So some mistake the hats as the cause of the hair loss. If anything, hats can protect the wearer from harsh sunlight and UV radiation. And this can have a positive effect on the health of the scalp and the rest of the body.
MYTH: Only Older People Experience Hair Loss and Baldness
FACT: Another misconception, since those with family histories of hair loss can see the first signs of losing their hair in their twenties. Though the majority of men experience the beginning of male pattern baldness during middle age, a quarter of men start this process even before they are in their twenties. This might not be noticeable right away as many cases of hair loss can only be seen after half the hair is gone. So be sure to pay attention to your scalp health even at a young age.
MYTH: Hair Loss is a Male Problem
FACT: In reality approximately 30% of women experience some form of thinning hair in their lives. According to the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, Female Pattern Hair Loss or FPHL is the most common form of alopecia or hair loss to affect women. Because femininity is usually associated with a woman’s hair, receding hairlines can be even more distressing for women. This is why it is important to raise awareness about this condition and undo the stigma facing women experiencing hair loss, so they can get the hair loss treatment they deserve.
MYTH: Hair Loss is Permanent
FACT: While the typical cause of male pattern baldness is a genetic condition that cannot be reversed, many other types of hair loss can be caused by factors such as trauma, illness, hormonal changes and the like. Women can experience postpartum hair loss that corrects itself about six months after giving birth. In these cases, the condition is only temporary or dependent on the causative factor. Correcting the cause will allow hair to return.
MYTH: Stress Causes Hair Loss
FACT: This is partially true. Everyday stress may not be enough to cause hair loss but significant sources of trauma have been linked to hair loss. These include long-term suffering and illness, like recent cases of COVID-related hair loss. Stress-related type of hair loss is real, but it is typically temporary. It is also called telogen effluvium, which presents as excessive shedding of resting or telogen hairs after a “shock” or trauma to the system.
Hair has a cyclical growth pattern. Typically 85 percent of our hair follicles are actively growing which is the anagen phase. And about 15 percent are in a resting or telogen phase. However, a trigger, such as a virus, a high fever, or extreme stress, can shift up to 70 percent of the growing hairs into the resting phase which results in massive shedding. Hair loss usually occurs 2 to 4 months after a traumatic event. This results in generalized thinning of the scalp hair. The good news is that after several months a peak is reached. After this, the rate of hair fall begins to decrease. Then, the hair gradually begins to regrow over the next 6 to 9 months.
MYTH: Washing and Shampooing Hair Too Much Causes Hair Loss
FACT: The frequency of washing and shampooing hair has no effect on hair loss or growth, people may simply notice their hair is falling out when they are taking showers. But even without washing their hair, the loss would have occurred anyway. Shampooing with the proper product regularly or daily does not cause hair loss. In fact, cleansing the scalp and hair daily with shampoos containing mild cleansers is recommended as it benefits the hair and scalp. The scalp is still skin and shampooing can be considered a part of a person’s overall skincare regimen.
Proper hair care with shampoos and conditioners is a must. Products such as Ziering Medical’s Follicle Cleanse and Follicle Sustenance use natural ingredients that strengthen follicles with light hydration. By using this product line individuals will have a daily purification hair loss treatment solution. Our products promote optimal luster, shine and hair health.
We’ve busted some of the more prominent hair loss myths and provided facts about the condition. For more information regarding hair loss and hair restoration treatments, reach out to Ziering Medical. We have clinics in Beverly Hills, California; Greenwich, Connecticut; and New York City, New York.