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When it comes to men and genetic hair loss, myths on what causes hair loss are aplenty. We are going to tackle just a few of these myths, and provide the facts we know about hair loss.
- The genes for hair loss can only be inherited from your mother
- While the genes for hair loss can be inherited from your mother, they can also be inherited from your father as well. Hereditary genes are more dominant on your mother’s side, but if your father is bald then you are definitely at risk.
- Hair loss is only found in men with high testosterone levels
- Hair loss is caused by a by-product of testosterone called dihydrotestosterone(DHT), which interacts with receptors at the base of your hair follicle. We each have a different number of receptors that interact with DHT, and have different base levels of DHT in our bloodstream. This is why some people lose hair quicker than others, at different ages and in different areas of the scalp. High testosterone doesn’t cause hair loss, as hair loss is dependent on how susceptible to DHT each person is. Increasing your base testosterone level can increase your DHT levels and therefore cause quicker hair loss. An increase in your base testosterone level cannot cause hair loss however, only accelerate.
- Washing your hair in cold water can cure baldness
- While washing your hair in cold water can have benefits, one of them is not preventing hair loss. Showering in cold water can increase the blood flow to your scalp, but there is no evidence to suggest that an increase or decrease in the blood flow to the scalp will have an effect on hair loss. It may have an effect on the quality of your hair growth and can cause frizz prevention and cuticle tightening
- Losing hair every day means that you are balding
- On average, a typical person will lose around 40-100 hairs a day. This is a normal amount to lose each day, as your hairs progress through their natural growth cycles. The longest stage of the hair cycle is the growth phase, which can last anywhere between 2-6 years. The next stage is the transition phase, which will last up to 2 weeks. During this phase growth stops and the hair is cut off when the follicle and its blood supply. Next comes the resting phase, when there is no growth for around 1-4 months. 10-15% of hairs at any one time are in the resting phase. At the end of the resting phase, a new growth phase starts and a new hair begins to grow from the follicle. It pushes the existing hair out of the hair shaft as it continues to grow causing shedding of around 40-100 hairs per day.
- Hair loss is caused by decreased blood flow to the scalp
- Blood circulation plays no role in hair loss, so washing in cold water or standing upside down will not help to prevent or cure hair loss. A decreased blood flow may have an effect on the quality of hair and speed of growth, but no effect on hair loss.
- Wearing a hat makes you go bald
- There is no scientific evidence that supports this myth, so there is no need to worry about wearing hats.
- Hair loss is caused by clogged pores
- Clogged pores can cause a decreased level of hair growth if the hair is struggling to make it through the hair shaft, but will not cause hair loss. If you take steps to unclog these pores, you’ll see normal hair growth resume as the hairs are no longer struggling to make it out of the hair shaft.
- Washing your hair too often can cause hair loss
- Shampooing will remove hairs that have already fallen out, but will not cause new hairs to fall out. Shampooing will only have an effect on the quality of the existing hair, but effect any future growth or hair loss.
- Cutting your hair makes it grow back thicker
- This illusion is caused due to hair follicles being thicker in circumference the nearer to the scalp they are. When your hair grows back to its original length it will be no thicker than previously.
- Too much sun exposure can cause hair loss
Your hair actually shields your scalp from the effects on the sun. There is no evidence that the sun or sun beds can lead to hair loss.