Baldness and hair loss has been surrounded by myths and untruths for hundreds of years and for all that time there have been lotions and potions promoted and sold as a miracle cure for the condition.
Only in more recent times have we had a better understanding of the causes of male pattern baldness, female hair loss and alopecia and alongside that the development of more reliable and proven treatments.
So that we can look at the treatment options for hair loss from a more knowledgeable viewpoint we need to look at what is fact and what is fiction among the myriad of information available.
This is not entirely a myth as it is partly true. The primary baldness gene is on the X chromosome which men can only get from their mothers. However, there are other factors involved whereby if you have a bald father you are more likely to develop male pattern baldness (androgenetic alopecia) than those who do not.
This is definitely a myth because male pattern baldness knows no age. Hair loss can be seen in 25% of men under thirty but this rises to 50% of men by the time they reach 50.
Statistically, it is believed that hair loss affects approximately 35 million men globally; it also affects 21 million women globally. This fact makes the idea that men are the only ones who suffer hair loss a myth. The difference is that hair loss is likely to be more obvious in men showing as b bald patch or receding hairline whereas, in women, hair loss tends to be all over the scalp.
This is probably one of the most popular myths and there is nothing in this one. Men who are bald do not have more testosterone than normal.
If a vitamin deficiency is the cause of hair loss then a supplement will help. Otherwise, this is a myth.
Carbohydrates and red meat contain nutrients that are essential for maintaining a healthy head of hair so this is a myth.
This is a myth and there is no evidence to suggest that masturbating causes hair loss. The myth however may have arisen from the fact that semen contains high levels of protein and so masturbation literally causes a person to ejaculate protein that could have been used in the production of hair.
Growing hair needs healthy circulation in the scalp, and as hair loss occurs, scalp circulation declines. However, this decreased blood flow to the scalp is the result, not the cause of male pattern baldness.
This is true to some extent. There are three types of hair loss that are associated with stress:
This is a myth as natural sunlight and sunbeds or tanning booths do not cause baldness. It is recommended however that if you have thinning hair or bald patches you protect the scalp from UV light.
There is no ‘cure’ as such for baldness and there are no magic creams or potions that will restore a full head of hair. There are however drugs and treatments which will in part at least slow down or stop the hair loss.
There may be a small amount of truth to this statement in that hair requires a good blood supply in order to stay healthy and grow thick and massaging the scalp will stimulate the flow of blood. In no way will it prevent androgenetic alopecia which is caused by damage to the hair follicles.
In the case of hereditary hair loss or androgenetic alopecia, a person cannot change their genetic makeup but there are medications available that can effectively slow down, stop and sometimes even reverse hair loss.
This is a myth. Only if a hat is too tight causing restricted blood flow to the scalp could it possibly cause some hair loss. Alternatively if taking it off pulls at the hair it may cause some traction alopecia.
This is definitely a myth as clean hair is likely to be more healthy as it is a sign that you look after it. Losing a few hairs daily is quite normal and healthy.
This is a myth. When hair is cut it straightens the straggly ends which may make it appear thicker but actually cutting the hair does not change the hair itself in any way.
There are many myths associated with the age old problem of hair loss but what has changed in more recent times is that there are now options available that will help with the problem.