Hair Loss Myths

Everybody has an opinion on hair loss, and nearly everybody has heard of a supposed cure for hair loss. The unfortunate truth is that there are no miracle cures, and there is very little that you can do to avoid hair loss if you are a candidate for male (or female) pattern baldness. Here we aim to dispel some of the more widespread myths about hair loss – some serious, and some not so serious.

"You will inherit male pattern baldness from your Mother’s side of the family"

Not true. Many studies have been conducted that conclusively suggest that male pattern baldness can come from either side of the family, and this is true for both male pattern baldness and female pattern baldness.

"You were bald as a baby, you'll go bald as an adult"

Not true. Having no hair when you were born just means the hair genes hadn't kicked in yet. It has no bearing on how you'll end up later.

"Standing on your head, or hanging upside down will increase the blood to the head and reduce hair loss"

Yes, standing on your head or hanging upside down will increase the blood to your head, but it won’t do anything for your hair loss. Chances are the blood flow to your head is just fine as it is. The problem however is your genes, and no amount of standing on your head can change that.

"Cutting the hair can make it grow stronger and faster"

As a hair grows longer it wears down through normal wear and tear, and gets slightly thinner around the diameter of the shaft. When you cut your hair you are effectively cutting it back to where there is less wear and tear and subsequently the hair shaft is slightly thicker – thus giving the impression that cutting the hair makes it thicker. It won’t grow back any faster however, and the numbers of hair follicles that you have are already predetermined.

"Wearing a hat can cause hair loss"

Only if you wear a hat that is prohibitively tight. Any form of pulling or tightening of the hair can have some effect on hair loss, but wearing a hat is not a problem if it fits well.

"Towel drying your hair rigorously will make your hair fall out faster"

This one has two sides to it. There has been the school of thought that suggests that rubbing your head stimulates hair growth (untrue) and therefore toweling rigorously has the same affect (also untrue). The other side thinks that rigorous toweling makes the hair fall out faster. If this were to be true, your hair would only be falling out eventually anyhow. Therefore, you may end up giving assistance to a hair that was due to fall out anyhow, but you won’t be promoting additional hair loss by toweling rigorously.

"Blow-drying can cause hair loss"

Not true. You can however end up damaging your hair, and that’s a different story.

"Cleaning the scalp of sebum will free up trapped hairs"

Again, not true. Male pattern baldness means that the hair follicle withers and dies, so even with a clogged pore, there is no underlying hair to sprout out from under. Once a hair is dead, it’s dead.

"Rubbing curry on the head will help"

Afraid not, and you’re likely to smell funny afterward.

"Having a cow lick the top of your head will help"

It won’t help your hair loss, but it might entertain the farmer for a while. And the cow.

Next: Is it possible to regrow hair? >>