If you’re experiencing hair loss, the last thing you want is to be bombarded with misinformation that will cause you to panic even more 一 the stress alone could make you want to pull out your hair. But the truth is, there are lots of myths out there about the causes of hair loss.
Between presumed hair care routine no-nos and false claims about the relationship between hair loss, gender and genetics, there's a lot to unravel. So, we’re making it simple for you and debunking four of the most common hair loss myths to set the record straight.
1. Washing Your Hair Too Much Causes Hair Loss
If you have oily hair or you’re just a frequent hair washer, you might have heard hairstylists proclaim that daily hair washing will lead to dried out, lifeless hair. Perhaps you’ve even heard that frequently washing your hair will lead to hair loss. The truth is, there is no evidence to prove this. In fact, evidence suggests that infrequent hair washing is more likely to cause hair loss.
According to the Mayo Clinic, folliculitis 一 inflammation of the hair follicles caused by bacteria or fungus 一 can lead to permanent hair loss. When oil, product buildup, dead skin cells and flakes remain on the scalp without being cleansed, you’re put at a higher risk of developing dermatitis 一 or skin irritation 一 which can lead to folliculitis and hair loss.
So if you notice hair falling out in the shower, don’t fear. The average person loses between 50 to 100 strands daily. If your hands are covered in hair after shampooing, it’s likely very normal. If you think it’s excessive, seek out a licensed trichologist or board-certified dermatologist who can help you determine if you are in fact experiencing some form of hair loss.
2. Stress Can Cause Permanent Hair Loss
It’s commonly known that hair loss can be a result of enduring a stressful period in your life. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress related hair loss comes in three forms: telogen effluvium — where stress causes the hair follicles to enter a resting phase and eventually fall out, trichotillomania — which is an irresistible urge to pull out your hair, and alopecia areata — where the immune system attacks the hair follicles and causes them to fall out.
And if you’ve experienced any of this, perhaps you were told that your hair loss would be permanent. While there are cases where stress induced hair loss can be permanent, the Mayo Clinic states that it is possible for the hair to grow back should you get your stress to a manageable level.
3. Genetic Hair Loss Comes From Your Mother
Perhaps you’ve heard that your predisposition to hair loss is dictated by the genetics on your mother’s side of the family. This is often believed to be true, especially in connection with male-pattern baldness 一 a form of alopecia 一 where a man's hairline recedes in addition to experiencing thinning hair at the top of his head.
But according to the Mayo Clinic, this isn’t the full truth. While this type of hair loss does result from genetics, the Mayo Clinic states that it could come from either side, if not both sides of the family. It could begin at any point after puberty, and how far it progresses is dependent upon genetics.
4. Hair Loss Is More Common For Men
It’s no secret that men’s balding and hair loss is a more commonly talked about subject than women’s hair loss, but that doesn’t mean it only affects men. In fact, the Cleveland Clinic states that an estimated 50 percent of women will experience some kind of hair loss in their lifetime. Around one third of those women will experience female-pattern hair loss 一 which is typically thinning at a woman’s hair part.
While all women can experience some type of hair loss, those that are most prone to it are women over the age of 40, women who have just given birth, those that wear high-tension hairstyles, and women in menopause.
Edited by: Shannon Stubbs, Designed by: Crystal Simone