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Top 10 Hair Myths: Busted

Hair Loss: Top 10 Myths - A wooden hairbrush is shown on a white background. There is some loss hair coming off the brush.

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Many people have felt the fear, stress and anxiety that comes with Hair Loss...The worries that the Hair Loss will become permanent. This is very common for both men and women, with good reason.

Let’s look at the statistics of Hair Loss, according to the American Hair Loss Association. The AHLA estimates that 40% of women and 85% of men, by age 50, will experience thinning hair or hair loss in their lifetime. While most cases will be genetic, it is not the only factor that raises your risk to thinning hair. In addition, there are many myths about the facts of hair loss which only add to the stress and anxiety.

So, we are going to set the record straight! Let’s tackle the Top 10 Myths of Hair Loss, and show how our effective medical solutions can slow hair loss and re-grow your hair.

1.) Hair Loss from Stress is Permanent.

Mostly Myth here. In life, you’ll find lots of things that will cause you stress, but hair loss shouldn’t be one of them.

While in a large majority of cases, we may see an increase of short-term hair loss from stress, however this type of hair loss usually goes unnoticed.
Why? This is on the grounds that you have a great many a bigger number of hairs on your head than usually accounted for. It’s natural hair fall to lose anywhere from 50-100 strands of hair a day. There are known conditions for hair loss due to extreme stress, such as Telogen Effluvim, (this condition pushes the follicles into the rest phases that subsides once the stress has passed.) Another type of non-scaring hair loss that may be stress induced is Alopecia Areata, which is due to a autoimmune response that attacks follicles. This type of Alopecia’s lifetime incidence rate is just 2.1% for those who experience the condition. That’s a very low number.

Long story short: Stress may cause some hair loss, but it’s usually short-term and will grow back.

2.) Male Pattern Balding is Hereditary. If you’re mother’s father was bald, chances are that you will be, too.

Genetics are the primary cause of most hair loss and the primary gene for this is located in the X chromosome, which is only inherited from our mothers. While this may make the DNA from her side more dominant, it’s not just mom’s genes here that are to blame here. We get the other half of our genes from dear ol’ dad. 

Further research into the genetics of hair loss suggests that if your dad exhibits some signs of male pattern baldness, your risk for hair loss increases. So, Mom’s genes may set the scene, but Dad’s DNA has a role to play in whether you’re likely to develop hair loss. This is true for both men and women.

3.) Wearing Caps Too Much Causes You To Go Bald.

Fear not, lovers of haberdashery! Hats are rarely the cause of thinning hair.
Healthy follicles get their oxygen from the blood vessels in your skin / scalp and not from the air around it. The oxygen the follicles gain from the blood to grow more hair. While tension and friction applied to your roots can lead to brittleness and breakage, like in Traction Alopecia, for Ball Caps and other types of headwear to really be a factor in causing hair loss, it would have to be worn on your head so tightly that the blood flow to the scalp would be cut off. You would more than likely remove the cap due to the discomfort that would cause before any damage could really occur, or opt for a looser hat instead. 

So, if you love wearing hats, it is more than likely that your hair is A-OK with it, too.

4.) Men Who Are Bald Have More Testosterone.

This is an oversimplification that leaves out some important facts.
While it is true that the link between DHT (dihydrotestosterone,) and Testosterone is most often linked to hair loss and male pattern baldness, there is much more to it than that. DHT by itself doesn’t cause hair loss. What actually happens is genetic: hair loss happens to individuals with follicles that are more sensitive to DHT. There are even men who experience thinning hair that have relatively low levels of testosterone, but their their follicles are highly sensitive to DHT.

Remember, correlation does not equal causation, and certainly not with testosterone and DHT. Higher testosterone levels won’t cause your hair to fall out, though it is that hormone that may help delay common signs of aging. Ask Dr. Kanosky about BioTE BHRT pellet therapy. It can help some individuals with thinning hair, in addition to other benefits.

5.) Your Birth Control Pills Will Cause Hair Loss.

Back with “the Pill” first arrived in 1960, this was a concern due to the ingredient,  progesterone  – a hormone that commonly acts like an androgen. 

Today, our modern oral contraceptives are developed essentially as anti-androgens versions, to reduce the unwanted side effects. Also, if your hair follicles lack a genetic-based sensitivity to DHT, then birth control pills are unlikely to stimulate hair loss. If you think your prescription may be for an older type of pill, speaking with your doctor about your concerns should easily clear up any worries.

6.) Overstyling & Dying Your Hair Too Often Causes It to Fall Out.

Any treatment used too much will cause damage to the hair shaft, dehydrating your hair and weakening the strands. Tight up-dos and braiding can cause tension at the root, leading to a receding hairline over time, (Traction Alopecia). However, the overall use of heat styling, dyes with harsh chemicals, and alcohol-based hair products can cause hair shafts can become brittle and prone to breakage, especially if used often. While this is a sure way to get split ends, it does not cause hair loss.  

Hair growth will return once you care for your hair and reduce styling your hair in ways that cause excessive tension at the roots. Use of protectants when styling with hair dryers, curling irons, flattening irons and other heated tools, will help keep moisture in your hair shafts and ends. Basically, treat your hair kindly and gentle to encourage healthy growth while you wait for that botched bleach job to grow out. Keep treating it gentle to keep your hair looking healthy and radiant.

7.) Shaving Your Hair Makes It Grow Back Thicker & Darker.

Every woman who shaves her legs has run across this one at some point in her life.  No, Shaving does NOT stimulate hair regrowth. If only the solution were that simple…

What it actually does is remove damaged hair, which makes the new hair look healthier. It does not affect the follicle or what happens underneath the skin. Hair grows from the inside and is heavily impacted by both hormones and your genetics. A simple razor can’t do a thing about that.

8.) Biotin Supplements Will Stop Hair Loss.

The jury is still out overall on this one.
Just like the marketing used to sell collagen supplements, biotin supplements feature a combination of B vitamins known for “assisting in the maintenance of healthy skin and hair.” But, do your homework. Those supplements may dive deeper into the skin’s surface, but it does seem that their impact on hair loss is very minimal. 

Research is still ongoing on whether biotin supplements can increase your hair’s health and strength, but an increase in vitamin B will not stop hair loss. It is impossible to target any specific aliment or concern with over-the-counter supplements as your body decides on its own how best to use what food and vitamins you consumed. Biotin has no proven effect on DHT sensitivity in hair follicles or on hormones, let alone altering genetics. 

Bottom line? Biotin may help maintain a healthy body and it may result in healthy hair, but your thinning hair will keep on thinning.

9.) Everyone Over 50 Years Old Will Experience Hair Loss.

Everyone gets older, there is no way to prevent it. But age alone is not the trigger of hair loss. 

Hair loss can occur at any age. For some lucky individuals, hair loss never occurs. According to the American Hair Loss Association, 66% of American males experience hair loss by age 35 and the number increases to 85% by age 50. As you age, your cell renewals declines, hormone levels change, and the hair growth cycle slows down. So thinning hair may be inevitable generally, it doesn’t guarantee that everyone will have hair loss as they grow older.

10.) Hair Loss Is Preventable.

Male and Female Pattern Baldness is not preventable, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways to counteract that hair loss. 

It all starts with effective hair restoration, and with treatments that are scientifically and medically proven. At Mississippi Hair Restoration, we offer NeoGraft® Follicular Unit Extraction (FUE) as an effective way to restore the appearance of a full head of healthy hair, with using a scalpel, no linear scarring, and minimal downtown. It also is very effective in restoring areas that have suffering hair loss due to injury or scarring.
Learn More about FUE procedure here: 

We hope this answered your questions and set your mind at ease! We have more information on our FAQs page  or feel free to reach out to us with any additional comments or concerns you may have. If you are wondering about your own thinning hair and what treatments will work best for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kanosky to learn how our proven combination of treatments can slow the loss of hair, stimulate hair regrowth, and move existing hair to where you need it most.

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Michael Kanosky, MD, FACS

655 Lake Harbour Drive, Suite 900 • Ridgeland, MS 39157
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