The suspicion that you are going bald can be a life-changing experience. If this has happened to you, then you have probably trawled through thousands of websites, searching for the real facts about hair loss.
Balding is surrounded by a myriad of myths, leading many to misunderstand the facts entirely. Here, those fictitious rumours have been investigated, and the truth uncovered.
1. Genetic Hair Loss Can Come From Either Side Of The Family
One common hair loss myth argues that male and female pattern baldness, or androgenetic alopecia, can only be inherited through your mother’s genes. However, the fact of the matter is that baldness can be passed down by either side of the family.
2. Half the Hair Can Be Lost Before It Is Noticeable
Many people falsely believe the main sign that genetic baldness is setting in is witnessing large volumes of hair fall out. The majority of people will lose between 50 and 100 scalp hairs per day. This is completely normal. However, problems with baldness arise when these hairs are not replaced by the natural cycle. This ‘thinning’ can take a while to become easily apparent.
If you do lose sizeable amounts of hair, it may be a sign of a different medical condition, so be sure to seek expert advice.
3. Hair Loss Is Not Caused By Damage To The Hair Itself
Our hair consists of a hair shaft that grows out of our skin, a strong root found below the skin and a follicle, in which the root develops. Most hair loss is caused by a destruction of the follicle. When this important component is damaged, the root cannot grow effectively and the hair shaft will never develop.
4. Some Baldness Can Be Reversed
Pattern baldness is not the only type of hair loss to be aware of. Alopecia areata is a medical condition where small patches of hair loss form. This problem can arise due to psychological or physical stress. Surgery, chemotherapy, hormonal imbalances and even sudden weight loss can also lead to temporary hair loss. Alleviating the cause will stop the baldness spreading and, in time, the hair will rejuvenate.
However, if stress has simply accelerated the development of male or female pattern baldness, the hair will not return.
5. Baldness Is Not Linked To Intellectual Capacity
This is one of the oldest wives’ tales around, probably as old as the condition itself. Due to the proximity of the brain to the hair follicle, many believed that thinking too much or even having a mental disorder negatively impacted hair growth. This myth suggests that bald men are either highly intelligent or psychologically damaged.
Unfortunately, this deceiving depiction is still deemed believable; sustained by the Hollywood tradition of portraying the bald characters as geeks or villains. Hopefully, contemporary bald celebrities like Bruce Willis will be able to finally vanquish this myth.
6. Wearing Hats Does Not Cause Hair Loss
Another popular baldness myth is that it can be caused by frequently wearing hats or helmets. This fabrication stems from the belief that the scalp needs to breathe. Everyone from policemen to construction workers will be happy to hear that this is not actually the case.
As the hair follicles reside under the skin, they receive oxygen from the bloodstream. Therefore, constant exposure to oxygen in the air is not necessary to maintain healthy hair.
7. Shampooing The Hair Is Not Bad
Vigorously shampooing is thought to lead to further balding. This is not the case. The loss of hair is simply more noticeable while in the shower, as the loose hairs fall to the plughole. If you choose to stop shampooing, all of the dead hairs will remain on your head. So, the next time you work up the courage to thoroughly wash your hair, the loss will appear greater.
8. Bald Men Are Not More Virile
Unfortunately for some, this tale is as false as those involving the size of men’s hands or feet. The volume of testosterone in the bloodstream does not determine baldness. Instead, several contributing genes are involved, making the hair follicles more sensitive to the circulating hormone.
Hair loss can be a traumatic thing and is important to be aware of. Luckily, balding people now have more options available to them than ever before.
Source: Interesting Facts About Baldness
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