For centuries we have believed in old wive’s tales of hair loss and hair thinning. While most of them are pure myths mistaken as facts, some have even become a part of popular culture, causing immense aggravation to the already existing problem of hair-fall. How hair loss facts and myths are medically weighed, and how important the problem of hair fall is in the current scenario, makes up most of the details here.
What Exactly Is Hair Loss?
A strand of hair comes with its visible part or as we know; the shaft, which lies outside the scalp and the invisible part which is the follicle, which lies inside the skin. The hair shaft is the dead part of the hair made up of a protein called keratin. There are several stages of hair growth which are based on patterns of hair fall in an individual. The three phases of hair growth are Anagen (growth phase), Catagen and Telogen (rest phase).
The reduction of hair from the scalp or any other part of an individual’s body is termed as hair loss. Medically hair loss is termed as alopecia or baldness as we all understand. There are various strengths to which hair fall may affect an individual.
Also Read: Top 15 Causes Of Hair Loss In Men & Women
Do You Know These Interesting Facts About Hair Loss?
- Hair loss affects both men and women and may have severe self-esteem issues
- Fifty to hundred strands of hair loss in a day are deemed normal.
- Certain medicines like blood thinners, depression, chemotherapy drugs and blood pressure pills may also trigger the problem of hair loss.
- A study conducted at Harvard health states that the most common type of hair loss is pattern baldness in males and females.
- Pattern baldness comes with ageing.
- Some of the top causes of hair loss are hormonal imbalance and stress.
- Scalp infections and inflammation tend to aggravate hair loss.
- Heredity and genetic makeup also cause hair loss in some people.
- Hair loss treatments include a lot of advanced options like PRP aided with medications and hair transplant.
- Not all kinds of hair loss are preventable or treatable, a Dermatologist is a right person to determine the same.
- Food, lifestyle and stress levels may impact the problem further.
Also Read: How To Prevent Hair Fall In Men & Women?
Understand Hair Fall Myths Followed By Facts
- The Myth – Tonsuring; the common Indian belief that shaving the hair can solve hair fall.
Fact – There is no factual relevance associated with this though. Rather it may cause infections if proper blades are not used.
- The Myth – Hair loss, hair breakage, hair thinning and hair damage are all the same.
Fact – Factually they are different from each other. Hair fall is the reduction in hair strands from scalp or body. It is normal for humans to lose around 50-100 strands in a day. Hair loss refers to pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia. While hair thinning is the reduction in the thickness of individual hair strands or in the total number of hair strands on scalp or body. And hair breakage refers to breaking the length of hair strands due to pressure, twisting, coloring and detangling when wet.
- The Myth – Home remedies and alternative sources of medicine must be adopted for hair loss.
Fact – While there are no scientific facts but most often, people end up damaging their hair further with traditional home-based treatments. Consult with your Dermatologist before taking up any remedy on your own. As there is no scientific theory that supports hair regrowth or prevention of hair loss, by any of the home remedies. And there are certain underlying health conditions which cause hair loss, and they must be treated first, to ensure further aesthetic treatments can proceed.
- The Myth – Hair loss only happens in adults after a certain age.
Fact – Teens, pre-adults, and even kids are prone to hair loss due to several factors. It is not just a condition of ageing as it is seen in children suffering from ringworm or tinea capitis in the scalp, bald patches or alopecia areata on the head and in elder kid’s hair shaft trauma which is due to external friction or pulling of hair known as trichotillomania.
- The Myth – Washing your hair too much can cause hair fall and hair thinning.
Fact: If you are using mild shampoos recommended by your Dermatologist, and following a smooth procedure for hair wash, there is no need to worry about hair loss.
- The Myth – Birth control causes the hair to fall, in women.
Fact – Not all contraceptive pills have the same effect. Unless you are using a birth control medicine which directly triggers androgen levels, it does not affect hair on your scalp.
- The Myth – Over the counter supplements help in hair regrowth.
Fact – These OTC medicines may not even affect the hair follicles at all. If a proper hair treatment like PRP for hair is administered, the supplemental medicine is prescribed to enrich the process of hair re-growth. Though it is not recommended to consume any such medicine without consulting your Dermatologist.
- The Myth: Any amount of stress causes your hair to fall considerably.
Fact – If this was true, we all would have had hair transplants by now. Stress levels to the tune of childbirth can result in a hair loss like in women suffering from telogen effluvium.
- The Myth – Hairstyle may cause hair loss for everyone.
Fact – Though traumatic alopecia is a common occurrence, but it is not so for all cases. If you are pulling your hair with the extreme amount of pressure and exposing it to high levels of heat like curling iron; or bleaching with harsh chemicals, then you may have hair loss.
- The Myth – Hair fall results in permanent hair loss.
Fact – This is not true, as temporary conditions like childbirth may cause hormonal imbalance in a woman. But this hair fall maybe just for a few months or years, the hair regrows normally, once the level of hormone falls back to normal.
- The Myth – Hair dye causes your hair to thin and fall out eventually.
Fact – Anything in moderation will not affect hair growth. Only if harsh chemical based dyes are used regularly and in extreme quantity, it would affect the hair nourishment. Dermatologist consultation is recommended before using any cosmetic product.
Hair loss is a condition which affects a majority of us in some stage of our lives. Do not fall prey to the hair loss myths above and cause more damage to your hair, rather, visit your Dermatologist and get treated for the underlying factors before giving a cosmetic makeover.