What Causes Hair Loss?

6 Myths About The Causes of Hair Loss

What Causes Hair LossThere is plenty of confusion when it comes to identifying what causes hair loss.  Some of the confusion is derived from loosely connected assumptions concerning genetics and having a “predisposition” to balding.  This level of confusion is often perpetuated by the simple misunderstanding of how hair naturally grows, sheds, and regrows (as many individuals mistake the “shedding” phase for hair loss).  An immense degree of fear and anxiety underscores the notion of losing one’s hair, spurring the creating of half-truths and myths to account for the phenomenon.  This article has been created to sort fact from fiction and to help you learn more about the causes of hair loss.

Myth 1:  Hair loss is hereditary (genetic).

This myth is only part false.  Yes, some individuals are predisposed to hair loss due to a condition know as androgenetic alopecia.  However, genetics are not the only factor at play when it comes to hair loss in men and women.  What causes hair loss:  Hormonal changes, overall diet, lifestyle, stress, and unexpected trauma may each play a role, depending on the unique circumstances of the individual.

Myth 2:  If my mother’s side of the family suffers with balding or thinning hair, so will I.

This myth is derived from the knowledge that the X chromosome contains one of the primary genes for male pattern baldness.  Since men inherit the X chromosome from their mother only, many assume that the “baldness gene” is something that may be passed from the mother’s side of the family.

Myth 3:  If I find hair on my pillow, that means I’m going bald.

This “myth” can be true or false, depending on how much hair is found on the pillow.  Rapid hair loss, or shedding, can be a sign of balding.  However, it may also by a byproduct of your hair’s natural growth cycle if it is minimal.  To get a better idea of the severity of the shedding, try the “Hair Pull Test.”  Grab a clump of 50 to 100 hairs and hold it between the thumb and index finger.  Then, gently but firmly pull away from the scalp with a stable degree of traction.  If 2-5 hairs are obtained via the Hair Pull Test, you have nothing to worry about.  If, however, 10-20 hairs are obtained in this manner, it may be a sign that hair loss symptoms are setting in.  Please visit our Hair Loss Evaluation page to learn more about the tests that are available to confirm hair loss.

Myth 4:  Wearing a hat conceals the hair from sunlight, damages the hair follicle, and causes hair loss.

This myth is 100% false.  First, wearing a hat does not damage the hair follicle.  Moreover, shielding hair from the sun does not stunt growth nor does it promote hair loss.  At the opposite extreme, individuals may wonder if excessive sun exposure triggers hair loss by damaging the scalp.  This myth is also false.  So, enjoy the warm Miami sun, friends—research actually shows healthy amounts of exposure may strengthen the immune system by triggering all-natural vitamin D production!

Myth 5:  Excessive brushing, combing, or styling of the hair may cause premature loss.

False.  Neither brushing nor combing hair will cause “hair loss,” though hair may naturally fall out and collect on your comb/brush during the process.  This is a part of the hair growth cycle, and it is perfectly normal.  To learn more, please visit our page on How Hair Grows.

Myth 6:  Eating well will help me keep my hair.

Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true.  Eating a diet that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients is essential in maintaining overall physical and mental health.  For this reason, it is highly recommended that men and women of all ages take proactive steps towards “eating well.”  However, no particular food groups or nutrient supplements have been scientifically proven to prevent hair loss.

Schedule Your Hair Loss Evaluation

At Hair Transplant Institute of Miami, we understand that hair loss may have a profound affect on personal, social, and professional life.  If you or a loved one suffers with hair loss—you are not alone.  Nearly 2 of every 3 American males experiences hair loss by age 50, and an estimated 20 million American females experience symptoms of thinning or balding hair.

Contact our institute online to request additional information regarding hair loss causes, evaluations, and available treatments.  We also invite you to call our practice directly at 305.925.0222.