Debunking 3 Widely-Believed Hair Loss Myths
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on March 15, 2018 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Blog
Hair loss effects millions of people, many of whom have no idea why their hair is falling out. The combination of mystery and panic has brought forth myriad myths about the causes of hair loss. It’s hard to blame people for being worried about their hair and wanting to do whatever they can to protect it. Some myths actually seem quite logical at first. But science consistently reminds us not to believe anything without proof, and it turns out that even a few of the most widespread theories about hair loss are completely false. Studies often point out that male and female hair loss can be caused by different things, though certain rules do apply to almost everyone.
The main takeaway is usually that there’s no reason to worry that common, everyday behaviors are making you more likely to lose your hair at a young age. Here are x popular myths about hair loss that must be taken out of circulation once and for all:
1. Washing Your Hair Too Much Is Bad
You’ve probably heard someone say that washing your hair on a regular basis (once a day) is bad for your hair. But hair that isn’t washed regularly could easily become unclean or unhealthy. Research has reportedly found that as long as you use the right products, washing your hair will only make your hair stronger and possibly less likely to fall out. There’s apparently no harm in regular conditioning as well, though conditioner should be applied to the hair shaft, not the scalp, in order to achieve softer hair.
Excessive hair styling, however, might contribute to hair loss. Tight braids, ponytails and extensions can weaken hair follicles. There’s no evidence that gels and waxes are a direct cause of hair loss but they can weaken the hair shaft if used excessively for long periods of time. Experts recommend using water-based products rather than chemicals with polyethylene glycol and alcohols, which dry the hair out and make it more vulnerable to damage.
2. Wearing A Hat Every Day Makes Your Hair Fall Out
This myth claims that baseball caps suffocate the hair, causing hair health to deteriorate. But unless the hat is uncomfortably tight, wearing a baseball cap every day will not make you lose your hair. There’s no probably reason why you’re going to need to wear an uncomfortably tight hat, and if there is, you’re not going to wear it every day. A hat this tight would have a similar effect to the aforementioned braids or ponytails; putting too much pressure on the areas of the head it touches (so much that it’s basically pulling the hair out itself). So, it’s not sweat but tightness that deserves your concern.
3. Stress Will Make You Go Bald
Stress-induced hair loss is not a myth. The myth is that stress causes permanent or chronic hair loss; the kind that gets worse for years and years until there’s barely any hair left. In other words, stress can only cause temporary hair loss. Conditions like telogen effluvium or alopecia areata have been linked to hair loss but both they can both be temporary.
What’s unclear is whether the hair loss is caused by the stress itself or the change in lifestyle that takes place following or during a stressful event. For example, people who experience a particularly stressful or traumatic event might neglect their overall health, which could directly contribute to hair loss. But chances are, an increased workload or a string of disappointing dates isn’t going to make your hair fall out.
Another Day, Another Myth Debunked
The notion of stress-induced hair loss stems from the myth that all hair loss is permanent. Some cases can be quickly alleviated by simply changing your lifestyle for the better, while others can be greatly diminished by treatments like Hair Essentials. Even people with medical conditions that cause hair loss have seen incredible results with these innovative treatments. But no matter the cause, there are far too many potential solutions available to assume that someone’s hair loss will never subside.
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan