Summary: Hair loss has been a sore subject for generations; however there are still a lot of misconceptions about how one becomes bald. Is it because of your mother’s genes or your Dad’s? Can stress cause me to lose my hair? As you will see there are a fair amount of talking points regarding hair loss, it’s just a matter of where you fit into the mix.
Men have had complicated relationships with their hair for centuries. Since ancient Greece, men have used their hair to represent their virility, class, brains, and more. Styles and trends have come and gone, but the undesirability of baldness has remained steadfast throughout the years. Even today, misinformation about this common condition abounds. Here’s the truth behind some of the most common hair loss myths still making the rounds today.
Myth 1: Baldness comes from your mother’s side of the family.
Hey, let’s leave the mothers out of this! This myth has solid roots in genetics, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. While Mom’s X chromosome does carry a gene that causes hair loss, a 2008 discovery revealed that hair loss is just as likely to come from dear old Dad, too. Of course, other factors that contribute to baldness can also come into play. Although looking at both sets of grandparents may help paint a more complete picture of what you can expect, it’s not 100% accurate.
Myth 2: Baldness is an old man’s problem.
Unfortunately, many men have learned the truth behind this myth the hard way. Although it’s not widespread, that telltale receding hairline can begin to emerge as early as the 20s or 30s. In general, an earlier onset of symptoms is linked to more severe hair loss overall. However, medications such as minoxidil (Rogaine®) or finasteride (Propecia®) can help slow or even stop hair loss.
Myth 3: Going au naturel can help you keep your hair for as long as possible.
Ever wonder what’s in that bottle of gel or tub of pomade? Although they may contain ingredients that are tough to pronounce, none of them have been shown to contribute to hair loss. Mass-market styling products sold in drugstores and salons have all been vetted to ensure that they’re safe to use. Great hair isn’t without its risks, though. Using heat tools to style hair or excessively brushing or combing hair can accelerate hair loss, although they won’t cause a man to go bald if he wasn’t already. This weak association with styled hair is likely how this myth originated.
Myth 4: Hair restoration is a quick fix.
The technical aspects of hair restoration surgery are often misunderstood, especially because a few different options exist for today’s hair transplant patients. Many people believe that if someone undergoes the procedure, he or she will see immediate improvement. Although hair transplant surgery can have undeniably impressive results, the truth is that patience is a virtue when it comes to waiting for those results to develop. According to the website of Kent V. Hasen, M.D., a hair transplant specialist based in Naples, FL, full results of follicular unit extraction, or FUE, can take up to 1 year to develop — although most patients begin to see results after 3 months or so.
Myth 5: Stress causes hair loss.
Yes and no. Although stress can lead to behaviors that result in hair loss, it isn’t a direct cause of baldness — and it’s unrelated to male-pattern baldness. Stress can trigger certain psychological conditions, such as trichotillomania, which cause people to compulsively pull out their hair. And stress can lead to poor eating habits, which may also contribute to hair loss. One good thing about stress-related hair loss? It typically grows back once stress is reduced.