It’s estimated that nearly 40 percent of men suffer from hair thinning or loss by the age of 35. By 60, this number increases to nearly 65 percent. Around 40 percent of women also show signs of thinning or hair loss by 40. Although hair thinning and loss are universal issues, there are still many popular untruths and misconceptions floating around. Some are innocuous, while others can make the issue worse or even cause damage to the skin and scalp. Instead of perpetuating potentially dangerous myths, learn the truth behind five all-too common hair-thinning and hair-loss misconceptions.
Dying Your Hair Leads to Permanent Thinning and Hair Loss
Hair dye causes scalp irritation, and you might even lose strands due to breakage, but the chemicals won’t cause permanent thinning or loss. There is, however, a fashion trend that will wreak havoc on your follicles: hair extensions. The constant tugging and pulling required to maintain extensions causes follicle breakage and scalp inflammation. This combination can actually cause follicles to stop producing hair permanently.
Want to Know Your Hair Future? Look at Your Mother’s Father
For years, anxious men have kept a running tally of their maternal grandfather’s hair loss. There is a kernel of truth to this urban legend. Heredity plays a huge factor in hair loss, but the history and future of your hair is ultimately a mystery. It’s possible your maternal grandfather could sport a full head of hair all his life, but yours will begin to thin in your early 30s. Stress and medical conditions could also be the cause of your thinning hair.
Drain Clogged? Your Hair Is Permanently Thinning
If you’re constantly pulling clumps of hair from the drain, it could be a sign you’re suffering from premature thinning or loss. However, the culprit might be a treatable medical condition or vitamin deficiency. For instance, a lack of vitamin D, calcium, zinc or protein can dramatically affect your hair’s overall look. If you have a severe deficiency, the lack of vital nutrients can cause your hair to thin and fall out. If you’re not sure, ask your doctor to test your vitamin levels.
The Hair Loss/Shampoo Connection
You’re noticing dramatic hair thinning or loss and are convinced that the issue is your shampoo, gel, mousse or the daily use of a blow dryer. You can try shampooing less or head to work sporting the “natural” look, but this will make no difference because there is no connection between style, cleanliness and hair loss. The only thing shampooing and using styling products do is strip the essential oils from your hair, which can make it appear damaged and dull.
Adopt the Messy Look to Prevent Future Hair Loss
Each morning, you’re faced with a painful choice: Brush your hair and lose precious strands, or put your messy tresses in a bun or stuff them under a hat. Many people falsely believe over-brushing your hair leads to premature loss. On average, humans naturally lose between 50 and 75 hairs each day. If you don’t brush your hair for one week straight, imagine the amount of dead and broken strands you’ll pull out. If you’re still concerned, switch to a natural-bristle brush or wide-tooth comb and wait until your hair is completely dry before styling. Running a brush through wet hair causes damage and further breakage.
From the myths surrounding hair dye to your grandfather, there are many misconceptions surrounding hair loss. If you’re noticing an issue, there are several thinning hair products that can prevent future loss and keep your hair on your head where it belongs.