Myths About Baldness - Hair Loss & Hair Transplant Surgery Guide
One of the greatest problems that people face when tackling baldness is the fact that there are so many strange tales, weird cures, odd ideas and mysterious myths surrounding it. Part of the problem is that male-pattern baldness, as a condition, is not entirely understood by the medical community. So wild tales and cure-alls proliferate and it is not always possible to disprove them. The other part of the problem is that many men looking for a cure to their baldness are tempted to try anything. And there are lots of unscrupulous people around prepared to cash in on that desperation.
In this article, we will identify a few of the myths that you’ve probably heard about baldness in the past. We’ll look at why people might believe them and whether there is any truth whatsoever in them. We’ll also give you a few tips on how you can avoid getting trapped into buying a product that isn’t going to meet your expectations.
Why are there so many myths?
People (unsurprisingly, men in particular) have been perplexed by balding for thousands of years and every type of cure has been tried. Ever heard the one about getting a cow to lick your heard? You probably have, though we wouldn’t recommend that you try it. There is no scientific evidence to support it as a cure for baldness – nor is it likely to be a particularly pleasant experience either!
Alternatively, you could go back a few years and try Hippcrates technique. After al, he was the father of modern medicine, so his cocktail of cumin, pigeon droppings, horseradish and nettles should work perfectly. Shouldn’t it?
So, while we’re on the subject, what other strange myths are there surrounding baldness?
Only middle-aged men go bald
Nowadays, most people know that this isn’t true. But they do not necessarily understand why. Alopecia, in its various forms can affect quite literally anyone: men, women, teens, even children. The kind of balding that is most common in men is called Male-Pattern Baldness. Usually, men with Male-Pattern Baldness start to lose hair at the temples and the crown, leaving just a fringe of hair around the back and the sides. However, it isn’t only middle-aged men that have Male-Pattern Baldness – that’s just another part of the myth. Some men begin going bald as early as their late teens or early twenties.
You are more likely to lose hair if you wear a hat often
Why would people think this is true? Wearing a hat may slightly damage your hair, but there is no way it can affect the follicles. More than likely, this is a kind of self-perpetuating myth. Bald men prefer to wear hats because they are self-conscious about their hair loss. Therefore, people see more bald men wearing hats. Therefore, people assume that hats cause baldness. It’s twisted logic, whichever way you look at it.
If you keep brushing your hair it becomes thicker
You can try. And you can keep trying. However, your hair will not become any thicker. The reason people believe this is probably because brushing feels as though it is good for you hair and your hair looks better for it. But it won’t stop you from going bald, any more than changing your hairstyle or going to a different barber shop will.
You inherit baldness from your mother’s father
Actually, this is a slightly trickier one and not a downright fallacy. Baldness is inherited and you can read more about the genetic factors involved elsewhere on this site. In fact, the discovery that baldness is genetic is one of the reasons why we can be so sure that a lot of the myths we’ve highlighted here cannot be true. If Male-Pattern baldness is genetic, how can wearing a hat affect it in the slightest?
What is not necessarily true is that you inherit your baldness from your maternal grandfather. In some cases, that is probably true. But it is equally like that you will inherit your male-pattern baldness genes from your father’s side of the family too. Or, as in many cases, it seems to be a combination of both.
Baldness always skips a generation
No such luck, unfortunately. As we mentioned, male-pattern baldness is not entirely understood. So if you were hoping you could trace a timeline back a couple of generations and work out whether it will affect you, forget it. It’s just not that predictable.
If you cut your hair it grows back faster
Sometimes, shorter hair looks like it is growing back faster because hair follicles are actually conical in shape: thick at the base and narrowing towards the tip. Perhaps that’s how the myth got started. But the fact is that your hair grows at a similar rate no matter what you do to it – usually around just over a centimetre each month.
In the same way, you will naturally lose hair each month too. That’s just part of the natural cycle of hair growth, so you can always expect to see some hair fall out. Don’t automatically take that as a sign of male-pattern baldness.
Stress leads to baldness
Once again, this is one of those myths that is not strictly true – but not entirely false either. What we can safely say for certain is that it is definitely one of those myths that people exploit when they are inventing ways to treat baldness.
Sometimes, stress can lead to hair loss. But it is not a factor behind male-pattern baldness. If you read the article on this site about Alopecia, you can see how hair loss can be classified and what the different causes are.
When hair restoration treatments are mis-sold, people often exploit the connection between stress and male-pattern baldness. The implication is that the two go hand in hand. But what the advertisements fail to point out is that stress is more often than not a symptom of male-pattern baldness – it is never a cause.
Poor Blood Flow Leads to Male-Pattern Baldness
One of the great advantages of blaming blood flow to the follicles is that is opens the door to all sorts of quasi-science. Over the years, people have advertised products that add ‘nutrients’ to the blood, or ‘vitamins’ to the scalp. But as we have already talked about above, male-pattern baldness is genetic, so poor circulation will not affect it.
If we were being very generous, we could say that an increase in certain vitamins and minerals does help to keep the hair healthy. But they will not make much difference to Male-Pattern Baldness, unless they are used in tandem with other products, such as Finasteride or Minoxidil.
Lifestyle lead to hair loss
Blaming lifestyle is another myth that helps to exploit people’s hope of finding a cure. In much the same way that people blame stress for hair loss, people will happily perpetuate the myth that it is to do with diet, with alcohol, with smoking, even with how many times a day you shampoo your hair or how often you have sex. After all, if there is something to treat then there needs to be a product to treat it.
The challenge that many people with Male-Pattern Baldness face is knowing what is proven fact and what is myth. Many of the myths that are commonly accepted are totally false. Others, while not being accurate, may be based upon a grain of truth. For example, our old friend Hippocrates, in between applying pigeon droppings to his bald head, noted that eunuchs did not go bald.
Many centures later, research has shown that Male-Pattern Baldness is genetic and that the chemical trigger are the some of the hormones that promote sexual maturity in men, such as testosterone.
If you are looking at different types of treatments and products for Male-Pattern Baldness, it is worth remembering that only the medicines Minoxidil and Finasterisde are approved to treat the condition. While there may be a multitude of products available, these are the only ingredients that have shown any real results in research.
- UV Light Treatment
- A Guide to Alopecia
- Alternative treatments for hair loss
- Anti-Androgen Treatments
- Is baldness genetic?
- What are Cosmetic Concealers for Hair Loss?
- Why is hair loss a problem?
- Hair Replacement Surgery
- Men Hair Loss
- Myths About Baldness
- Non-surgical hair replacement
- Stopping Male Pattern Baldness
- Treating male pattern baldness
- What is a trichologist?
- Vitamin supplements for hair loss
- Hair Transplant Surgery for Hair Loss
- Hair Transplant Surgery for Male Pattern Baldness
- Hair Transplant Surgery for Thinning Hair
- Hair Transplant Surgery for Total Hair Loss
- Preparing for Hair Transplant Surgery
- Hair Transplant Consultation
- Eyebrow Transplants for Hair Loss
- Causes of Hair Loss
- Hair transplant surgeon
- Common Myths About Hair Loss
- Types of Hair Loss
- Hair Transplant Costs
- Results after Hair Transplants
- Methods for Harvesting Donor Hair
- What do hair transplants involve?
- Medical Management of Hair Loss
- Surgical Management of Hair Loss
- Bald Patches & Hair Transplants
- Hair Loss in Woman & Hair Transplants
- Alternative Management of Hair Loss