My husband said he was doomed from the day he was born — every man in his family on both sides was bald by the time they were forty years old. I thought he was joking until, at a mere twenty-eight years, he began to loose his hair. It started slowly in his twenties, picked up speed during his thirties and left him with about as much hair as a newborn in his forties (a very hairless newborn I might add). People gave my husband advice, usually unsolicited, about why he was losing his hair. I was shocked at what some people believed about baldness; therefore, I decided to share some myths about baldness with you today in honor of my husband.
MYTH #1: Wearing hats, helmets or baseball caps will make you bald. My husband wears a hard hat during the day at work and loves baseball caps on the weekend so everyone told him this is why he went bald. However, for hair to fall out the hat would have to cut the circulation off to the hair follicle and I doubt any man wears his hat that tight.
MYTH #2: Baldness is inherited from the mother’s side of the family. Actually, baldness is genetic; however, you may inherit this tendency from either side of your family. Therefore, look at both your mother and your father’s relatives to see if hair loss is in your future.
MYTH #3: Hair products and excessive shampooing is a cause of baldness. Completely false! If you use hair products in excess, they may damage hair; however, this is hair that is already grown. Hair products do not damage hair yet to grow.
MYTH #4: Shaving your head will cause hair to grow back thicker and healthier. If this were true, you would see more women shaving their heads to get that full, thick mane that we desire. If you want to shave your head, then go ahead but do not expect a head full of hair to grow back in its place.
MYTH #5: Hanging upside down will prevent hair loss. This myth is based on better circulation and blood flow to the hair follicles keeps them healthy thus preventing baldness. It is closing related to the myth about massaging your scalp helps prevent hair loss. There is no evidence that hanging upside down will prevent baldness and is not advised.
MYTH #6: Only old men are bald. Since baldness affects men and women of all ages, this is definitely a myth. Anyone can begin losing his or her hair at any age and for several reasons. The most common form of baldness in men, Male-Pattern Baldness, can begin as early as the teens or twenties (as my husband is well aware).
MYTH #7: Baldness skips a generation. My husband wishes this were true because his father had Male-Pattern Baldness beginning in his thirties; however, there is no evidence of this being true. My husband’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather all experienced hair loss on both sides of his family (bless his heart, my husband was doomed from birth).
MYTH #8: There are cures for Male-Pattern Baldness and hair loss. Unfortunately, no mater that a treatment may claim there is no cure for baldness. There are some treatments and medications that are used to slow down hair loss and in some case, may stimulate some hair growth. However, remember no product can cure baldness so discuss any medications and expectation with your physician.
MYTH #9: Stress will cause you to go bald. While there is some truth that stress can cause hair loss, it is not a cause of Male-Pattern Baldness. Often, stress is a short-term reason for hair loss and can be treated by addressing and treating the cause of the stress.
MYTH #10: Lack of sex causes baldness. My husband, and probably many others, would love for this to be true; however, it is not. Lack of sex may cause frustration but it will not cause baldness or loss of hair (unless your husband pulls his hair out in frustration).
American Osteopathic Association