CAUSES OF HAIR LOSS

  • Fact: Balding can in fact occur any time after puberty. [1] According to The American Hair Loss Association “By the age of thirty-five two-thirds of American men will experience some degree of appreciable hair loss, and by the age of fifty approximately 85% of men have significantly thinning hair.” [2] So if you are in your twenties or thirties and are noticing that you are starting to lose hair, you are not alone.

    [1] Chin H. Ho; James Hughes. Alopecia, Androgenetic University of Pittsburgh Last Update: March 6, 2017.

    [2] http://www.americanhairloss.org/men_hair_loss/introduction.asp

  • Fact: This is a common assumption, as baldness is on the X chromosome, which you get from your mother. [1] However, family studies have shown resemblance of hair loss between fathers and sons, which cannot be explained by x chromosome. This suggests that other genes also contribute to male baldness. [2]

    [1] Lolli F et al. Androgenetic alopecia: a review. Endocrine. 2017 Jul;57(1):9-17. 

    [2] Rathnayake D, Sinclair R. Male androgenetic alopecia. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2010 Jun;11(8):1295-304. 

  • Fact: Although studies notes male pattern baldness is likely to be caused by an excessive response to androgen [1] (male sex hormones), there is no evidence to suggest that an increase in sexual activity leads to baldness.  Rather, baldness is primarily a genetic disorder. [2] So it is best to look at your family tree rather than your recreational habits.

    [1] Ho CH, Hughes J. Alopecia, Androgenetic. SourceStatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2017-.2017 Mar 6.

    [2] William Cranwell,  Male Androgenetic Alopecia. Last Update: February 29, 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK278957/

  • Fact: Scientists have found that if you have male pattern baldness you are at increased risk of other conditions, including: benign prostate hyperplasia, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease (hypertension, coronary heart disease and heart attacks), metabolic syndrome and Parkinson’s disease. [1] [2]

    [1] http://arochahairrestoration.com/arocha-hair-restoration/are-gene-hunting-scientists-getting-close-to-solving-the-mystery-of-male-pattern-baldness/

    [2] Stefanie Heilmann-Heimbach, Lara M. Hochfeld, Ralf Paus,Markus M. Nöthen Hunting the genes in male-pattern alopecia: how important are they, how close are we and what will they tell us? Experimental dermatology First published: 26 February 2016

  • Fact: When you find a stray hair on your clothing you may see that there is a small white lump at the root. You may assume that the root of the hair has been removed. The white bulb is, rather a natural part of the hair follicle lining. It is similar to skin and is continuously being replaced. [1] [2]

    [1] http://www.americanhairloss.org/types_of_hair_loss/effluviums.asp

    [2] https://www.segalshaircare.com/old/about/book/formation.html

  • Fact: A drain full of hair is not necessarily a sign of hair loss. Some degree of hair loss is natural and necessary, for both men and women. Shedding 50 to 100 hairs per day is normal and your hair will grow back. [1]

    [1] https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/hair-care/hair-loss-vs-hair-shedding

  • Fact:  Bald men quite often have hairier bodies than men with hair, in particular on their chest and back. Hairy chests and backs may have been connected to virility because gorillas and apes have hairy bodies, and this is thought to be more “male”. The lack of body hair on women is believe to be more “feminine”. [1]

    [1]http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11173954

HAIR LOSS AND LIFESTYLE

  • Fact: Cutting your hair will not make it grow back thicker or faster. What actually happens when you cut your hair is that you cut of the damaged and dry ends. This is what may give the impression that your hair is healthier or thicker. 

  • Fact: Hair grows out of hair follicles in your scalp. You are born with a certain number of hair follicles, and you stay with this number your whole life. There is no way to increase or improve the quality of healthy hair follicles in your scalp. So unfortunately shaving your hair will not make it grow back thicker.

  • Fact: Unfortunately, we are born with a certain number of hair follicles, and we stay with this number of follicles for the rest of our life. It is not possible to grow or create new hair follicles. [1]

    [1]http://www.americanhairloss.org/hair_science/

  • Fact: Clogged pores cause acne, not hair loss.

  • Fact: It is true that massaging the scalp can can improve blood flow and circulation. It may temporarily work against hair thinning. However, massage can’t cure or prevent male pattern baldness.

  • Fact: Although it is possible to lose hair as a result of stress, (this is called telogen effluvium (TE) [1]), it must be caused by major psychological distress not just the everyday stress of life. Chances are that your kids acting up is not likely to start making your hair fall out.  

    [1] Hughes EC, Taneja A. Telogen Effluvium. SourceStatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2017-2017 Mar 30.

  • Fact: Losing 50-100 strands a day is totally normal. This is called hair shedding. Hair loss differs from hair shedding. The American Academy for Dermatology says “hair loss occurs when something stops the hair from growing. The most common causes of hair loss include:

    • Hereditary hair loss
    • Immune system overreacts
    • Some drugs and treatments
    • Hairstyles that pull on the hair
    • Harsh hair care products
    • Compulsion to pull out one’s hair” [1]

    [1] https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/hair-care/hair-loss-vs-hair-shedding

  • Some people claim that if you skip the shampoo your hair will get healthier and thicker. There is no scientific evidence to support this claim. In fact, shampooing less may be bad for your hair. When you shampoo your hair you get rid of bad oils. If you do not shampoo your hair you can also get dandruff, which can inhibit hair growth. [1][2]

    [1] https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/hair-care/tips-for-healthy-hair

    [2] Piérard-Franchimont C1, Xhauflaire-Uhoda E, Piérard GE. Revisiting dandruff. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Oct;28(5):311-8.  

  • Fact: Biotin makes up the group of B complex vitamins. B complex vitamins play an essential role in maintaining healthy hair. However, a lack of biotin is rare and there is not much evidence that biotin can do much for hair loss. This is especially true when hair loss is caused by hormone problems. [1]

    [1] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/08/05/biotin-hair-skin-nails_n_4016804.html

  • Fact: In the United States malnutrition is rarely the cause of hair loss. However, there are some studies that indicate that a crash diet can cause temporary hair loss. If you embark on a long term diet and are lacking vitamins and minerals you may also experience hair loss. [1] [2]

    [1] Liakou AI, Theodorakis MJ, Melnik BC, Pappas A, Zouboulis CC. Nutritional clinical studies in dermatology. J Drugs Dermatol. 2013 Oct;12(10):1104-9.

    [2] Harrison S1, Bergfeld W. Diffuse hair loss: its triggers and management. Cleve Clin J Med. 2009 Jun;76(6):361-7.  

  • Fact: Brushing your hair too much may injure your hair. There is no evidence that suggests that brushing excessively stimulates hair growth. [1][2]

    [1] http://www.healthywomen.org/content/article/hair-brushing-mistakes

    [2] Kiderman A1, Gur I, Ever-Hadani P. The effect of brushing on hair loss in women. J Dermatolog Treat. 2009;20(3):152-5..

  • Fact: Your scalp does not get used to a specific type of shampoo. So feel free to experiment with different shampoo types. You should chose a type that best suits your hair kind. [1]

    [1] Paschal D’Souza and Sanjay K Rathi, Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know? Indian J Dermatol. 2015 May-Jun; 60(3): 248–254.

  • Fact: Using a condition has quite the opposite effect. A conditioner can help to detangle your hair which can prevent your hair from falling out due to breakage. [1]

    [1] Paschal D’Souza and Sanjay K Rathi, Shampoo and Conditioners: What a Dermatologist Should Know? Indian J Dermatol. 2015 May-Jun; 60(3): 248–254.

  • Fact: Experts recommend to use sunscreen on your scalp if you hair is thinning. This will prevent sunburn. Sunburn on the scalp is an indicator of hair loss in both men and women.  [1]

    [1]https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/learn-about-skin-cancer/prevent/how-to-apply-sunscreen

  • Fact: There is no evidence to suggest that hair dryers will cause your hair to thin or fall out. However, high heat drying can cause your hair to become brittle, and this may cause it to break off. [1]

    [1] https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/hair_loss_men_women

  • Fact: Vigorous toweling may cause some of your hairs to fall out, but it will not lead to baldness or irreversible hair loss. You should gently towel dry your hair after you shampoo it. [1]

    [1] Maria Fernanda Reis Gavazzoni Dias, Hair Cosmetics: An Overview, Int J Trichology. 2015 Jan-Mar; 7(1): 2–15.

  • Fact: Some of the time, you may find you are shedding more hair during certain seasons. You may notice that you lose more hair when you go into the summer period, than the winter period. [1]

    [1] https://www.thenakedscientists.com/articles/questions/do-people-moult-seasonally

WOMEN AND HAIR LOSS

  • Fact: Often hair loss is thought to be a male disease. However, women actually make up forty percent of Americans who suffer from hair loss. Hair loss in women can have serious psychological effects. It can cause women to have a low self-image, and can effect their overall sense of well being.

  • Fact: The oral contraceptive pill is a common trigger for hair loss in women who take this form of birth control. The American Hair Loss Association believes that all women should be aware of the damaging effect that the birth control pill can have on normal hair growth. The American Hair Loss Association recommends “that all women interested in using oral contraceptives for the prevention of conception should only use low-androgen index birth control pills, and if there is a strong predisposition for genetic hair loss in your family we recommend the use of another non-hormonal form of birth control.” [1]

    [1] http://www.americanhairloss.org/women_hair_loss/oral_contraceptives.asp

  • Fact: In some cases, thinning hair can be a temporary reaction to pregnancy [1] or menopause [2]. Stress can also be a cause of temporary hair loss. Once the trigger is gone your hair should regain its original thickness.

    [1] Gizlenti S, Ekmekci TR. The changes in the hair cycle during gestation and the post-partum period.  J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2014 Jul;28(7):878-81. doi: 10.1111/jdv.12188. Epub 2013 May 20.

    [1] Ioannides D, Lazaridou E. Female pattern hair loss. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2015;47:45-54.

  • Fact: Hair loss is a condition that is primarily caused by hormones. 40% of women will experience some form of hair loss. The good news is there is a treatment that can help you manage your hair loss; Nolopecia. [1]

    [1] Kovacevic M. Prevalence of hair shedding among women. Dermatol Ther. 2017 Jan;30(1).

  • Fact: Sometimes hair loss is temporary. Many women lose some hair after they give birth. Often women have nutritional deficiencies in iron and zinc and this can affect hair loss. Iron and zinc a key nutrient for strong hair. Extreme diets can also lead to hair loss because you are missing out on essential nutrients. [1][2][3]

    [1] Rushton DH. Nutritional factors and hair loss. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2002 Jul;27(5):396-404.

    [2]https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/hair-care/hair-loss-in-new-moms

    [3] Zuzanna Sabina Goluch-Koniuszy,Nutrition of women with hair loss problem during the period of menopause, Prz Menopauzalny. 2016 Mar; 15(1): 56–61.

  • Fact: Some women, especially those with a family history of hair loss, start experiencing thinning hair in their 20s. Female hair loss can even start in the teen years. Hormonal problems are one thing that can cause you to lose hair at a young age. Women can get an imbalance of male hormones, which can result in hair loss. The condition is called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). [1][2]

    [1] Anja Vujovic and Véronique Del Marmol, The Female Pattern Hair Loss: Review of Etiopathogenesis and Diagnosis, Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 767628.

  • Fact: Hair loss in women does not usually affect pregnancy or cause menstrual problems. If you are experiencing hair loss and menstrual issues you should do a blood test. This could be the result of poor diet or a hormonal imbalance.  [1]

    [1] http://natural-fertility-info.com/female-hormonal-hair-loss.html

  • Fact: Hair loss can begin as early as the teenage years. The reason for this is generally hormonal changes. [1]

    [1] Vujovic A, Del Marmol V.The female pattern hair loss: review of etiopathogenesis and diagnosis. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:767628.

  • Fact: This is not necessarily true. Men and women lose hair differently. In women, hair usually thins towards the top of the hair first and then becomes thinner in the middle of the head. Frontal hair tends to remain thicker. Women generally do not become totally bald. [1]

    [1] Anja Vujovic and Véronique Del Marmol, The Female Pattern Hair Loss: Review of Etiopathogenesis and Diagnosis, Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 767628.

  • Fact: This is partly true. Braiding your hair for a short time does not result in hair loss. However, tightly braiding your hair and cornrow braiding may cause hair loss. It can cause a type of hair loss known as traction alopecia. A receding hair line can result if a large amount of stress is put on the hair follicles, for example when tight pony tails or pigtails are constantly worn. [1][2]

    [1] Khumalo NP, Jessop S, Gumedze F, Ehrlich R.Determinants of marginal traction alopecia in African girls and women. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2008 Sep;59(3):432-8.

    [2] https://uihc.org/health-library/traction-alopecia-type-hair-loss

HAIR LOSS AND DRUGS

  • Fact: On April 11, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced changes to the  labels for Propecia (finasteride 1 mg) and Proscar (finasteride 5 mg). They noted that some of the adverse side effects to do with sexual disorders continue after the drug is not being used.  The new label changes include:

    • “A revision to the Propecia label to include libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, and orgasm disorders that continued after discontinuation of the drug.
    • A revision to the Proscar label to include decreased libido that continued after discontinuation of the drug.
    • A revision to both the Propecia and Proscar labels to include a description of reports of male infertility and/or poor semen quality that normalized or improved after drug discontinuation.” [1]

    Proscar and Propecia both contain the active ingredient finasteride and belong to a class of prescription medicines called 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors. [1]

    [1] https://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/InformationbyDrugClass/ucm299754.htm