When 25-year-old Pramod started developing a receding hairline, he wondered where he was going wrong. Hearing stories from his relatives and aunties about ‘facts’ on baldness made him worry. Like Pramod, many young men living stressful lives show signs of an early onset of male pattern baldness. The important thing to remember is that correct information can take away the stress and help you seek timely treatment. Here are the top 10 myths on male pattern baldness that you need to stop believing right now.
Myth #1 Balding only happens with age
Answer. This one is absolutely false. While male pattern baldness generally sets in in the mid-30s, many men experience baldness in their teens. Infact, the earlier the onset of baldness, the more severe the hair loss becomes.
Myth #2 Shaving your head makes hair grow back thicker
Answer. When we shave our hair, it seems to grow back thicker. This is nothing but an illusion because the stubs of hair tend to appear thick and sharp. After a haircut or a shave, your hair will grow back the way it always was.
Myth #3 You inherit the baldness gene from your dad
Answer. A commonly believed myth is that if your dad is bald, you too will go bald around the same age. This is only half true for you can even inherit baldness from your mother. Sometimes, male pattern baldness skips a generation, so you may not go bald prematurely but your children may.
Myth #4 Baldness is caused by an excess of testosterone
Answer. Studies indicate that the excess of any hormone in your body doesn’t directly cause hair loss. Rather, it depends on how sensitive your body is to that hormone. Genes determine this sensitivity. Two men may have the same levels of testosterone and yet one may go bald sooner than the other.
Myth #5 Stress is a major cause of male pattern baldness
Answer. Stress in itself is not a cause of male pattern baldness. Chronic stress can however cause hair loss. By stress, we don’t mean a single stressful day can cause hair loss. The stress should be prolonged for over a couple of weeks to a month. Hair loss caused by stress is normally a temporary one and regrowth happens quite successfully.
Myth #6 Tanning beds are a major cause of hair loss
Answer. Tanning beds are all the rage and are known to cause many skin problems, even cancer. But no evidence supports the theory that tanning beds contribute to male pattern baldness. Neither does exposure to the sun cause baldness.
Myth #7 Hair products cause baldness
Answer. The answer to this is very subjective. Yet, it is safe to say that no hair product is a direct cause of hair loss. However, if you have a genetic susceptibility to baldness or you are already displaying symptoms of baldness, overusing gels and hair sprays can speed up your hair loss.
Myth #8 Brushing your hair often prevents baldness
Answer. This myth has probably arisen from the fact that brushing your hair often makes it look good and voluminous. However, frequent combing has absolutely no proven effect on preventing or curing male pattern baldness.
Myth #9 Caps make you go bald
Answer. Caps and other hair accessories trap sweat and can cause hair loss. They however do not directly lead to male pattern baldness. The hair loss caused by wearing tight head gear is often a temporary one and new hair growth takes place almost immediately.
Myth #10 Shampooing daily causes baldness
Answer. This myth probably came from seeing so much hair stuck in the bathroom drain post-shampoo. However, losing a certain number of hairs per day is absolutely fine. Infact, whether you shampoo or not, the hair that is old and supposed to fall out, will eventually. For men, losing between 50 to 100 strands of hair per day is normal. Anything more than that means you might have a problem and need to seek treatment.
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