Do hats cause hair loss? Is your mother’s side of the family to blame? Is it inevitable?
Despite a number of advancements in the science behind hair loss, a number of myths and misconceptions continue to persist. These range from the bizarre to the commonplace, and can often prevent men from seeking treatment.
Let’s talk about the most common myths around hair loss and see what (if any) truth is behind them.
Myth #1 – Masturbation Causes Hair Loss
No. Not true. There is no scientific evidence linking masturbation to hair loss. The myth may come from the theory that masturbation increases testosterone levels, which in turn may increase dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is responsible for hair loss.
However, a study from 2001 showed that abstaining from masturbation for 3 weeks can actually increase testosterone levels. In other words, masturbating actually keeps your testosterone levels lower and could even prevent hair loss!
Myth #2 – Wearing a Hat Causes Hair Loss
You may have read it somewhere on the internet, but be rest assured that it’s simply not true. Such a common myth that we actually wrote an entire article about it.
Your hair follicles get oxygen from the blood vessels under your scalp, so even if your hair is covered they are being looked after. Having said this, hats can be a breeding ground for bacteria (i.e. dirt and sweat), which can irritate your scalp. However, this is not going to cause genetic hair loss, so you shouldn’t worry too much if that happens. Just make sure you keep your hair and scalp clean.
Myth #3 – Stress Causes Hair Loss
This is partially true. While stress, anxiety or traumatic events (such as loss of a loved one or breakup of a relationship) can result in temporary hair loss (Telogen Effluvium), they do not affect male pattern baldness, which is permanent. Temporary stress-related hair loss is temporary and reversible.
Myth #4 – High Testosterone Causes Hair Loss
False. Even though a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is responsible for male pattern baldness, and testosterone turns into DHT, it has not been scientifically proven that men with higher levels of testosterone are more sensitive to DHT. As a matter of fact, it occurs in men with high and low levels of testosterone.
A more important indicator is the sensitivity of your hair follicles, which is determined by your genetics.
Myth #5 – Too Many Products Cause Hair Loss
The answer here is simple: Not true. Excessive use of hair product is not going to cause male pattern baldness. Full stop.
It is normal to lose up to 100 hairs a day and a large percentage of this comes when you wash or brush your hair. The hairs that are being removed in the process are hairs in the ‘telogen’ phase of hair growth, a resting phase when your hair is released and falls out. These hairs would soon fall out in any case as they ready to leave the follicle.
Myth #6 – Hair Loss is Passed On From Your Mother
As a matter of fact, research suggests that men who have bald fathers may have a higher chance of experiencing male pattern baldness than those with fathers that aren’t bald.
While the gene that is primarily responsible for male pattern baldness is on the X chromosome (which men get from their mothers), hair loss is polygenetic: a random mix of genes from both your mother and father.