Did You Know? Common Hair Loss Myths That Aren’t True
Hair loss (medically known as alopecia) is becoming increasingly common. Still, despite the prevalence of this condition, it remains poorly understood. Many people are confused about what causes hair loss, who can develop hair loss, and how to treat it. Here, we debunk some of the prevailing myths about alopecia and provide insight on how to manage this often frustrating problem.
5 Common Myths About Hair Loss
1. Hair loss only affects men.
Alopecia is slightly more common in men, but it affects a significant percentage of women as well. In fact, 50% of women will experience some degree of “female pattern baldness” by age 50. Hair loss in women is often linked to declining estrogen levels, so it may increase after menopause.
Men and women do tend to experience hair loss differently, however: Men usually develop a receding hairline that eventually creates a visible bald patch above the forehead, while the rest of their hair remains fairly thick. Women, on the other hand, typically notice diffuse hair thinning all over their heads.
2. Baldness is only experienced by older people.
Though the odds of experiencing alopecia increase with age, adults of all ages can develop noticeable hair loss. In fact, research suggests that baldness among younger people is becoming more common: Millennials (those born after 1983) are going bald more quickly (and in greater numbers) than any generation before them. Stress, medication use, hormonal disruptions, thyroid disorders, autoimmune conditions, and a number of other issues can cause premature hair loss. In some cases, it may develop due to genetic factors.
3. Specific grooming habits cause hair loss.
Alopecia can be caused by many things, but so far, no evidence has emerged linking this condition to any of the following grooming habits: Using certain shampoos, brushing too much (or too little), regularly wearing a hat, or using hair gel, spray, or dye.
The only possible exception to this rule is the use of hair permanents (generally called “perms”). When improperly applied, perms can burn the scalp, doing long-term damage to hair follicles. If you want to have your hair permed, make sure you work with a knowledgeable professional; don’t try to perm your own hair at home.
4. Hair loss only occurs on top of the head.
Hair loss can occur in multiple locations on the head and face. Eyebrow thinning is particularly common as people get older, and certain medical conditions can cause facial hair loss in men. Fortunately, thinning brows can be corrected with an eyebrow transplant.
5. Hair transplants are painful and invasive.
It’s no secret that topical hair growth creams don’t work for many people. Regardless, numerous men and women continue wasting money on ineffective topical treatments because they’re worried that hair transplant surgery will be painful, risky, or disfiguring. Nothing could be further from the truth: Today, minimally invasive hair restoration methods exist, such as follicular unit extraction (FUE). During FUE, individual hair follicles are carefully extracted from areas where the patient’s hair is thick. Then, they’re grafted onto places where the patient’s hair is sparse. Because hair follicles are so tiny, this process is relatively painless and does not create visible scars.
Though alopecia is a complex and misunderstood condition, treating it is easier than most people realize. To learn more about minimally invasive hair restoration, contact Dr. Christopher Varona to arrange a consultation.