You Don’t Have to Worry About These Old Tales
Losing your hair is annoying enough without people sharing their unsolicited and unfounded opinions about why you might be losing your hair. The truth is there is no one cause or cure for androgenetic alopecia, better known as male-pattern baldness. What is true is that millions of Canadian men — nearly half — experience hair loss due to genetic, hormonal and other reasons.
Though scientists are still understanding the exact mechanism for male-pattern baldness and constantly developing new ways of treating it, there are a few myths about hair loss that you can throw out the window right now. Here are four of them:
Hockey players underneath their helmets all winter, and baseball players sporting a cap all summer, have heard the rumour that wearing a hat will make you go bald. Maybe it’s because some bald men often wear one to hide their shedding hair. Maybe it’s because they need a little extra help in protecting their scalp from the sun.
No matter why the misconception about hats and hair loss came to be, it is indeed a misconception. Most experts agree that the only way donning a hat could potentially lead to hair loss is if it’s worn very tightly for hours at a time, over a period of several months or years. So if the tightness of your hat is giving you a headache, try a bigger size. Otherwise, no need to fret about your favourite ball cap leading to hair loss.
People should really lay off Grandpa. A common myth about male pattern baldness is that it comes from the maternal grandfather. You may have also heard that baldness skips a generation. Meaning if your grandpa was bald but your dad isn’t, you better hang on tight to your hair, while you still can. There is a bit of truth to both of these myths — but they’re more wrong than right.
To be sure, genetics are the cause of hair loss for many men (and women). But we can’t necessarily point to any one individual in the family lineage on which to blame baldness. Academics and researchers agree that inherited baldness is polygenic — meaning more than one gene is involved, and it can come from the mother or father’s side, or both.
Read more: Can Covid Cause Hair Loss?
People had been feeling stressed out long before a global pandemic shut down most of the world. Stress has been associated with all kinds of mental and physical ailments, but is hair loss really one of them?
In times of extreme distress or shock caused by a traumatic injury or event, it’s common for men and women to notice thinning or even a loss of hair — this condition is known as telogen effluvium. The good news is that this state is usually temporary, as your body has decided to press pause on creating hair during this stressful time, but it will start back up once the tense times subside.
But this isn’t the type of hair loss most men experience or refer to as “male-pattern baldness”. And trauma from, say, a car accident is a lot different from the stress of a bad relationship or difficult boss. So, while it’s true that certain serious events can cause hair loss, everyday stress probably isn’t one of them.
Read more: Five Natural Hair Loss Remedies
With absolutely no offence intended towards Mr. Willis, the statement is untrue. The confusion may come from a name of the hormone that scientists have discovered causes male-pattern baldness. This hormone in question — known as an androgen — is called dihydrotestosterone, and is not exactly the same as the testosterone that makes Bruce Willis such a boss. More importantly, it’s not the amount of dihydrotestosterone making you go bald, it’s your natural sensitivity to it.