The 10 Most Common Hair Loss Myths Debunked

  • 16th August 2023
  • 10 min read
Written by Arran Isherwood

Hair loss is a topic that sparks numerous myths and misconceptions, leaving many people confused about what's true and what's not. From the belief that wearing hats causes baldness to the idea that cutting your hair promotes faster growth, these myths often circulate without proper clarification.

In this guide, we aim to debunk the 10 most common hair loss myths to give you a better understanding of the true causes and the measures you can take to maintain a healthy head of hair.


The most common hair loss myths

1. Wearing hats makes you bald 

Many people believe wearing hats suffocates the scalp and cuts off oxygen to the hair follicles, leading to hair loss. While it's true that excessively tight hats could potentially cause hair breakage due to constant friction, there's no solid scientific proof that wearing one causes hair loss.

In fact, a hat can actually protect both the hair and scalp, safeguarding them from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays and environmental damage. So, you can confidently wear your favourite hat without worrying about it contributing to hair loss. And it might even help keep your hair healthier in the long run!


2. Frequent shampooing causes hair loss

You might have heard that washing your hair every day could lead to hair loss. But that's not entirely true!

If you notice more hair falling out in the shower, don't worry — it's completely normal to shed hair during washing. That's because our hair goes through a natural growth cycle that consists of four phases:

  • Anagen (active growth)
  • Catagen (transitional phase)
  • Telogen (resting phase)
  • Exogen (shedding phase)

During the telogen phase, which lasts for a few weeks, your hair is ready to shed and make way for new growth. So, when you wash your hair and give your scalp a good massage, it can speed up the shedding process for hairs already in the telogen phase. 

In fact, a recent study suggests washing your hair more frequently might actually be better for your hair than washing it less often. Keeping your scalp clean is essential for maintaining healthy hair. It helps get rid of dirt, excess oils, and product buildup, all of which can create an unhealthy scalp environment, leading to inflammation and scalp conditions that further disrupt the hair growth cycle.

Just remember to be gentle with your hair after washing, as the proteins in the follicles form weaker hydrogen bonds when wet, making your strands more flexible and susceptible to damage. Try using a wide-tooth comb to brush it gently and avoid rough rubbing with a towel!


3. Hair loss is only a male problem

When we think of hair loss, it's usually men that come to mind. But the reality is that women experience hair loss too, and it's more common than you might imagine. Alopecia UK estimates that 50% of women over the age of 65 are dealing with female pattern baldness. And at least a third of women are affected by hair loss at some point in their life, according to 

Harvard Health Publishing.

From menopause and pregnancy to genetics and hairstyles, read our guide on the main causes of female hair loss to learn more.


4. Hair loss is always genetic

While genetics do play a big part in hair loss, especially with male and female pattern baldness, it's important to know that it's not the only factor. Our genes don't solely determine hair loss, and other things can be involved too, including:

  • Hormonal fluctuations — For women, changes during pregnancy or menopause may trigger hair shedding, while hormonal imbalances can similarly affect men.
  • Medical conditions — Certain medical conditions like thyroid disorders — which can decrease cell regeneration, including the cells responsible for hair growth, or alopecia areata - an autoimmune condition that causes the body's immune system to mistakenly attack the hair follicles — can disrupt the regular hair growth cycle. And this can cause increased hair shedding.
  • Stress — When we experience prolonged or severe stress, it can throw off the balance of our normal hair growth cycle, leading to a condition known as telogen effluvium. This is when an increased number of hair follicles enter the resting phase (telogen phase). As a result, you may notice more hair falling out than usual.
  • Nutrition — Proper nutrition plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy hair. Proteins serve as the building blocks, while zinc, biotin, iron, and vitamins C, B, and D play a crucial role in delivering essential nutrients to the hair follicles, stimulating cell repair and growth. Without these vital nutrients, hair growth can be affected, potentially leading to hair loss. 

To learn more, read our top tips for healthy hair.


5. Hair loss is permanent 

Hair loss can really affect your self-esteem and confidence, but the good news is that it's not always permanent. While some types of hair loss may be irreversible, others are treatable or temporary, depending on the underlying cause.

Male and female pattern baldness, driven by genetic factors, tends to be a progressive and permanent condition. In this case, hair loss may worsen over time.

However, hair loss caused by stress or hormonal factors, like a traumatic life event or pregnancy, is often temporary. Once you manage stress or your hormones find their balance, your hair will typically bounce back.

And hair shedding triggered by conditions like traction alopecia, which occurs when certain hairstyles pull on the hair excessively, can often be resolved by avoiding tight hairstyles and practicing proper hair care.


6. Only older people experience baldness

While it's true that hair loss is more common as we get older, younger people can also experience hair loss due to various reasons like medical conditions, stress, and even certain hairstyles. 

And pattern baldness can start showing up in the late teens or early 20s.

According to the American Hair Loss Association, 25% of men with male pattern baldness begin to lose their hair before they reach 21. 


7. Hair grows faster if you cut it

If you're wondering how often to trim your hair for maximum growth, you may be disappointed to know that cutting your hair doesn't directly make it grow faster. This is because hair growth occurs from the hair follicles beneath the scalp, and cutting the hair does not affect the hair follicles' ability to grow new hair.

However, regular haircuts can contribute to the appearance of healthier hair. Trimming the ends of your hair helps eliminate split ends and prevents further damage, which can make your hair look fuller and healthier. This, in turn, may give the impression of improved hair growth.


8. Sun protection isn’t needed for the scalp

Our scalp is just as vulnerable to the sun's harmful rays as any other part of our body. Excessive sun exposure can damage hair follicles, potentially causing thinning or loss. And it may cause dryness and irritation on the scalp, which could lead to dull, brittle hair that becomes more susceptible to breakage. 

Wearing hats or caps with a wide brim to protect your scalp when you're out in the sun can help shield your scalp from harmful UV rays. And don't forget to apply sunscreen to any exposed areas of your scalp - especially if you have thinning hair or a receding hairline!

To read more about sun protection to prevent hair loss, check out our guide on preventing hair damage during summer.


9. Hair products cause hair loss

Whether you're using gel for a slick back bun or hair spray to hold your curls, you might have heard rumours that hair products can cause hair loss.

However, the truth is that products like shampoos, conditioners, gels, and hair sprays are generally safe for our hair and won't cause hair loss when used as directed.

The real concern lies in how we style our hair. Certain hairstyles can put excessive tension on the hair, leading to breakage and potential hair loss over time. Tight braids, ponytails, or extensions are common culprits and can cause what's known as traction alopecia.

So, the key to healthy hair is not to worry about the products themselves but rather to be mindful of how we style our locks. Opting for looser hairstyles and avoiding constant tension can help prevent breakage and maintain strong, beautiful hair.


10. Hair transplants don’t look natural

Hair transplant techniques have come a long way, and when performed by skilled and experienced professionals like those at FUE Clinics, the results can be an incredibly natural-looking treatment for alopecia.

Advanced transplantation methods, like FUE Hair extraction (follicular hair extraciton) and follicular unit transplantation (FUT), ensure that individual hair grafts are placed strategically to mimic the natural hair pattern. With proper care and attention to detail, modern hair transplants can seamlessly blend with your existing hair, giving you a natural and fuller head of hair. 

To learn more, read everything you need to know about hair transplant surgeries or our guide on what to expect from your hair transplant.


Learn more about hair transplants with FUE Clinics

While there are many hair myths out there, a hair transplant's ability to restore your locks certainly isn't one of them. 

If you're experiencing hair loss, hair restoration surgery with FUE Clinics could be the solution you've been looking for. Our team of experts is here to provide you with personalised guidance and advanced hair transplant treatments. Take a look at our guide to learn if you're the right candidate for a hair transplant

Get in touch today or take a free online consultation. Or, head over to our FAQs for more information.

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