No matter what scientists and doctors say about the physiological norm of hair loss, you don’t really want to face hair thinning by your own example.
The topic of hair loss is very painful: a person is frightened by something that goes against his idea of beauty. And where there is stress, the hair falls out more … or not.
Myths and facts about hair growth and loss
If you cut your hair regularly, it grows faster
Hair cutting only affects the hair shaft and does not affect the follicle, on which hair growth and possible hair loss depend. But at the same time, a haircut can help maintain the length of your hair.
If you regularly remove split ends, the hair will not fork and break off in the middle. In addition, hair with a perfectly even cut, as a rule, looks thicker and therefore seems stronger and stronger.
Oily hair falls out more often
When the scalp produces a lot of sebum, and a person does not get rid of it in a timely manner, sooner or later he will find that the hair will begin to fall out. This is because sebum not only “soils” the hair, but can also clog the hair follicles responsible for hair growth.
To prevent hair from falling out, you need to clean it regularly, using gentle products that are suitable for both hair and scalp.
More hair falls out in autumn
Before falling out, each hair on the human scalp goes through three phases — anagen — the phase of active growth; catagen — the «calm» phase, when the hair stops growing and its degeneration begins; and the third phase is telogen, the complete cessation of hair growth. In the third phase, the hair lingers for a while, but then falls out.
Scientists have calculated that at any given time approximately 90% of the hair is growing, the rest is dormant before falling out. Swedish researchers found that people have the most “sleeping” hair in July. The state of telogenesis for them ends after about 100 days — that is, in October, and then they fall out.
Did you know?
Hair loss in the fall can also be facilitated by the fact that in the summer the hair is damaged the most — by the sun’s rays and all kinds of styling.
Anxiety can cause hair thinning
While this sounds dramatic, it actually is. Stress is indeed linked to hair loss. However, it is worth noting that never experienced stress will not cause instant hair loss. It takes time for the hair to go from one phase to another and then fall out. So between stress and a decrease in the amount of hair in the parting and on the temples, at least a couple of months will pass.
Keep in mind that true hair loss can be called a condition when a person loses more than 100 hairs per day. Losing 50-100 hairs daily is normal.
Daily washing causes hair loss
This is one of the most popular misconceptions. The hair that a person sees in the drain of the sink after washing the hair should have fallen out in any case, regardless of washing. It’s just their time.
If gentle products are used during cleansing the head, and the procedure itself does not irritate the hair and scalp, there is nothing to worry about. Washing will not affect hair growth cycles and will not cause damage to the hair.
Combing wet strands causes hair loss
Moderate hair loss during combing is considered the norm — it means that their time has come, the hair has gone through all the phases and they were destined to fall out. But at the same time, wet hair is more vulnerable to external negative influences.
With careless handling and intensive combing, they can be damaged, split, and already cut hair break off in the middle and fall out. Therefore, it is better to wait until the hair dries a little before taking the comb in hand and bringing beauty.
Verdict: partly true.
Test: Take a clean comb and comb your hair in any direction for a minute. If after that about 5-9 hairs remain on it, everything is fine — you are not a “victim” of baldness. But more than 10 — a reason to beware!
Bad habits make hair fall out
A person’s habits have a greater influence on his life than he thinks. Especially when it comes to destructive habits. Drinking alcohol and smoking harms a person’s health, depletes his body and deprives him of vitality.
They can also speed up the hair’s natural aging process, causing hair to become damaged and fall out more quickly.
Styling products cause baldness
What affects the hair shaft does not necessarily affect the scalp. The use of certain products can damage the hair, but this does not mean that they will speed up the process of thinning hair.
However, if a person overuses styling products and does not cleanse the scalp and hair of them regularly, this can cause blockage of the follicles and the natural consequences.
Hair loss after childbirth in a woman is the norm
Changes in hormonal levels during pregnancy lead to a restructuring of the hair life cycle. The hair that should have fallen out naturally does not fall out. Instead of the physiological norm, about 100 hairs fall out only 20 per day. And the “lingering” hair rods will leave the head when the hormonal background returns to normal after childbirth. So postpartum hair loss is a physiology and nothing to worry about.
At the same time, hormonal changes after childbirth can trigger androgenetic alopecia or lead to chronic diffuse hair loss. Therefore, if it seems that the hair is falling out especially intensively, you should make an appointment with a trichologist.
Shampoos for hair loss can help
On sale you can find a whole line of products designed to strengthen the hair and stop the loss of strands. Although they are suitable for the scalp and do not damage the hair, they cannot affect the process of hair loss.
This is because the hair follicle is located in the scalp and cosmetics simply “do not reach” it. Yes, and hair shampoos, due to their chemical structure and purpose, clean the strands without affecting the process of hair loss in any way. All they can do is not damage the hair and clean it well.
Vitamins for hair growth will stop hair loss
There are many causes of hair loss and vitamin deficiency is just one of them. Before recommending a person to take vitamin complexes and dietary supplements, a trichologist will conduct a blood test for the content of trace elements that affect hair growth.
Based on the results of the examination, a drug may be recommended that compensates for the deficiency of certain substances. But at the same time, only vitamin therapy cannot be the only practice for treating hair loss, additional manipulations are required. And drugs used thoughtlessly can be harmful, not to mention that “false hopes” can be costly. Trusting vitamins, many people are just wasting their time.
Verdict: partly true.
Alexandra Altaeva, Candidate of Medical Sciences, dermatovenereologist, cosmetologist, trichologist
In modern realities, almost every person is faced with hair loss. However, the causes of these conditions often remain unclear.
Starting a conversation about hair loss, you must immediately dot the «I». Hair loss is divided into physiological and pathological (alopecia). Physiological shedding is commonly understood as a successive change in the phases of the hair life cycle, when after shedding each telogen hair is replaced in the hair follicle by an anagen one.
The growth phase lasts an average of 3 years (2-4 years for men and 4-7 years for women); the fallout phase is about 100 days (3 months). The percentage of these phases normally plays a very important role, and at each moment of the cycle, up to 90% of the hair is in the growth phase (85% on average) and about 10-15% is in the shedding phase.
According to various studies, it is normal for 40 to 100-120 hairs to fall out per day. Why such a big difference? It depends on the initial density of the hair on the skin of the scalp.
FROM pathological hair loss (alopecia) things are different. Women often blame the cosmetics and shampoos used as the cause of hair loss, while some men believe that the problem is caused by wearing hats. The evidence is that neither washing the hair nor blow-drying damages the hair follicles. Aggressive shampoos, hot hair dryer can damage the rod and lead to increased brittleness. Wearing a head covering also cannot affect hair loss, unless it is too tight on the scalp. However, the constant tension of the hair (tight hairstyles, Afro-braids, hair extensions); the use of aggressive chemicals for staining; prolonged wearing of a certain hairstyle can be an objective cause of alopecia.
Currently, there are 57 types of different alopecia. Up to 95% of cases of pathological hair loss are associated with disturbances in the hair growth cycle. Therefore, for diagnosis at the initial appointment, trichoscopy (dermatoscopy) is performed, as well as a tension test.
It is always worth paying the patient’s attention that in the era of digital technologies, nevertheless, in order to make a diagnosis and form a comprehensive plan for examination and treatment, the initial appointment should always be carried out in person, using expert-class optical devices.
Currently, it is becoming increasingly difficult to treat hair loss, given the increase in the frequency of chronic diseases in the population, the level of psychogenic stress, as well as the variety of medications taken by patients. Pathological hair loss can manifest itself acutely or chronically. Chronic hair loss is considered to be hair loss over 6 months. These processes can manifest themselves both diffusely — over the entire surface of the skin of the scalp, and locally.
In order for a person who has noted increased hair loss to figure out how to do it right, it is recommended not to delay contacting a trichologist. As a rule, in case of unexpressed hair loss, within 2 months from the moment of the onset of hair loss, you can use pharmacy products of medical cosmetics, however, if hair loss persists for more than this period, consultation with a specialist is highly recommended.