According to research, every second person by the age of 50 is faced with hair loss. In itself, this fact is frustrating, reduces self-esteem, can lead to the formation of complexes, the loss of social contacts.
And then the advice of friends, folk remedies of great-grandmothers, “solutions to the problem” from the Internet are used … Most often, all these “proven remedies” simply do not help, and sometimes even worsen the condition of an already exhausted patient, accelerating the process of hair loss. But hope dies last, so myths arise in the information space — both about what saves from baldness, and about what contributes to it.
MedAboutMe dealt with hair loss myths.
The myth of stress
Very often you can hear the statement that, against the background of stress, a person’s hair begins to fall. This statement has its nuances.
By «stress» people mean different things. For one, stress is war, the death of a loved one, and for another, a conflict with a concierge or a broken heel. Italian scientists from the Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata IDI-IRCCS published an article in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics in 2001, in which they analyzed, in particular, studies on the destructive effect of stress on hair health.
It turned out that when researchers interviewed people with different types of alopecia (baldness), 20-30% of them (and among adolescents up to 75%) recalled during the survey about the stressful situation in which they found themselves some time before they had hair started to fall out. The level of experienced stress was very different, but at the same time, the dependence of the scale of baldness on the intensity of stress exposure was not revealed.
Scientists also point out that in times of global upheaval, trichologists, dermatologists and hairdressers for some reason do not see an increase in the number of visitors. We add that there are no such messages even now, when the second year of stress on a planetary scale — the COVID-19 pandemic — is ending.
The researchers emphasize that they fail to draw a homogeneous picture and unambiguous conclusions about hair loss due to stress because of the risk of too subjective view of patients on the causes of their alopecia.
Recall that normally, an absolutely healthy person with a strong psyche and healthy hair falls out daily from 50 to 10 hairs per day.
The myth of wet hair
It is believed that wet hair should not be combed, because it falls out more easily.
This is an erroneous statement. The hair follicle does not fall out of the hair follicle when combing. She stays in it just as tightly as before you brought the comb to your wet head. But under the influence of water, the hair becomes more elastic and, alas, more brittle. When combing wet hair, it splits more easily — this creates the apparent effect of hair loss. In addition, when combing, hair remains on the comb, which were going to fall out anyway.
The myth of the dangers of masturbation
There is an opinion that men from masturbation lose hair on their heads.
Scientists believe that this myth is based on two main theories.
According to one of them, there is a lot of protein in semen, so with frequent masturbation, the body loses a lot of protein, and it is not enough for hair growth. Well, on the one hand, there is really a lot of protein in semen — 5 g per 100 ml. But the volume of one ejaculation is only 3.3-3.7 ml, so the losses are small even if you engage in self-satisfaction very often.
According to another theory, masturbation increases the level of testosterone in the blood. And it is known that the growth of testosterone leads to an increase in the concentration of its form of dihydrotestosterone (DHT). And this hormone is indeed associated with hair loss on the head. However, according to studies, the level of testosterone in the blood of a man does not increase against the background of constant masturbation, but with abstinence from it for 3 weeks. So the level of DHT during masturbation does not increase and the hair does not suffer from this.
The myth of cutting the ends of the hair
They say that if you constantly cut the ends of your hair, then your hair will be thicker.
The rate of hair growth is set by genes and is approximately 1-1.5 cm per day, and in women hair grows a little faster than in men.
Alas, cutting the ends of the hair does not affect the activity of the hair follicles, which actually determine the growth rate and density of the hair. New hair in the hair when cutting the ends is not added. But the tips in general begin to look thicker, and this creates the illusion that after cutting the hair has increased.
Myths about frequent washing
It is widely believed that if you wash your hair often, then the hair will fall out more intensely. It is a myth. Quite the contrary: oilier hair falls out more easily, as excess sebum clogs the hair follicles, which leads to disruption of hair growth and weakening of their bulbs. And when washing, those hairs that were already ready to fall out usually fall out.
As for how often you need to wash your hair, this is a very individual question. Hair should be clean and not greasy. If for this you need to wash your hair every day, then this is how it should be done. The main thing is not to use aggressive products when washing your hair that can irritate the skin.
The non-myth of hair straightening
Chemical hair straightening increases hair loss — but this is not a myth, but the purest truth. Indian scientists from the AJ Institute of Medical Sciences published an article in the International Journal of Trichology in 2013, in which they analyzed the effects of chemical hair straightening.
The essence of chemical hair straightening is the destruction of disulfide bridges (-SS-) in the hair shaft with alkali.
According to the data presented, in 96% of cases, a negative effect of the procedure on hair health was noted: dandruff appeared in 61% of women, increased hair loss was noted in 47%, thinning and weakening of hair in 40%, loss of pigment and graying in 22%, ends hair began to split in 17%.
If hair falls out, it is better not to guess what it can be caused by, but to consult a doctor — trichologist or dermatologist to find out the true cause. Such a reason may be age, deficiency of vitamins and microelements, skin diseases, hormonal disorders, aggressive hair care methods and other factors that have nothing to do with stress and masturbation.
Hair Loss Myths. / DiMarco G, McMichael A. // J Drugs Dermatol. — 2017 Jun 1 — 16(7):690-694
Chemical hair relaxers have adverse effects a myth or reality. / Shetty VH, Shetty NJ, Nair DG. // Int J Trichology. — Jan 2013 — 5(1):26-8
Stressful life events and skin diseases: disentangling evidence from myth. / Picardi A, Abeni D. // Psychother Psychosom. — 2001 May-Jun — 70(3):118-36