Having recently noticed that male pattern baldness runs in your family, you’ve begun spending every morning in front of the mirror trying to examine your hairline. With every strand that you lose, you feel you’re inching closer to baldness. Hurriedly, you look up online to understand what might trigger male pattern baldness.
However, most of these commonly believed causes of baldness that you may stumble upon don’t hold any water. Here are 5 myths about male baldness that you might have believed to be true.
1. Stress Causes Baldness
“Don’t worry too much or you’re hair will fall out,” is something we’ve all heard one too many times. And of course, you thought it was true all along. But as it turns out, science disagrees. While it is true that stress can cause hair shedding (or non-scarring alopecia), this is a temporary form of hair loss that does actually not result in baldness. In fact, losing anywhere between 50 and 100 hair strands a day is perfectly normal. If you lose any more than that, you might experience hair thinning but with proper care, you can regain the lost hair. So, contrary to what everybody tells you, stress does not lead to permanent baldness.
However, this doesn’t mean it’s okay to be overly stressed, as it can result in certain medical conditions that are, in fact, worse than baldness!
2. Hard Water Makes Hair Fall Worse
If you’ve been shedding hair after moving houses or cities, you’ve perhaps wondered if it’s because of the change in the water you use. Sometimes, the minerals (calcium carbonate and magnesium sulfate) in hard water can change the texture of your hair and this might lead you to think that hard water negatively impacts your hair. But, a study disproved this myth by testing the effects of hard water on hair. The results of the study showed no reduction in hair strength or elasticity, thus indicating that hard water has nothing to do with hair fall, let alone baldness.1
3. Hats Make Your Hair Suffer
A lot of beauty experts claim that regularly wearing hats for too long can suffocate your hair and cause breakage. The logic is that hats exert pressure on your hair and pull it tight, causing hair fall. But, according to Penn State University, the “pull” caused by hats simply isn’t enough to cause damage. Therefore, you can’t experience temporary hair fall either! So, you’ve been wondering whether you need to bid your favorite hat goodbye, well, you don’t!2
4. The Sun Isn’t Good For Your Hair
Sunbathing is the highlight of summer. Yet, we often hear that exposure to the sun can cause baldness. It’s true that excess exposure to the UV rays of the sun can make your hair brittle and lead to shedding. But the rays don’t directly target the hair follicles, which are responsible for hair growth. They damage your hair shaft. So, the hair fall due to the sun isn’t permanent, and you can grow your hair back.
Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to protect your hair from the sun by covering it with a hat or a scarf.
5. Your Maternal Genes Are To Blame
If your mother’s father is affected by male pattern baldness, chances are that you’ve been told to be careful. An important gene that’s responsible for baldness is present in your X chromosome, which you get from your mother. However, this isn’t the only reason for baldness. Studies state that baldness anywhere in your family could cause you to go bald. In fact, a DNA in your chromosome 20 (that you don’t inherit from your mother) could increase your risk of baldness by up to 4 times. Thus, you can experience baldness even if your maternal grandfather has thick hair at the age of 80!3
Now that we know that these “facts” are actually just myths, let’s have a look at what really causes baldness, apart from your genes. Your diet, fungal infections, an underlying medical condition, and side-effects of certain medicines are some common reasons.4
Thus, instead of worrying about how your worry is cause hair loss, set your diet right and get a screening done to diagnose any autoimmune diseases. However, most of the time, the solution isn’t really in your hands. And if you do end up losing your hair, there’s nothing to be ashamed about. After all, “bald is bold.” Haven’t you heard?
|↑1||Srinivasan, Gautham, Chakravarthi Rangachari Srinivas, Anil C. Mathew, and Divakar Duraiswami. “Effects of hard water on hair.” International journal of trichology 5, no. 3 (2013): 137.|
|↑2||Could My Hat be Causing Me to Go Bald? Penn State University.|
|↑3||The Genetics of Balding. The Tech, Museum of Innovation.|
|↑4||Hair Loss. University of Maryland Medical Center.|