Busting myths about hair loss

Busting myths about hair loss
Going bald is tough, but some forms of hair loss are preventable through proper care

MANILA, Philippines – Hair loss is a touchy subject. In a world where society shapes young boys into thinking that men are measured based on their vitality, men would rather cover up than discuss their insecurities. Hair loss signals old age. So men tend to overcompensate by acting extra macho, wearing caps more often, and even flat out denying their obviously receding hairlines and thinning crowns.

How bad is hair loss?

However, this bottling up can make the effects of hair loss even more devastating. In a study conducted at the Charité – Universitätsmedizin – Berlin (one of Europe’s most prestigious teaching hospitals), researchers found that hair loss caused “enormous emotional burden” on men’s self-esteem. In worst cases, they caused psychological disorders such as body dysmorphia and trichotillomania. 

According to the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, 50% of Filipino men will experience some form of hair loss by the time they reach the age of 40 due to male pattern baldness. The reason is often genetic. But some can be caused by nutritional deficiencies and lack of care. 

So what’s real and what’s false about hair loss? Here are the truths behind the myths.

Myth: Wearing caps can make you bald

It’s more of the other way around, bald men resort to wearing caps to hide their bare scalps. Caps themselves do not cause baldness.

The only way caps can contribute to hair loss is if there is physical damage involved. Like say if your hat gets tangled into your hair, and you end up pulling it. Or if you wear your cap extremely tight that it cuts off the blood circulation in your scalp. (But you know, that has to be, literally, boa constrictor tight. Who wears caps like that?) 

Aside from that, it’s perfectly fine to keep your cap on!

Myth: Direct exposure to sunlight causes hair loss

Nope, unless you have wings and fly too close to the sun, your hair won’t fall out.

While hair can get damaged by the sun’s UV radiation, the effects are mostly confined to your hair strands and your hair shaft. This will cause discoloration, dry and brittle strands, broken or split ends, thinning and frizziness. 

Sun damage, however, does not affect the follicles—which are responsible for hair growth.

Myth: Hot showers also wash away your hair

There is a difference between hot and boiling. If you throw a pail of boiling water over your head, then yes, your hair will fall out…along with your skin. However, if the water is just sauna-relaxation levels, in moderation, then you’re fine.

The worst a hot shower can do is cause skin redness and dry scalps. This may lead to hair that is brittle and prone to breakage.

Myth: Excessive hair products = excessive hair loss

Nowadays, hair care products are often designed to be sensitive on your hair and scalp. Some may damage your hair strands but not the follicle. 

However, one must be aware of using the right products for their hair. It is not advisable for men, for example, to continually use female shampoo. Though they may not cause baldness, they are not designed for men’s hair and scalp—which are often more sensitive than women’s. This can potentially lead to hair fall.

What can men do about it?

Male pattern baldness is in your genes. And though there are medical treatments available, for true male pattern baldness, the results of these FDA-approved therapies may vary. Though recently, breakthroughs in medicine make actual “cures” for baldness a possibility, these are still years away.

If you think you are suffering from male pattern baldness, it is best to consult with a doctor. However, if your hair loss is due to nutritional deficiencies, stress, hormonal imbalances, these kinds of hair loss are preventable and reversible.

Maintaining the right kind of diet can promote beautiful hair. Eggs, sweet potatoes, and salmon all have vitamins and nutrients that can strengthen hair. Quitting cigarettes can also help better the circulation of blood in your scalp. The same goes with keeping hydrated.

As mentioned earlier, the right kind of shampoo can also do wonders in preventing hair loss. Compared to women, men are more at risk of hair loss and balding because they have lesser blood vessels in the scalp, and thus have lower blood circulation.

Men can consider shampoos formulated and designed especially for them, such as Dove Men+Care. Dove Men+Care is made with tricchazole actives and caffeine to promote stronger, and more resilient hair.

Hair loss can be hard, especially if it’s genetic. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop caring for your hair. Hair loss doesn’t always equate to male pattern baldness, and there are many ways to keep your locks in tiptop shape.  Prevention is your best solution. Remember, it is through great care that you will get to prolong the life of your hair. – Rappler.com

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