Photo by lokarta
For centuries, hair has been a symbol of youth, vitality and power. Nearly all cultures have a lengthy history of struggles with hair loss. In ancient Greece, it was believed that oil or grease would help hair grow, and men would rub it on their scalps in hopes that it would make their hair thicker and fuller. While it may seem ridiculous now, there are still plenty of rituals and myths that modern humans follow in pursuit of the perfect head of hair. Here’s a look at some widely believed myths that many believe to this day.
Hair Myth #1: Wearing a Hat Makes Your Hair Fall Out
It’s easy to see where this perceived correlation comes from – lots of bald people wear hats. However, this is only because their hair is already bald and they are simply trying to hide it. The hat itself has no effect on hair loss.
Hair Myth #2: Hanging Upside Down Helps Promote Hair Growth
If you’ve never been able to perfect the acrobatics of hanging around upside down, don’t despair – hanging upside down doesn’t actually have any effect on baldness. This theory comes from a popular 80′s theory that blood flow to the scalp is correlated to hair loss. While it is true that those suffering from baldness or hair loss have less blood circulation, the circulation slows down after the hair falls out. Thus, poor circulation is a symptom of hair loss, not the cause.
Photo by Andrew Odem
Hair Myth #3: Baldness is Passed Through The Mother’s Side of the Family
There’s no telling where this belief came from, but any basic biology book will tell you that is flat out not true. We each carry two complete sets of DNA. That means that children have a 1 in 4 chance of inheriting a certain gene – from either parent, not just the mother.
Hair Myth #4: Blow Drying Your Hair Causes Baldness
The causes of hair loss are beneath the surface, not at the actual strands of hair. So while blow drying your hair might make it weak or brittle, it won’t cause baldness. You only need to be wary of the blow dryer if you are worried about split ends, but that’s a different article.
Hair Myth #5: Stress Causes Hair Loss
So there’s good news and bad news to this one: The bad news is that certain types of emotional stress can accelerate balding in people who are predisposed to hair loss. The good news is that it won’t make normal hair that is not affected by the hair loss genes fall out. So while stress can cause sudden baldness, if the hairs that fall out from this were not meant to fall out, they will grow back.
Hair Myth #6: Washing and Shampooing Causes Hair to Fall Out
It’s tempting to think this, since it’s common to find hand fulls of hair in the drain, but we lose hair all the time and just don’t notice it. So don’t worry about that hair in the drain, it’s hair you would have lost anyway. In fact, washing hair less results in the hair that would normally come out to stay in the scalp, clogging the follicles and making hair thinner.
Hair Myth #7: Cutting Hair Makes it Thicker
Sadly this isn’t true, but it can sometimes make it appear thicker. That’s because your hair is thinner at the ends, and cutting it reveals the thicker part of the hair. In addition, it can make hair lighter, thus making it appear thicker from the added volume.
Unfortunately there is no instant cure for hair loss, but at least now you know you can wear your hats guilt free and shampoo to your heart’s content. The only real solution to hair loss is a hair transplant. If you think that option is too expensive, just remember that the cost of a hair transplant is less than paying for products every month that don’t deliver results.