Some common myths and misconceptions about hair loss

Is hair loss predetermined only by your mother’s father?

No, hereditary hair loss can be passed down through both your mother’s and father’s side. Even if your mother’s father has a full head of hair, there is no guarantee that you will have the same.

Can brushing make your hair stronger?

Excessive hair brushing can actually stress your hair and make it more likely to break. Hair tends to be more elastic when it’s wet, which means that it is more likely to break than dry hair. It is best to limit brushing or combing wet hair. Boar-bristle or ball-tipped brushes are recommended for brushing since they are most gentle on your hair.

Does wearing a hat cause hair loss?

Hats do not contribute to hair loss. There is no evidence that suggests wearing a hat will cause hair loss. Many people wear hats simply to hide their hair loss. However, a dirty hat can cause a scalp infection, which may accelerate hair loss, so be sure to keep your hats and head clean.

Will blow drying lead to hair loss?

There is no link between balding and hairdryers but air-drying is generally a safer option. Blow drying your hair frequently on too hot of a setting can dry out your existing hair, making it brittle, less healthy-looking, and more prone to breakage. The same is true of flat irons and other heated devices. Air-dry your hair when possible and limit the use of blow dryers and other hot tools to prevent damage to your hair.

Will shaving, trimming or cutting your hair strengthen it?

This is untrue. Hair growth is genetically programmed. Your growth rate is not affected either way by close shaving or trimming.

Do hair dyes and styling products cause hair loss?

While some of these products do have the potential to damage hair, in most cases they will not affect hair follicles or growth cycles when used correctly. However, overuse, misuse, harsh chemicals and relaxers can damage hair follicles and affect growth. These products can cause the hair to break and fall out when used too much or incorrectly. Using them less will most likely result in less damage and breakage. Hair accessories like clips, pins and rubber bands can break hair when holding the hair too tightly.

Does how you lay while sleeping affect hair loss?

No, lying on one side or the other won’t affect the growth of your hair. Your follicles are pre-programmed to grow in their own unique way, independent of how you sleep. If you’re worried about your hair while you sleep, some experts suggest sleeping on silk pillowcases. Silk has amino acids in common with your hair that won’t strip your hair of moisture. Additionally, silk is less likely to pull and tug your strands, which means your hair will be smoother with less split ends and breakage.

Do men who lose their hair have lower libidos?

No, it is quite possibly the opposite. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT)—the main culprit in hair loss—is a metabolite of testosterone, a hormone that increases the male sex drive.

Can towel drying your hair cause hair loss?

No, towel drying hair will not cause hair loss. But rubbing wet hair too hard can cause the hair to break, which can result in hair loss. It’s normal to shed some hairs each day due to the normal growth cycle of your hair, but if your hair doesn’t grow back, it is most likely because of your genetic predisposition, not the towel.

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