5 Popular Hair Loss Myths Debunked — What You Should Be Doing For Thicker, Healthier Hair
While the human scalp contains about 100,000 hairs in total, individuals lose up to 100 hairs per day, naturally. Healthy hairs, made up of the tough protein, “keratin” generally last from 2 to 7 years before falling out and being replaced.
Hair loss becomes noticeable however, when the scalp sheds too many individual strands and no new growth occurs. Most of the time, this happens gradually throughout the aging process and is driven by heredity and hormonal changes in both sexes. Known by the technical term, “alopecia”, men and women generally lose both thickness and volume as they get older, since strands of hair actually become finer and smaller.
Who deals with hair loss?
Men lose more hair than women, resulting in male-pattern baldness, which affects the front, sides, or crown. According to studies, about 80% of 70yr. old males have significant hair loss. While often age-related, this can occur anytime after puberty.
Individuals under severe emotional or physical stress can shed up to 75% of scalp hair. Referred to as, “telogen effluvium” hair may come out in clumps for several months following a stressful event or period. Fortunately, this is usually temporary, and hair generally returns to a natural growth pattern in time.
Women, ages 30-60 may experience thinning hair that eventually tapers off when they get older. This is called female-pattern baldness when hair becomes less dense and the scalp is visible. Women rarely become completely bald.
Other causes of hair loss include Infection/high fever, childbirth, major illness, excessive dieting, medication, autoimmune illness, anemia, menopause, adrenal disorders, radiation therapy, excessive styling/hair care products, ringworm of the scalp, and a low protein/poor diet.
Hair Loss Myths
Many myths exist surrounding the loss of hair, its causes, and treatment. This creates confusion for individuals trying to prevent hair loss, as well as those seeking treatment for male/female-patterned baldness.
Since my mother’s father was bald, I’ll eventually lose my hair too.
Not so, according to researchers who understand now more than ever about hair loss and the effects of aging. While heredity plays a critical role in who will lose their hair and when, baldness is determined by genes from both parents, rather than just the mother’s.
Wearing a hat can make me bald.
Not likely, according to research involving genetics and causes of hair loss. The theory was popular historically however, when men wore hats, and women appeared to have a lower incidence of balding.
It makes no difference what shampoo I use, as to whether or not I lose my hair.
Not so fast. The federal government reports that higher alkalinity shampoos can produce a greater negative electrical charge on hairs, causing increased friction and breakage. While there is no standardized requirement for alkalinity levels and labeling, the government recommends no more than 5.5 pH, so as not to damage the hair and scalp.
Shaving hair is an effective treatment for thinning and balding, causing it to grow back faster, or coarser.
Not true. Since 1928, scientists have disproved this claim in clinical trials that demonstrate no difference in hair thickness or rate of hair growth after shaving. Cutting it merely removes the dead portion of hair, not the living section below the surface of the skin.
Loss of hair is harmless to your health.
Guess again. While actual baldness probably won’t hurt you, researchers have found a link between testosterone levels, bald spots, and prostate cancer. In fact, men with balding on top of the head are one and a half times more likely to have prostate cancer than men without. While scientists aren’t exactly sure why the correlation occurs, they do know that testosterone, as it converts to another androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT) appears to be the culprit.
The Solution To Thicker, Healthier, Hair—What You Should Be Doing
Diet plays a critical role in overall health, but did you know that certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies actually contribute to dry, broken, thin, dull hair? Most of us know how a poor diet makes us feel, but hair in particular needs specific nutrients for growth, moisture, strength and repair.
Get Your Vitamins A, B and C
Vitamin A helps grow healthy cells and tissues, and contributes to sebum production, which keeps hair moisturized. B vitamins include biotin, which aids in cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the transfer of carbon dioxide in metabolic processes. Biotin is especially important for strengthening, hair, skin, and nails. B6, folic acid, and B12 also assist in forming red blood cells, necessary to carry oxygen to tissues within the body. Vitamin C provides the building blocks for collagen production, which supplies the necessary structure for hair. Without this nutrient, hair strands weaken and frequently break.
Hair, Skin, & Nails – 120 V CAPS – Natural Factors
Natural Factors has created a product, designed especially for individuals with dry, dead, or thinning hair that revitalizes tissue and provides the necessary building blocks for healthy growth and regeneration. Containing, Hyaluronsan HA-LF, highly purified hyaluronic acid for moisture retention, vitamins A, C, E, and mega stores of biotin (2500 mcg), this supplement offers so much more in one formula than nutritional support.
Build Your Body Up With Minerals
Copper, found in organ meats and dark leafy vegetables helps the body produce red blood cells. Iron transports the oxygen in hemoglobin of red blood cells. When the body is deficient, in cases such as anemia, hair loss occurs. Zinc is needed for cell production and repair, and helps maintain important glands that secrete oil from hair follicles. Zinc deficiency can result in hair loss as well.
Hair La Vie Revitalizing Hair Blend
Hair La Vie, while containing important minerals for hair growth and repair, infuses the body with 20 antioxidants that further help protect and prevent damage from harsh elements. This proprietary formula also contains 8000 IU’s of vitamin A, and boasts, “no synthetic fillers” to interfere with its natural healing properties.
Make A Commitment To Protein
Protein found in many foods and nutrition supplements is necessary to keep hair from drying and breaking. Protein filaments, called keratin become damaged when exposed to chemicals and shampoos and need constant reinforcement to continue to maintain structure and to grow strong. Any deficiency in protein will begin to weaken hair and break up chains of amino acids needed for healthy strands.
RAW Protein Organic Powder Original – 22 oz (622g) – Garden of Life
Supplementing the diet with protein is simple with Raw Protein Organic Powder. Protein rich shakes are a fast, easy way to build the body up when nutrients are lacking from regular diet. Garden of Life gives the powder extras with live probiotics, enzymes, and CoQ10 for digestion, making this completely vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free, combination of ingredients a powerhouse formula for protein support.
While some types of hair loss, due to illness, injury, medical treatment, and genetics may not be avoidable, getting good reliable information and proper nutrition to support hair and scalp health is always key.
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6 Publications, H. (2017). Hereditary-Patterned Baldness – Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/hereditary-patterned-baldness [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].
7 Publications, H. (2017). Testosterone, prostate cancer, and balding: Is there a link? – Harvard Health. [online] Harvard Health. Available at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/testosterone-prostate-cancer-and-balding-is-there-a-link-thefamilyhealth-guide [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].
8 Vpul.upenn.edu. (2017). Student Health Service at the University of Pennsylvania. [online] Available at: http://www.vpul.upenn.edu/shs/hair.php [Accessed 27 Mar. 2017].