When it comes to men (or women for that matter), there are myths everywhere when it comes to balding and hair loss. Let us clear up a couple of them for you in regards to losing your hair!

1. Chronic stress

This one too is a yes-and-no kind of myth. It’s actually true that chronic stress can cause hair to fall out, but it’s not responsible for male (female) pattern baldness. However, for those patients that have the male pattern baldness gene, stress can accelerate the hair loss process.

There are three main stress-related causes for hair loss:

~White blood cells take over:
When you are overly stressed, and your body senses some big unknown problem, white blood cells can gather to the cause and latch to your hair follicles. This can bring hair growth to a halt. This happens so energy is reserved for fighting off the root of whatever is causing the stress. Typically, once your stress levels go down, hair will go back to its normal growth cycle.

~Telogen effluvium (Tel-O-Gen Ef-Loo-Vee-Yum…say that one 3 times fast!)
This can happen when your system experiences some sort of shock like having a major surgery, being constantly ill, or even such things like serious changes your diet. Telogen refers to the resting phase of the hair follicle and when you are under heaps of pressure, this resting phase can be extended until the stress is resolved, maybe even for months. Meanwhile, those hairs can fall out.

~Trichotillomania (tricho-til-lo-ma-nia)
This is a disorder typically referred to as compulsive hair-pulling disorder… this has nothing to do with pattern baldness.

2. Washing hair too much or too little

Many people feel like when they wash their hair they’re losing a bunch of volume and hair! This is false, what may feel like “a lot” is really only 10 or 15! Losing some hairs when shampooing is completely normal, it is part of the growth cycle, they were going to fall out anyway. Likewise, not washing your hair often will also not cause it to fall out any more than it ordinarily would.

3. Product overload

There is no amount of product that will cause male pattern baldness, however, overuse of a product can physically injure the hair and/or lesson the quality not QUANTITY of all the hair on the scalp.

4. Tanning beds

While tanning beds may not be the best idea for your skin and health, it is a myth that they are bad for your hair. Lying in a tanning bed will NOT cause your hair to fall out. A little bit of vitamin D can actually be beneficial for your hair when going out into the sun. Just be sure to be generous with your sunscreen!

5. Hats

Generally speaking, wearing a hat, a cap or a full superhero mask will not cause your hair to fall out. What I will say is that if you don’t keep your headwear clean, you could leave yourself prone to scalp infections and that’s when you can have problems holding on to the hair you have.

If you begin to notice your hairline receding, or you think you may be losing more hair than “normal” when showering or brushing your hair, visit a doctor/hair specialist to get a full examination and diagnosis to determine if you have male pattern baldness or if your hair loss is due to something else. Save yourself the stress and aggravation of thinking it’s due to something silly like using too much hair spray or from wearing your favorite cap!