Hair loss has been a problem for man since the beginning of time – ancient Greek physician Hippocrates attempted to cure his own baldness by applying what would surely have been a foul-smelling concoction of pigeon poo, horseradish, beetroot, spices and opium.
The longevity of the problem means that there are many myths surrounding the issue so, here at His Hair, we take a look at the most commonly held misconceptions about balding and sort out the myths from the facts.
Hair Loss Myth #1: Hair loss is inherited from the mother’s side of the family
This is not completely true or false. The primary gene that causes baldness is on the X chromosome which mothers pass onto their sons, but both sets of parental genes contribute and research indicates that men with a bald father are more likely to become bald themselves.
Hair Loss Myth #2: Hair loss only occurs when you’re old
This is definitely not true. Hair loss in both men and women can start from the teenage years onwards – over 50 per cent of women under 40 will experience some hair loss. The earlier you start to notice hair loss means that it will become more advanced as you get older.
Hair Loss Myth #3: Avoid hair products if you want to hang onto your hair
How you treat your hair can definitely contribute to its health. Excessive bleaching or colouring, overuse of gels and sprays can all cause hair breakage. Heat styling can also damage your hair so try to minimise the use of straighteners or curlers.
Hair Loss Myth #4: What you eat can cause hair loss
This is true to a certain extent. Faddy diets can affect the health of your hair though so you should always follow a well-balanced diet that ensures enough iron, protein and essential vitamins are being consumed. Taking iron supplements could stimulate hair growth as well. However, if you are genetically predisposed to male or female pattern baldness, you will not be able to prevent hair loss through diet.
Hair Loss Myth #5: Baldness equates to sexual prowess
The thinking behind this theory is that baldness is linked to high levels of testosterone and Hippocrates himself noted that eunuchs all had a full head of hair. However, more up-to-date research has proved it’s not as straightforward as that. Men with low testosterone levels can still go bald – this is where genetics come into play, as a certain combination of genes make the hair follicles sensitive to testosterone, whatever the level.