Old wives tales are often rooted in fact, it can make the rubbish tougher to spot. So we take a look at four popular hair misconceptions and blow them out of the water.
No Smoke Without Fire
So many things my Nan said to me when I was a little lad turned out have a scientific basis. Not that she knew it. She was just passing on the received wisdom of generations, smart observations made by an ancestor that were immediately recognised as having a basis in fact, so smart that they would earn the right to be passed by word of mouth down through the ages. Unfortunately, among those smart observers, there were also rogues. The sort of person who might have sold snake oil in the past, and today would probably be touting some science based hair loss hokum. The story they wrap around their product will often form the basis for widespread misunderstandings.
In an age when just about any fact can be checked on the spot in a matter of seconds with a few flicks of a thumb, it may be surprising that the myths below can still carry weight, but they do. And we are happy to clarify.
Poor Blood Circulation
Attributed by many to a factor in the progress of hair loss, poor blood circulation was thought to starve the follicles of the necessary growth factors. In fact, blood supply is the same right across the scalp. The hair loss is due to a build up of testosterone that cause the follicle to shrink. Many nutrients on sale pitch themselves as beneficial to hair loss on the basis that they improve blood flow, which undoubtedly have contributed to this misunderstanding.
It Is A Sign Of Virility
Testosterone is linked to virility, that is for sure. But it seems many people saw the word testosterone and made the leap that a build-up of testosterone, the hormone that drives male characteristics, would both make a man bald and correspondingly tougher. Maybe the presence in that era of tough looking men with shaved heads, calling themselves skinheads, made it an easy leap. But it is completely wrong. The testosterone that builds up and causes hair loss, DHT, is a totally different type and nothing to do with how manly you are. That remains the same in bald and hairy men.
Your Maternal Grandfather Is To Thank
This simplistic observation is only partially true. In fact, your hair genes are a blend of those you inherited from both Mum and Dad. Meaning, we suppose, that you could see it as a blend of your four grandparents. So it would be more accurate to say your maternal Grandfather is responsible for 25% of your hair condition.
The Sun Can Kill Your Hair
Just wrong. What can we say? The sun can cause enormous damage to your skin, so we are in no way advocating a relaxing of your protection routine, but while it may dry your hair out, or react with chemicals you have added, your hair will happily survive. As my Nan used to say, “Nature protects it weakest parts.” She would say that to me as reassurance to a 17 year old going thin on top. But she was right, hair is your body’s natural defence against the sun… it just would not make sense for it to be vulnerable. Maybe you will look at those shampoo for sun-damaged hair adverts a little less favourably from now on.
HIS Hair Clinic
If you knew all of this already then congratulations, if any of it came as news then we are happy to have improved your understanding.
If you have any more that you would like to check out, or if you would simply like to discuss your hair loss situation with one of our team of friendly experts, just complete the contact form at the side of this page. Or click here to find your nearest clinic.