Myths About the Causes of Baldness + 2023

We’ve heard so many myths and stories about the causes of baldness that sometimes it’s hard to know where to start discrediting them. People will blame everything. Since it is impossible to cover up all possible misunderstandings about hair loss, we will identify four main myths.

Mental Stress and Physical Trauma
It is a common but mistaken belief that physical trauma and mental stress, including pain and fear, cause hair loss. Guys constantly tell us that their hair doesn’t start falling out until they start dating a girl, start feeling financial pressure, or get a divorce. Still others swear that hair loss started after receiving some sort of physical blow or trauma to the head, typically as a result of an accident. Are these reasons valid? No. Although stress can accelerate hair loss, especially in women, this is not the main reason.

From a psychological point of view, what these people believe is causing hair loss is actually a delayed reaction to a process that has begun. So before the accident or before her daughters started dating, her hair started to thin out. But later, in a state of heightened awareness due to trauma or stress, men began to focus on their thinning hair, and this is a typical psychological reaction.

Defective Highway System
The myth we call the “faulty highway system” is one of the most common misconceptions about hair loss and is still taught in some barber and beauty schools. This theory is based on the observation that there is less blood flow to the top of the head compared to the lower parts of the scalp. Due to this so-called “defect” in the circulatory system – the faulty highway system – the hair follicles are deprived of essential nutrients and allow “toxins” to accumulate. Then the hair is starved and falls out. The theory also suggests that wearing a hat or cap, which is required for certain occupations, restricts circulation to the head, worsening already reduced blood flow. Conclusion? Hair loss.

The blood supply to the scalp is provided by branches of the left and right carotid arteries, which run upward from the heart, curve around the ears, and continue upward like the branches of a tree, all the way up to the very top of the head. Therefore, if the circulatory system detects baldness, it follows that all men and all women will begin to go bald in a midline that starts at the top of the head, extends to the front hairline and gradually widens towards the ears. Obviously, this is not so. On the contrary, the earliest sign of widespread baldness in most men is thinning of the hair just above the temples. This creates familiar triangular or “V” indentations at the sides of the hairline, called temporary indentations. However, this area has more blood flow than the top of the head, and yet widespread baldness starts here.

There are other facts that disprove the proposed link between the circulatory system and hair loss. For example, as people approach middle age (thirty-five to fifty-five), they tend to have unwanted hair growth on the eyebrows, ears, and nostrils. How can the circulatory system cause this phenomenon? Is it possible for all men to suddenly bleed into the ears, nose and eyebrows for no apparent reason in middle age? Possible, but unlikely.

A final blow to the diminished blood supply theory was introduced in 1955 by Dr. It was seen in the experiment carried out by Norman Orentreich. He received a graft containing 4 millimeters of hair with intact follicles and a 4 millimeter hair graft from the back of a patient’s head. from the top of the head of the same patient where intense hair loss occurs. Later Dr. Orentreich replaced the two grafts and placed the hair-bearing graft in the hole left by the bald graft, and vice versa. After observing these grafts for several months, Orentreich noticed that “hairy” grafts developed in the large area of ​​baldness, and the bald one was left bare in the sea of ​​hair that surrounded it! If the blood supply is affecting hair loss and/or growth, the hair must have fallen from the graft on the crown of the head. Conversely, hair should have grown in the bald graft placed at the back of the head.

Cleanliness Next to Hairiness
According to this theory, a deadly cocktail of excess oil, air pollutants, sebum and dead cells settles around the hair shaft, suffocating the hair and inhibiting its growth. The obvious question, then, is: “Why does the hair on other parts of the head keep growing, especially on the sides and back?” The trichologist or hair clinician might explain that these hairs grow downward and the deadly buildup slides the hairs from the stem and down the follicle, protecting the hair. However, this is not true.

The theory that hair loss is caused by a dirty scalp fails to explain both the legions of clean but bald men and the large number of scruffy men with dirty but full hair. If this theory were true, populations in countries where opportunities and resources for personal hygiene are scarce would experience rapid hair loss in both men and women. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. If the entire scalp is dirty, wouldn’t the entire scalp also go bald?

Developing good scalp and hair hygiene, including daily shampooing, is a desirable grooming habit that will make your existing hair more attractive. However, it does not prevent hair loss and does not cause regrowth.

You are what you eat
The “you are what you eat” or “vitamin supplement” theory suggests that men with hair loss deprive their hair follicles of essential nutrients, causing them to die. This theory focuses on dietary supplements of vitamins and trace minerals such as zinc, the amino acid cystine, and the B-complex vitamin biotin as the best way to combat baldness.

The trichologist at a hair studio will say that along with misleading advertisements, laboratory research shows that hair, which is primarily composed of protein, must be fed with certain vitamins, minerals and amino acids in order to grow. Typically, the argument states that the diet of the average American man is severely lacking in these critical nutrients. As a result, he suffers from baldness.

Can nutritional deficiency cause hair loss? Yes, but this deficiency must be so severe that the person literally dies from lack of food. The occasional nutritional deficiencies in the average, healthy American citizen, such as short-term low magnesium or zinc levels, are not the same as acute clinical starvation. Also, clinical starvation does not and cannot cause hair loss in models considered to be common male pattern baldness. Instead, it causes a general or widespread hair loss over the entire scalp. Also, hair loss is never the only symptom of clinical malnutrition and is often the last. Other symptoms include, but are not limited to, conditions or diseases of the internal organs, teeth, gums, skin, and nails. Therefore, if you have widespread, patchy hair loss, but no other signs of acute clinical starvation, it is safe to assume that nutritional deficiencies are not the cause of your hair loss.

Learning from the Eskimos
Perhaps the Inuit people of the Arctic regions provide the best example of a culture that rejects common baldness myths. Inuit men rarely wash their hair and often wear hats. They also often apply whale and fish oils to their hair for the shine tolerated in their culture. In addition, their restricted diet, consisting mostly of protein and fat, lacks the variety of foods that can be described as balanced. This is evidenced by the culture’s relatively low life expectancy, with the average Eskimo male living to the age of sixty.

Subject to all the mythical causes of baldness, the Inuit man is the victim of poor circulation due to cold weather, further reduced blood flow from wearing a hat, a scalp clogged with sebum, and a diet lacking in essential vitamins. , according to legends, should produce an unusually high rate of baldness. However, like others with similar racial traits, Eskimos are much less likely to experience baldness than the average Caucasian man.

From Hair Replacement Revolution James Harris and Dr. By Emanuel Merritt (Square One Publishers). Reprinted with permission.

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