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Hair Loss Myths and Facts

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The Myth: Hair thinning comes from the mother’s side of the family.

The Facts: Scientific research has proven that the genes for hair loss can come from either or both sides of the family.

The best indicator you have is your immediate family. Look around—are your parents, sibling, aunts & uncles losing their hair? If so, you may also be at risk.

The Myth: Hereditary hair loss only affects men.
The Facts: Women also suffer from hereditary hair loss — nearly 30 million women in the U.S. alone. Often termed fine or thin, women’s hair goes though the same thinning process that men experience. However, women generally experience diffuse thinning starting just behind the hairline to the top or over the entire head, while men usually experience typical “male pattern baldness” – crown (or vertex) balding and/or a receding frontal hairline. Women usually experience little or no recession of the frontal hairline.

The Myth: Women only lose their hair post pregnancy or during menopause.
The Facts: Although many women experience an increase in shedding after giving birth and around menopause, women can start experiencing the signs of heredity hair thinning as early as their 20’s. The signs are similar to men’s hair thinning – more hair loss on the pillow, in the drain, or on the hairbrush. However, instead of losing hair in the crown and hairline, women tend to experience a diffuse thinning that starts on the top of the head and can spread over the entire scalp.

The Myth: Stress makes your hair fall out.
The Facts: Stress affects the body in many ways; it is important not to underestimate the power of stress.
However, usually it takes severe, traumatic stress (like that related to a severe psychological or physical experience—a natural disaster, death in the family or crash dieting) to cause hair loss. Some diseases of the hair and scalp that cause patchy hair loss, like alopecia areata, can be precipitated or aggravated by bouts of stress. Mild stress usually doesn’t cause hair loss—in fact, usually the opposite is true!

The Myth: Any shedding of hair is an indicator of hereditary hair loss.
The Facts: Normally, between 50 and 150 individual hairs are shed from the scalp every day. This is not a sign of hair loss; rather, it is a sign that hair follicles are entering their resting phase – a natural part of the follicle’s life cycle. When enough follicles do not recover from the “resting phase,” you are suffering from hair loss. Hair loss is a progressive process during which affected follicles tend to produce thinner, shorter hairs until they eventually die.

The Myth: If you’ve got hair past age 40, you’ll keep it.
The Facts: Shrinking follicles and hair loss is a normal part of the body’s aging process. Just like the skin wrinkles as you age, your follicles will shrink, making your hair seem thinner. How much you lose depends on your genes.

The Myth: I can tell just by looking at my hair that I’m not losing any.
The Facts:You can lose up to 50% of your hair in a given area of scalp before it becomes noticeable to the naked eye.

The Myth: Cutting my hair makes it grow faster.
The Facts: Your follicles are not affected by haircuts. Hair grows at a steady rate of about _” per month, with only slight seasonal variation.

The Myth: I’m losing hair because I’m using the wrong shampoo.
The Facts: No shampoo has been scientifically proven to grow hair. Shampoos and styling products can only assist you with the manageability of the hair you have. (Manageability is important, however, especially if you are experiencing thinning hair.) Despite some manufacturer’s marketing claims, there is no shampoo on the market that has been scientifically proven to affect hereditary hair thinning in women or men.

The Myth: Clogged follicles on the scalp cause hair loss.
The Facts: There is currently no scientific evidence to prove that sebum (the oil produced by the scalp), or its removal from the scalp affect hair loss.

The Myth: Hair transplants are for men only.
The Facts: Today, because of the advanced techniques used, hair transplantation is helping an increasing number of women restore their own living and growing hair.

The Myth: All hair transplants look like ‘plugs’ or ‘corn-rows.’
The Facts: Instead of yesterday’s ‘plugs,’ today’s hair transplants are done using an advanced procedure called micrografting. This enables the hair restoration surgeon to redistribute the hair follicles on your scalp—filling in your thinning spots with your own living and growing hair. A surgeon using advanced techniques can transplant up to 3,000 micrografts in a single session (some of which contain as little as a single hair follicle). The old-style ‘plugs’ had 20-30 hairs each, and required a large number of repeat sessions to achieve results.

The Myth: Hair transplantation is a painful process.
The Facts: Today, some hair restoration surgeons, like Dr. Bauman at the Bauman Medical Group, are using a device called The WAND® to more comfortably administer local anesthesia without the use of a traditional syringe. The computer-controlled device delivers a slow ‘flow’ of medication into the skin which is up to 70% more comfortable than traditional methods.
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