There are so many things to worry about when it comes to ageing and unfortunately your once thick and lustrous hair is one of them.
Aging may naturally mean losing hair and gaining grays, but overexposure to things like the sun, crash dieting, hair extensions and chemical treatments can all take a toll on our locks, says hair expert Dr. Alan Bauman of Bauman Medical Group in Florida.
An estimated 40 to 50 per cent of men and women will suffer from hair loss by age 50, while the number of hair transplants have climbed by 42 per cent since 2007, according to the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery.
But along with the facts also come the myths. For years, people have believed in old wives' tales about hair growth and hair loss, and Bauman says he's heard everything from blaming the mother's side, hats causing baldness and even myths about how dead follicles can grow back into shiny healthy hair.
And although pattern baldness is more common for men, women can experience similar hair loss from the crown of their head if they have nutritional deficiencies, imbalanced hormones and even if they've undergone rapid weight loss, according to Huffington Post Canada blogger and naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner.
And while we can't stop our hair from going gray or thinning, there are natural ways to keep our hair healthy. Eating the right foods like salmon, dark green vegetables and beans for example, all promote healthier and stronger hair, Bauman says.
LOOK — 10 of the most common facts and fiction you hear about hair loss:
Overexposure To The Sun Causes Hair Loss
FALSE BUT SOMEWHAT TRUE
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause skin problems like accelerated aging and cancer, but it will not interrupt hair follicle function, says hair expert Dr. Alan Bauman of Bauman Medical Group in Florida. However, overexposure of hair fibres to UV radiation can in fact weaken the fibres, disrupt the cuticle and make them more prone to dullness, frizz and breakage.
Pluck One Grey Hair And Two Grow Back
The good news is pulling out grey hairs won't make more grow back. The bad news is most people get grey hair as they age anyway.
Over-Shampooing Can Make You Lose Hair
Many people may notice they shed daily after they shampoo or brush their hair. "Hair follicles cycle on and cycle off and repeat that process over the course of their life span," says Bauman. Each day 100 to 200 hairs shed and these hair follicles are replaced by other hair follicles entering the growth phase.
Standing On Your Head Makes Your Hair Grow
It may sound funny, but this is a commonly heard myth. Bauman says hair loss is not a blood flow problem, but instead can be caused by other factors like age and genetics. "Even if increased blood flow helped hair growth, you could not stay in that position long enough to have an effect on the hair follicles," Bauman says.
Balding Is Linked To Old Age
Genetic male and female hair loss gets more common as we age. However, another type of hair loss called alopecia areata is common in children and young adults and could result in complete baldness.
There's No Cure For Baldness
While there is no "miracle cure" there are certainly many treatments like government-approved drugs, laser therapy procedures or hair transplants.
Higher Testosterone Linked To Hair Loss
"What you inherit is the sensitivity to dihydrotestosterone or DHT (a hormone and natural compound of testosterone) that can cause hair loss in men and some women," Bauman says. If you're male and you take testosterone, it could accelerate the hair loss process.
Hair Loss Comes From The Mother's Side
There are approximately 200 genes that regulate hair and hair growth, Bauman says. "We know today that there are generally some genes from both sides of the family that play a role. Your mother’s father deserves some of the 'blame’ but perhaps not all of it."
Hats Can Cause Baldness
Hats do not cause hair loss in any way or form. Period.
You Can Grow Back Dead Follicles
Medications or laser therapy, for example, can help hair follicles grow thicker and healthier, but once the follicle is dead and gone, the only option for regrowth is a hair transplant.