At The Belgravia Centre we sometimes get asked whether how you sleep affects your hair loss. Patients often wonder whether sleeping on the side, back, or front of their head might lead to increased chance of excess shedding, or perhaps even help to prevent it.
The reasoning patients often given for these theories is that not enough nutrients (necessary for healthy hair growth) would reach the parts of the scalp where the sleeper's head met the pillow due to its weight restricting blood flow. Other reasons given involve not enough blood circulating to remove DHT, the hormone that eventually stops hair growing, from around the follicles.
It would appear, however, that whatever way you sleep actually has no affect on male hair loss. This is because hair loss depends on many other factors outside the blood supply to your scalp hair follicles. For instance, it is not known why hair follicles on the top of the head are more receptive to the hormone DHT which causes hairs to become weaker and eventually causes a total cessation of hair growth. The fact is that this predisposition to balding is usually due to genetics, and as such sleeping on your balding areas will not affect this. It is also true that an increased blood supply is unlikely to remove significant DHT from around hair follicles.
Secondly, it is true that part of our hair loss treatment programmes at The Belgravia Centre involves increasing the blood supply to the scalp in order to increase the amount of nutrients hair follicles there receive. However, it does not follow that sleeping on a certain side of your head means a significant decrease in blood circulating in that area. Whilst an increase of blood to the balding area can help regrow strong hair, this is not enough by itself to prevent hair loss.
It is also worth noting that whilst minoxidil, one of our clinically proven hair loss medications, is a vasodilator (and so helps increase the blood supply to hair follicles) other vasodilators do not have the same effect, suggesting that this function is not the only thing that makes minoxidil an effective hair loss treatment. Sadly, though, why exactly minoxidil works so well is still a bit of a mystery, but we do know that at The Belgravia Centre, it has formed a key part of thousands of patients' successful hair loss treatments.
So, it would appear that the way you sleep will have no effect on your hair, indeed, the most crucial aspect that links your hair growth to sleep is how many hours of it you're getting. Not getting enough sleep can often lead to feeling stressed, which can become a vicious circle. Stress can lead to hair loss, which usually ceases a few months after the stress stops. However, in certain cases, it can trigger the onset of pattern balding. If you find yourself dealing with hair loss many months after the stress has ceased, it might be time to seek treatment to prevent complete balding, at which point hair cannot regrow.
The Belgravia Centre is a world-renowned group of a hair loss clinic in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation from anywhere in the world for home-use treatment.
View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world's largest gallery of hair growth photos and demonstrates the level of success that so many of Belgravia's patients achieve.