Balding and misinformation seem to go hand in hand. Much of the confusion comes from old wives’ tales, which - if believed - can result in poor decisions being made to address hair loss.
Despite this, these myths still persist: masturbation causes baldness; onion juice makes hair grow back; only old men are affected by it. All of these are false.
Another popular untruth is that washing your hair too much can cause it to fall out. According to a recent poll in the Daily Mirror, almost half of all people surveyed thought that washing your hair too often would cause it to fall out. Forty-seven per cent of people genuinely believe that over-washing their hair equates to a fast-track to baldness.
In fact, this is not only false but washing your hair frequently is actually encouraged by specialists.
Depending on hair type, daily shampooing is often advised by experts, especially for people with thinning hair, as clean hair appears naturally thicker. Daily hair washing, or washing every other day, is particularly advisable for Asian and Caucasian/European hair types, whilst Afro hair can be washed less frequently due to its coarse texture.
Many men with the genetic condition Male Pattern Baldness, however, are reluctant to accept that this may true, because they see a worrying number of hairs disappearing down the plug hole whenever they get busy with the shampoo.
But not only does avoiding washing the hair stop it from looking fuller, it can lead to scalp problems, which may compound the hair loss.
A more sensible solution would be to visit a hair loss specialist, where information on the latest products that are available can be freely given. In many cases, genetic baldness can be stopped and new hair can even be encouraged to regrow. No part of an effective hair loss treatment course recommends that people stop washing their hair.
What isn’t ascertained in the Mirror poll, of course, is what constitutes “too often”. If you were to wash your hair 100 times a day, then it is possible that the long-term effects would indeed be damaging to the hair. What most people would imagine to be “too often” however is daily. And this is certainly not going to cause baldness for the vast majority of people, using regular hair care products.
“As long as you are using good quality shampoo that is suited to your situation - hair type or concern - then daily washing, or washing the hair every other day, is generally advised. This helps to maintain a fresh, clean scalp which is important for healthy hair growth whether you have a hair loss condition or not," says Leonora Doclis, senior hair loss specialist at Belgravia.
"We see many people - men and women - who stop brushing or washing their hair as they see hair falling when they do so and assume the washing or brushing is causing their hair to fall out but this is simply not the case. Everyone loses around 100 hairs per day as part of the normal hair growth cycle and moving the hair around - as you do when you wash or brush your hair - can shake loose hairs that have already been shed but have not yet fallen. Only if the hair fall becomes excessive over a prolonged period should this be a concern.”
The cause of androgenetic alopecia - the permanent conditions male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss - is an inherited sensitivity to a testosterone byproduct in the body known as DHT. This binds to the hair follicles around the top of the scalp in those who are affected, and gradually weakens the follicles, producing increasingly thinner hair, receding and, in some cases, bald areas. There are, however, clinically-proven hair loss treatments available for both men and women, which can help to stabilise this type of shedding and promote hair growth, often to great effect.
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.