When it comes to hair, there are a number of myths and old wives' tales that seem to have made it into the public consciousness without people realising they are, in fact, untrue.
So, as it's Halloween, we thought we'd bring you a list of five popular scare stories regarding hair loss.
Despite how many people seem to believe that wearing a hat causes hair loss, this is in fact so unlikely that it's fair to call it untrue. The only time a hat may be responsible for any shedding is if it is incredibly tight and worn frequently for long periods of time - in which case they would most likely cause intense headaches too. In these rare instances, a condition known as Traction Alopecia can cause hair loss around the area where the hat has caused excessive tension. When we say 'hat', this applies to all forms of hats, including caps and helmets - which some bikers are reportedly avoiding wearing under the hazardous misconception this will save them from Male Pattern Hair Loss.
Everyone knows that just because people believe in something, that doesn't necessarily make it true. The myth about not washing your hair preventing hair loss is a good example of this. When you wash your hair you are generally in a small space - the shower or bath - and are totally focussed on your hair. As a result, your attention is automatically drawn to hairs which 'come out' during this time. In reality, those strands are likely to have already shed as part of every day, normal hair loss, and just be stuck in your hair. The action of washing your hair simply expels the detached hairs, which would otherwise fall during the course of your daily routine, which is why hairs you lose in between washes are often less noticeable.
As with hair-washing, brushing your hair just draws attention to the hairs you are shedding naturally anyway. The brushing motion helps to free any previously shed hairs that have come out as part of the regular hair growth cycle, to make room for new hairs to grow through. Unless the amount of hair loss changes significantly over a prolonged period of time and you notice more or increasing shedding when you brush - or wash - your hair, this is nothing to worry about. If you are concerned about excessive shedding, ask a hair loss specialist to take a look.
This myth could not be more inaccurate. The truth is that one in every three women is likely to experience some form of hair loss. Whilst women are less likely to go completely bald - except in cases of Alopecia Areata- there are a number of hair loss conditions that women are particularly susceptible to. Aside from the obvious Female Pattern Hair Loss, the temporary, often hormone-related condition Telogen Effluvium and the styling-related Traction Alopecia are both more common in women than in men. Post-Partum Alopecia - the shedding which follows after giving birth - is also, clearly, only found in women. Luckily there are hair loss treatments for women which can address all these complaints, so perhaps the myth about hair loss not happening to women comes from the fact that they are better able to hide it than men?
This is simply not true, and neither is its twinned scare story about masturbation causing hair to grow on your palms. Despite no medical proof, anecdotal 'evidence' claiming to 'prove' that masturbation and sex cause male hair loss, is widespread on the internet - but then again, so are conspiracy theories and stories about the Loch Ness Monster.
The truth is indeed out there when it comes to hair loss, it just takes a bit of research of reputable sites, or visiting a professional hair loss clinic to be able to find it.
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.