Male pattern baldness affects two-thirds of men by the age of 35 — though it can begin much earlier than that for some guys. It’s an extremely common thing, but it can nonetheless cause a lot of concern.
If you do experience male pattern baldness at some point in your life, we wouldn’t blame you for doing lots of online research to find out more about the condition.
But be warned, you’ll probably come across a lot of myths and misconceptions around hair loss, from its causes to its cures, and most of these have very little truth to them whatsoever.
We’ve taken a closer look at the most popular myths about hair loss below. There are ones that you might have heard of, old classics that get re-told time and time again, and ones that you might have missed. Some are weird, some are funny, but all are more or less false.
We can confirm: shampooing does not cause hair loss. It’s perfectly normal to shed a few hairs when you’re washing your hair; the average guy will lose roughly 50-100 strands of hair a day.
If you are noticing anything unusual after washing your hair, it might be because you are allergic to an ingredient in your shampoo.
It’s best to choose a shampoo that works for your type of hair and does not cause irritation and dandruff.
If you are prone to the occasional outbreak of dandruff, our Clinicians recommend using a shampoo that contains ketoconazole (e.g. Nizoral) 2-3 times per week.
Unlike many other things about your body, male pattern baldness knows no age. Hair loss can actually occur at a young or older age, and how long the balding process takes depends on lots of different factors for different people.
Research from the American Hair Loss Association has found that two-thirds of men will experience some degree of hair loss by the age of thirty five, and 85% of men experience significant thinning by age fifty.
Despite the common myth, we can confirm that no: prolonged exposure to sunshine will not make your hair fall out.
We’d still recommend using SPF for your skin, of course, but the sun won’t cause you to go bald.
Higher levels of testosterone are often blamed for hair loss, but this isn’t true at all. Male pattern baldness, the most common form of hair loss, is caused by levels of a growth hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, which affects your hair follicles. So fear not, testosterone is not the enemy!
This one is a bit more complex. Yes, poor circulation is involved in the process of hair loss, however circulation is not the cause — it’s the result.
Hair needs good circulation in the scalp to grow, but as male pattern baldness begins, circulation declines.
The truth is that blow-drying can actually burn or damage your hair if you’re not careful, but it will start growing back immediately afterwards.
Rest assured, blow-drying your hair will not cause permanent hair loss.
This one has a complex answer, because yes, trauma and increased anxiety can contribute to hair loss temporarily, but they have no effect whatsoever on whether or not you develop male pattern baldness, so it’s a no for this myth too.
As with your favourite shampoo, many people have their pitchforks out for hair products like gels and wax, claiming they can cause hair loss.
Rest assured, whatever products you use to style your hair are not going to cause male pattern baldness.
Does masturbation cause hair loss? Absolutely not: have your fun.
We can understand why this would seem like a good treatment for hair loss. After all, vitamins are great for lots of things, but unfortunately, male pattern baldness isn’t one of them.
If you’re deficient in a particular vitamin, then by all means please make sure you find a way to take this.
But please don’t start taking lots of vitamins in the hope it will stop your hair loss – too much vitamin E might actually make it worse.
As you can see, there is a lot of false information out there about causes and cures when it comes to male pattern baldness.
At the end of the day, the truth is the only way you can be sure you’re choosing the right path is by speaking to a medical professional.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment or medication.