With so many fallacies surrounding balding and hair transplants, it can be confusing to cut through the clutter to the facts. In an effort to dispel some of those myths and clarify the facts, here are some of the most commonly misunderstood stories.
Balding Facts & Fiction
Overexposure to the Sun Causes Hair Loss
False yet somewhat True
Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause skin problems like accelerated aging and cancer, but it will not interrupt hair follicle function. However, overexposure of hair fibers to UV radiation can in fact weaken them, 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. 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. Balding 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.
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 can result in complete baldness.
There’s No Cure for Baldness
While there is no “miracle cure” there is ample evidence of the long-term effectiveness of hair transplants.
Higher Testosterone is 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. If you’re male and you take testosterone, it could accelerate the hair loss process.
Hair Loss Comes from Only Mother’s Side
There are approximately 200 genes that regulate hair and hair growth. 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 might help hair follicles grow thicker and healthier, but once the follicle is dead and gone, the only option for regrowth is a hair transplant.
Hair Transplant Facts & Fiction
Transplants Work Best in Young Men
One persistent myth about hair transplant surgery is that the sooner a patient has it done, the better. While no one wants to live with thinning hair or areas of baldness, in most cases, it’s better to wait until hair loss has progressed to a sufficient amount.
If the transplant is performed too soon, hair loss can continue, and because the hair loss continues and the donor supply runs low, there may be an unnatural appearance due to areas of further hair loss. Having the surgery performed at a young age could mean that you’ll need additional surgery later on, as hair loss continues
The Results of the Transplant Will Be Obvious
Ideally, the results from a hair restoration procedure will be natural looking and subtle. The methods most commonly used by surgeons today are meant to create a natural look. Follicular unit extraction (FUE) is the most widely used and successful procedure. The major benefit of a FUE transplant is there is no linear donor site scar.
Transplanted Hair Needs Tender Care
A major benefit of hair restoration surgery is that once the transplanted hair starts growing, you can do with it whatever you want.
You’re able to use your preferred shampoo on the hair. You can cut the hair, style it with gel or mousse, or even dye the hair if you wish. Transplanted hair is not more delicate than the hair that was growing there in the first place.
Transplants Can’t Help Women
Both men and women can benefit from hair transplant surgery, although it’s important to understand that hair loss tends to affect women differently than it does men. It is true that women have a smaller supply of donor hairs than men. But, the surgery can effectively treat female pattern baldness. If the hair loss is caused by a condition or by a medication, in some cases the best treatment is to stop the medication or wait for the condition to clear.
The Transplanted Hair Will Eventually Fall Out
It’s true that the transplanted hair will fall out a few weeks after the surgery. But, once the hair starts growing back, it will be a permanent part of your scalp. In most cases, the transplanted hair will start growing back in after about four months. From there, most people can expect the hair to grow about 1/2 inch per month.
While men may lose the hair on the top of their head, hair on the sides and back of the scalp isn’t affected by male pattern baldness. Hair from the sides and back is permanent, and when it is transplanted to a new area, it becomes a permanent part of that area, too.
Hair Transplant Surgery Means You Can Get Someone Else’s Hair
Only hair from your own body can be transplanted. If a surgeon tried to transplant hair from another person, your body would reject the foreign hair.
Hair Transplant Surgery Can Boost Your Self-Esteem and Give You Great Hair for Life
A hair transplant is the only proven way to provide new hair growth permanently and is a safe, minimally-invasive procedure. Thousands of men and women are testament to the life-changing benefits of a hair transplant.
Learning the facts about hair restoration can help you make a decision about whether the procedure is right for you. The key is to know and trust your hair transplant surgeon and his/her team of experts.