11 of The Biggest Hair Loss Myths Debunked

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From the simple and somewhat obvious to the myths that have troubled men for an age - let's take a look at some of the biggest mysteries around hair and hair loss so you can minimise your hair loss risks, once and for all.

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#1: Can Menthol Shampoo Treat Hair Loss?

Menthol shampoos, known for their calming and cooling properties, they're often used by those experiencing conditions where the scalp is uncomfortable, itchy or dandruff laden; but can shampoo with menthol aid hair loss?

While there are shampoos to prevent hair loss available, menthol centric shampoos are not one of them. While, yes, menthol on the scalp can aid hair health with its circulation-boosting properties, there's little to no proof that it'll reverse a receding hairline. Obviously, it's not going to hinder growth but there are other shampoos for hair loss that have more research behind them and active ingredients for combatting hair restoration.

So, what shampoo is good for hair loss/growth? While a shampoo isn't going to cure all problems, it can certainly help - look out for useful ingredients like DHT blockers (Minoxidil) and keratin. We've popped a couple of the better hair loss treatment shampoos below if you're still feeling a little stumped.


#2: Will Hair Grow back after Burning your Scalp?

This one's a little more difficult to give a general answer to as it can differ greatly from one case to another. While burned hair can regrow relatively quickly, making a complete recovery within a few months - burnt scalp can be a little more serious.

If the scalp burn makes its way to the hair follicle it's possible that they can incur permanent damage. Known as cicatricial alopecia or scarring alopecia; In this case, as the scar tissue will regrow over the affected area, it's unlikely that hair will regrow.

Don't loose hope, however, certain scalp burns (even those that regrow scar tissue) can still make a full recovery. Michael Jackson famously had his head burned on the set of his Pepsi commercial - completely coming back from it with a full head of hair. Your best bet? Visit a hair specialist to optimise your chances of full regrowth.

michael jackson bald patch burn my scalp burns
Jackson Burned His Patch on Pepsi Commercial Set

#3: Do Hats Cause Hair Loss?

It's no wonder that those experiencing balding can often turn to hats as a means of covering up unsightly balding patches, but could they be making things worse? Do hats cause baldness?

A common misconception, several studies have concluded that there's no link between wearing a hat and an accelerated balding. The only exception, if a hat is worn tightly on a regular basis, traction alopecia can become an issue. Traction alopecia is caused when excessive strain is placed on hair follicles, while this is mainly caused by tight pony hairstyles or braids/cornrows, tight hats can also be the culprit.

So, does wearing hats cause baldness? The short answer - no.


#4: Weight Loss & Hair Loss?

While the goal of losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle is always an admirable one, it can come with some adverse side effects for your hair. Hair loss and weight loss are intrinsically linked due to the bodies penchant for preserving valuable calories and nutrients for vital and necessary organs.

In short, weight loss and hair falling out are associated due to a condition telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium is caused by shock, stress or strain on the body and during an accelerated period of weight loss, this may trigger a reduced focus on preserving follicles in favour of other organs. How to avoid this? Hair loss when dieting isn't a certainty if done correctly. By taking the slow and steady approach and ensuring your body is getting all the required nutrients (particularly protein), the risk of hair falling out during the process is greatly reduced.

While we can't give you any surefire way to stop hair falling out if the process has already begun, you can take solace in the knowledge that it will likely grow back in time when a balanced diet has been restored.

how to stop my hair from falling out
Why Hair Falls Out

#5: Are Vegetarians And Vegans More At Risk Of Hair Loss?

While a vegetarian diet may be superior to an omnivore alternative in most departments, there's always the risk of running short on certain vitamins or minerals that are predominantly found in animal products. Besides the 12 essential amino acids the body can make itself, there are another 8 which need to be sourced from food - 2 of which (lysine and methionine) particularly pertaining to hair.

Said amino acids are typically found in meat and fish, which is why vegetarians and their hair loss concerns are perfectly justified. While it's likely that you'll be including many animal-free sources of these in your diet already, vegetarian/vegan hair loss can be avoided by consuming; pulses, legumes, brazil nuts, cheese, eggs, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli and courgette.

So, technically speaking, vegetarians and vegans do have a marginally increased risk of hair loss conditions, but these can be easily avoided by including amino acid rich foods such as those listed above.

is keratin vegan
Vegetarian Amino Acid Sources

#6: Can Dehydration Cause Hair Loss?

A relatively straightforward one, the effects of not drinking enough water can be quite profound on the human body - especially if over a long period of time. While aiding digestion, weight loss, complexion and the general running of the body, water also keeps the hair and scalp hydrated - preventing breakage.

Dehydrated hair loss is a common symptom of not drinking enough water as it causes hair to become brittle and dry, resulting in the hair snapping along the strand. Looking to avoid this? Drink your recommended daily allowance (3.7 litres for men, 2.7 for women) and you'll be fine!

water allowance daily men

#7: The Effects of Hard and Soft Water on Hair

Not something many would think about, but the effects of soft water/hard water on hair are stronger than you may initially think. Generally speaking, soft water will reach the inner layers of hair strands while hard water and hair don't mix quite as well - only rinsing the outside layer.

Hard Water Hair Loss: Hard water will dry out hair and skin, leaving it rougher, duller and generally less healthy looking. This can cause your locks to become brittle and break.

Soft Water Hair Loss: Soft water will leave hair feeling generally softer, healthier - but can cause a buildup of residue causing hair to feel a little heavier, less voluminous and generally less clean.

So, in a nutshell, does hard water cause hair loss? Yes.

shampoo for soft water soft water hair products
Does Water Make your Hair Grow

#8: Does Hair Gel cause Hair Loss?

It can certainly dry our your hair and make it appear as if it's thinning if not styled properly, but is hair gel bad for your hair? Does gel make you bald?

It's a relatively straightforward one, using hair gel, or even sleeping with hair gel, will not cause hair loss. While it's possible that other styling techniques such as blow-drying or using flat irons can result in dry, brittle hair - there's no link between using hair products and a thinning head of hair.

does gel damage hair
Does Gel Damage Hair

#9: Is an Uneven Hairline an Early Sign of Male Pattern Baldness?

While it may seem that a crooked, irregular or m shape hairline are some of the early signs of balding; this is a common misconception as there's really no such thing as a 'normal male hairline'. A balding hairline will show signs of receding around the temples or upper corners, but just because you might have an irregularly shaped hairline (where it may be higher/lower on one side than the other) doesn't necessarily mean the same.

So, how to tell if you're balding? Check out our complete guide to spotting early signs of baldness; from baldness stages to how you can slow down the process.

normal crown hair wave shape front thinning
How to Tell if you have a Receding Hairline

#10: Can Burning Scalp Syndrome Cause Hair Loss?

Burning scalp syndrome and hair loss are often paired together under the assumption that one inevitably leads to the other, and for obvious reasons. While there may be some truth behind it, in most cases the red scalp syndrome can be caused by more obvious reasons such as sunburn, allergies or a harsh shampoo.

That being said, burning scalp hair loss is something that can occur. In some cases, said tingly scalp can be caused when a large proportion of hair enters the resting cycle (telogen stage) simultaneously. This isn't the nightmare you may imagine, though. Tingly scalp and hair loss, as a result, will typically calm down itself within a few months.

Is there a burning scalp syndrome treatment? While, as we've mentioned, the hair follicles will typically relax and enter growth phase itself, if you're particularly concerned - speaking to a professional about your options is advised.

when does male pattern baldness start
Men's Burning Scalp Syndrome

#11: Can an Oily Scalp Cause Hair Loss?

While a heftier production of oil/sebum in men comes with a multitude of benefits including; slower signs of ageing, healthier looking skin and a less likely chance of experiencing severe sunburn - there's always the other side of the coin to consider.

So, what is sebum? In short, sebum is a secretion that the body produces to moisturise and protect the skin. While it's incredibly beneficial in the typical doses, overproduction of sebum on the face, or scalp sebum, in this case, can bring its own set of problems.

Excessive sebum production can cause a sebum buildup on the scalp, plugging hair follicles and disrupting the growth cycle. What is sebum buildup exactly and what causes an oily scalp? An overzealous sebaceous gland can cause a buildup around the hair shaft, sometimes preventing hair from growing through the follicles - not what we want.

With this, the association of hair loss and a sebum shiny scalp is a logical one. The link between sebum and DHT, which is the biggest perpetrator in terms of hair loss, means that a DHT buildup on the scalp can cause sebum related hair loss. Greasy hair men can, as a result, suffer from hair loss associated with sebum-rich hair.

How to avoid this? Opting for an oil-free, sebum stripping shampoo on a frequent basis can alleviate some of the issues and combat the cause of oily hair at its root. If things are getting a little too much to handle, speaking to a professional about your options is a worthy trip to make.

Why is Scalp/Hair so Oily?

On That Note

There we have it! We've gone through some of the biggest myths around men's hair loss, from the food-centric to hat wearing problems and sebum related stunted hair growth - you're now, well and truly, up to scratch on how to approach caring for the precious strands on your head.


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