LifestyleDebunking myths about hair loss. Diet, medication and daily care matters

Debunking myths about hair loss. Diet, medication and daily care matters

Many people repeat erroneous theories about the causes of hair loss.
Many people repeat erroneous theories about the causes of hair loss.
Images source: © Adobe Stock | Pawel Jadczak
11:03 AM EST, January 18, 2024

Beautiful, shiny and robust hair is a common desire for many. Excessive hair loss is usually a significant concern. Thinning hair can create complex emotions in both women and men. Despite the growing knowledge about hair care, there are myths that are not only untrue but can even be harmful.

"We often encounter many misconceptions about hair loss at the Institute of Trichology from people visiting our facility seeking a trichological consultation. Therefore, educating people about proper hair care and health is exceedingly important," says Anna Mackojć from the Institute of Trichology.

Let's debunk some persistent myths about hair loss.

Myth: Diet doesn't impact hair loss

This myth is false and oftentimes contributes to hair weakening and loss. The diet we follow significantly impacts the state of our hair. Nutrient deficiencies and lack of key nutrients can negatively affect the appearance and health of hair. Specifically, elements such as zinc, iron, copper, sulfur, and vitamins A, E, C and B, as well as unsaturated fatty acids and proteins, are crucial for hair health.

Diets embarked on without consultation with a dietitian can be particularly harmful for our hair. Consuming less food often means a decreased intake of essential nutrients, which can slow hair growth or even trigger premature entry into the hair-shedding telogen phase.

Myth: Medications do not cause hair loss

This is another false belief. Many factors can cause hair loss, ranging from external influences to internal health issues. Drug-induced hair loss, also known as post-treatment hair loss, may occur during the treatment of certain diseases. Fortunately, this type of hair loss is usually reversible.

Myth: Frequent hair washing causes hair loss

Contrary to this myth, we should wash our hair and scalp as often as needed. Moreover, the frequency of hair washing bears no relation to hair loss. However, it's important to choose a shampoo that caters to the needs of your scalp and hair type.

Shampoos play a key role in daily hair care. They remove dirt, leftovers of styling products, dust, and excess oil. Using an unsuitable shampoo can harm our hair, causing it to weaken, lose elasticity, or become greasy quickly.

Myth: Men suffer from hair loss more than women

Hair loss is a common issue among both men and women. The prevalence of this problem is similar in both genders, but their responses often differ. Men experiencing significant hair loss often choose to cut their hair short or shave it entirely. Women, on the other hand, often resort to hair extensions or wigs to mask thinning hair or baldness.

Still, excessive hair loss causing noticeable changes in appearance can be extremely distressing for many people, regardless of gender. A study conducted by the Institute of Trichology found hair problems to be a significant mood dampener for as many as 84% of the participants.

When to be concerned about hair loss

An average healthy adult loses roughly 50-100 hair strands each day, which is a typical physiological process. However, if the hair loss becomes drastic, it should be taken as an alarm to consult a specialist immediately.

It's crucial to bear in mind that hair health can be both an aesthetic and a health issue. Hence, deteriorating hair condition can indicate underlying health problems that need diagnosis.

Related content