Why Is My Hair Falling Out?

There are as many myths surrounding hair growth as there are hair loss. The following are some of the most popular:

  • Brushing hair 100 strokes per day will improve circulation to the scalp and thereby cause hair to grow.This statement is only partially true. Until recently, hair experts discouraged women from brushing their hair. Now, it's believed that brushing hair with a natural boar bristle brush will improve the health of both scalp and hair - but 100 strokes isn't necessary. However, if hair is brushed when wet or with the wrong type of brush, it may actually damage the scalp and lead to hair loss.
  • Pulling or combing hair frequently will make hair grow faster. Both of these activities can damage hair if done when the hair is wet. If done when the hair is dry, pulling or combing hair gently can help circulation to the scalp.
  • Shaving all hair from your head will encourage hair to grow back thicker and healthier.Hair thickness and health is determined by genetics and nutrition, not whether you shave your head completely.
  • Trimming your hair frequently will encourage it to grow.For the same reason the previous statement is not true. Hair itself is a "dead" substance and its growth is determined by other factors.
  • Hanging upside down will improve circulation to the scalp and increase hair growth.Standing on one's head or hanging upside down may temporarily improve circulation to the scalp, but it will not increase hair growth. Improving circulation to your scalp does help maintain and improve its health but that can be more easily accomplished by brushing your hair with a natural bristle brush.
  • A hat with magnets in it will improve hair growth.Magnetic fields close to the scalp will do nothing to increase the number of hair follicles or how fast hair grows - those factors are determined at birth.
  • Sleeping with your long hair loose (versus in a plait) at night will encourage hair growth.Not true and, in fact, may be detrimental to your facial skin as oils from your hair will come in contact with your face throughout the night.
  • Long hair can put a strain on roots and cause hair loss.Just not true.
  • Shampooing too much can accelerate hair loss.Shampooing too often can lead to damaged hair but will not increase hair loss.
  • Coloring and perming hair can cause hair loss.This statement in and of itself is not true if the treatments are done properly. Only in instances of very severe chemical processing will the hair be damaged down to the root thereby causing true hair loss. However, over-processing hair with excessive bleaching, aggressive brushing, perming, dyeing, straightening and even blow drying can severely damage hair over time, leading to breakage that may appear to be hair loss.
  • Wearing hats too much can cause hair loss.This is not true for hats or wigs. Hats are actually advised in the summer to protect your hair and scalp from the sun. Wearing a hat that is tight also will not cause hair loss, or, per another myth, hair growth.
  • Dandruff can cause permanent hair loss.False. While unsightly, dandruff is simply a sign that your scalp is irritated. While you should determine why it is occurring and work to correct the situation, dandruff itself does not cause hair loss.

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