Here at EuDoctor we hear lots of stories of potential lifestyle causes of balding in men. In this article we attempt to dispel some of these myths and give you some tips on what you can actually do to reduce male pattern hair loss.
1 – That balding is passed down on your mother’s side
This is one of the most common myths about balding in men. Many people look to their Mother’s Father for an indication of how their hair loss may develop. In fact, although this is a genetic problem, there is no single gene that is responsible. It is what’s referred to as a Polygenetic Trait which means that a combination of many genes make up your prospects for good hair density. In short, you can’t blame one single ancestor!
2 – Wearing a hat too much causes baldness
The theory people give for this myth is that wearing a hat suffocates your hair and starves it of oxygen, leading to hair loss. There is no basis for this in any way! Your hair grows from the follicle which is nourished from your body, it doesn’t need any oxygen from the air. On top of this, wearing a hat doesn’t stop oxygen getting to your scalp!
Our belief here at EuDoctor of where this myth originated is that men who are losing their hair may wear hats to try to hide this. This can then lead to the belief that the hat is causing further hair loss. However, we all know now that this is not the case.
3 – Men that go bald have higher testosterone levels
This is probably the only myth that may have developed from a truth. It is well understood that an increased sensitivity of your hair follicles to testosterone can lead to male pattern balding. However, studies have shown that men have no difference in their testosterone levels whether they are experiencing hair loss or not. It is only the increased sensitivity to testosterone that is the problem, not an increase in testosterone levels. This increased sensitivity is where our Finasteride and Propecia treatments come in as they act to block testosterone from getting to the hair follicle.
4 – Stress causes men to go bald
This is possibly the most surprising myth for people to hear as everyone has heard that stress causes hair loss. This is partly true which has encouraged the myth to last so long. Allow us to clear this up. Stress can cause hair loss, but this presents as a condition known as Telogen Effluvium which causes your hair follicles to remain in their resting phase for longer than normal. As a result, people with this condition experience hair shedding, often in patches and it can come on very suddenly. It is also often a temporary condition. With male pattern baldness it develops over time in a specific pattern and this type of hair loss is not caused by stress but by a genetic sensitivity to natural testosterone in your body.
5 – Hair products can cause balding
Our team at EuDoctor hear people claim that they worry their hair products cause hair loss by blocking hair follicles and therefore impeding growth. There is no evidence that hair products such as gels, waxes or hair sprays have any impact on your hair falling out. In fact cosmetic products have to be signed off as being safe for use by a suitably qualified person so you can rest assured they don’t cause balding.
The main point to consider is that your hair grows from within and the most important thing you can do is to give your body what it needs to grow a healthy head of hair. Here are some tips to do that.
1 – Improve your diet
If you have an unhealthy diet then you aren’t looking after yourself. A well balanced meal plan with lots of fruit and vegetables alongside healthy sources of carbohydrates, proteins and fats is one of the best things you can do for your body and your hair is no different. An unhealthy or restricted diet means you’re more likely to be deficient in what your body needs to grow healthy hair.
2 – Stopping smoking
There are several studies, including one published in the British Medical Journal that show a strong link between smoking and an acceleration of balding in men. It is believed that toxins in cigarette smoke can damage hair follicles and this leads to premature hair loss. If this isn’t enough of a reason to stop smoking, there is an equally strong link between smoking and early greying of hair.
3 – Supplements
There is growing evidence that a lack of vitamin D can be a factor in male pattern baldness and many experts in this field recommend taking a vitamin D supplement of 1000units per day. This equates to 25micrograms. Vitamin D plays a key role in stimulating your hair follicles and so if you don’t have enough it could lead to reduced new hair growth.