Hair Myth Busting – Do These Things Cause Hair Loss?
When it comes to hair loss there is a lot of misinformation floating around. Yes, there are very real, scientific causes of hair loss, but there are also things that people claim can cause hair loss that typically do not on their own.
The main cause of hair loss in most people can be tied to genetics and aging. The genetics of both your mother and your father will play a role in your hair loss, so if someone tells you that if your mother is losing her hair, or your mother’s father (your grandfather) is bald then you are doomed for baldsville, don’t believe everything they say.
While you are more predisposed to having hair loss if one of your parents is affected, you’re not more likely to lose your hair if one or the other parent has thinning hair. In other words, you can’t blame everything on mom. Hair loss genetics are not that straight forward and not all mom’s fault.
Aging and hormone levels in your body also play a large role in the hair loss process. A decrease in certain hormones as you get older can increase the likelihood of hair loss, but sometimes the fluctuation in hormone levels can also be attributed to environmental factors as well. This is why it’s always important to talk with your doctor about your hair loss before attempting any self-treatments or medications designed to help with hair loss.
Treating the underlying cause may help your hair regain its fullness depending on what the actual cause of your hair loss is.
Do These Things Cause Hair Loss?
There has obviously been a lot of talk about vaccines lately as we’re still going through the COVID-19 pandemic, and a lot of people are worried about possible side effects from these shots.
So, can vaccines cause hair loss? The answer is ‘No’, not based on any scientific findings at this time.
There has been some discussion as to whether the COVID-19 vaccine cause or exacerbate Alopecia Areata in those that already have the condition (an autoimmune type of hair loss). However, the findings did not prove to be of concern to the general public, or even those that already suffer from Alopecia Areata.
Hair loss can sometimes be seen in people suffering from COVID-19 and has even been added to the list of ailments affecting people with long-COVID, but in regards to the COVID vaccines, or any other vaccine commonly used around the world, hair loss is not one of the side effects seen in most cases.
As more and more states begin to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, some people have started to worry that this could be causing their hair loss.
The consensus amongst the scientific community is that marijuana use alone is not going to cause hair loss, but the habits that come along with the use of marijuana could.
Marijuana use sometimes leads people to experience cravings for more unhealthy food, which can cause imbalances in your nutritional intake, which in turn could cause issues with your hair follicles. There have also been links found between smoking and hair loss, and while not necessarily from smoking marijuana, you should look for smoking alternatives if you’re truly trying to avoid anything that could have the slightest possibility of causing hair loss.
And while there is an old study that claims to show a link between THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) and the slowing of hair growth, it does not show a direct link between THC and hair loss. Marijuana is well known to interfere with the hormone regulations that start in our brain (hypothalamus and pituitary gland) and send signals down to the gonads (testes). So, while there is date regarding changes to the testosterone/estrogen ratios in men that could lead to infertility and gynecomastia (man-boobs), it is not currently associated with hair loss.
Stress is good and bad for the human body. Our muscles get bigger and stronger when they are exposed to lifting weights; that’s one kind of good stress. But chronic physical and emotional stress can cause a number of ailments and issues when left unchecked, and hair loss is one of these conditions.
Stress has been known to be a cause of hair loss for a while now, but it wasn’t until recently that scientists figured out how stress is affecting the cells that control hair loss. We know that cortisol levels go up when humans are under stress but we researchers found that this stress hormone was not regulating stem cells of hair directly. Instead, cortisol acts on a cluster of cells underneath the hair follicle called the dermal papilla (the root of the hair). Through other molecules, this prevented activation of the hair stem cells which essentially stops the hair from growing.
Thankfully, stress is one of those outside forces that can be managed and if managed properly can allow for your hair to regain its fullness over time.
If you suffer from chronic stress and can tell that it is affecting your body, there are many ways you can seek treatment and help to get it under control- think yoga, meditation, prayer, or exercise. Getting your stress under control will help alleviate many different aspects of your health and will make you feel better overall.
Can hair dye be causing your hair to fall out?
Because hair dye does not penetrate the scalp and affect the hair follicle directly, it cannot cause your hair to fall out just from using it.
However, hair dye can cause your hair to become unhealthy and can cause breakage of the hair shafts, which can make it appear as though you are losing your hair.
Thankfully, since it’s not affecting the actual hair follicles, your hair will grow back after you’ve refrained from dying your hair for a while and given the new hair time to grow in healthier.
It’s one of those topics that nobody wants to talk about, but everyone has questions about. So can masturbation cause you to lose your hair? (this question is so popular we wrote an entire blog on it before!)
Enjoy yourself as much as you’d like, masturbation in both males and females has no impact on hair loss whatsoever. This is just another one of those old wives’ tales, like the one about going blind, that are associated with chronic masturbation to try and scare people into refraining from the act.
Hair Loss Myths
Hair loss is something that nobody wants to have to go through, but sometimes it’s completely out of your control.
When people start to notice their hair thinning it’s a hard thing to take. Many don’t want to believe that it’s happening, or they don’t want to believe they are getting older. But in most cases, without an obvious explanation, it is most likely caused by genetics and aging.
If you think that you’re suffering from hair loss and believe it to be from an outside source, it’s important to consult with your doctor before making any lifestyle changes or taking any medication.
Contact us today to setup a consultation to discuss hair loss and treatment plans.