If you are noticeably losing your hair, the last thing you want to hear is a bunch of people’s opinions on why you are suffering through this hair loss catastrophe. It seems like everyone and their brother wants to impart some “advice” on why more and more of your hair keeps on washing down the drain. As the person afflicted with this miserable situation, it can be tough to just grin and bear it. Here are five myths that you are bound to hear as your hairline recedes and the thinning on top gets more and more apparent to those around you.
Myth 1: The Dreaded Baseball Cap
Which came first: the baldness or the baseball cap? That is the question that needs to be answered in order to put this myth to bed. This fallacy about wearing baseball caps causing hair loss is perhaps the biggest myth about balding. This would mean that all baseball players would be walking around hairless since they spend years of their lives wearing baseball caps.
This rumor probably emerged back in the day when mothers were always telling their sons to remove their baseball caps while indoors. As a way to get their child to take off their hat, the mother would threaten them with the completely fabricated story about how wearing a cap too often will lead to all of your hair falling out. Mothers often make up many lies over the years to ensure they get their way.
The truth is that bald men start wearing their baseball caps frequently to cover up their hair loss. Every bald guy seems to have a collection of caps to choose from. Whether it is to camouflage the amount of hair they are losing or in an effort to control their internal temperature a bit better (most of your body heat escapes through your head and it happens much quicker when there is no hair up there to insulate you), a bald guy and a baseball cap go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Myth 2: Everyone Loses Their Hair as They Age
There is no set age where men can expect to lose their hair. Most of the time, it is entirely based on your DNA. Some men start losing their hair when they are still teenagers. The American Hair Loss Association (yes, there is such a thing) says that almost 25 percent of men notice the first signs of hair loss before age twenty-one. Fifty percent of men will have noticeable hair loss by the time they hit the half-century mark. Others (the lucky ones) hold on to their hair well into their seventies and eighties.
Not everyone experiences hair loss at the same age. In fact, as a way to prove the point, if you think back, you can probably remember a pair of brothers that are close in age, one of whom has a full head of hair and the other almost entirely bald. Age had nothing to do with it. The one with the full head of thick hair might have signed a pact with the devil, though.
Myth 3: All the Goop You Put in Your Hair Is Making It Fall Out
You may have been told that if you use a lot of product in your hair, you are causing it to fall out. The only way this would happen is if you sprayed your hair with so much hairspray that it became stiff and then tried brushing through it. You might end up pulling some of it out when trying to get through that cemented hair.
If all that extra goop made peoples’ hair fall out, then everyone that lived through the 1980s would be completely bald by now. The ozone was under attack back then by men and women alike simply from all of that aerosol hairspray being used. Every man that was ever in an 80s hair band would not have two hairs to rub together anymore if hair products made your follicles cry mercy. This is another myth that needs to be put to rest.
Myth 4: Those with High Testosterone Will Experience Hair Loss
DHT (dihydrotestosterone) is an androgen that provides men with their male characteristics. Not to get too much into the science of it all, but the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase (5-AR) takes the testosterone in your body and converts generally 10 percent of it to DHT. It is a bit strange to think of, the idea that DHT is responsible for hair growing everywhere on your body but that it can also put an end to the hair growing on top of your head. Seems a bit cruel, doesn’t it? It will make your back hair grow like crazy, but it will shut down the hair on your head. (However, there are many methods for blocking DHT).
In theory, it makes perfect sense that high testosterone would then lead to a man experiencing higher levels of DHT, thus making them lose their hair quicker. But not all men have the same levels of DHT in their bodies. As stated up above, on average 10 percent of testosterone is converted to DHT, but there are men that may only have 1 percent convert to DHT. On the other hand, there are men that may have 30 percent convert to DHT.
All of us are different. If high testosterone was guaranteed to promote hair loss, all of those men that have been getting extra testosterone through anabolic steroids would be completely bald. However, just look at Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno now in their early seventies and late sixties. They still have a very good amount of hair on top of their heads.
Myth 5: Blame Your Mom’s Father
There is not one person on your family tree to blame for your hair loss. Many people will repeat the myth that it is your mother’s father that will determine whether you have hair or not. That’s not true. You never know where the gene is going to come from. It could come from your father, mother, grandfather, great grandfather, or even someone further down the line. The truth of the matter is, if you look at your family tree and all the men are bald, then the grim reaper of hair will eventually be knocking on your door. However, if a couple of the men still have hair, you maintain a fighting chance.