A recent research study, published in Journal of Clinical Investigation, busted several common male baldness myths. In the study, Androgenetic Alopecia (APA) (common baldness) is attributed to a decrease in hair follicle size, which may be linked to loss of progenitor cells.
In simple language, the hair producing cells do not mature to their desired state of functioning. With the truth known, perhaps researchers can define a treatment to restore the malfunctioning progenitor cells.
What the study on Androgenetic Alopecia does prove is that several male baldness myths are, are just that – myths.
Male Baldness Myth #1 – Hair Loss from Mother
Many men fall into this trap. They believe they are losing their hair because they inherited it from their mother’s genes.
While there exists a semi-truth to this it’s not totally factual. The primary baldness gene is on the X chromosome, which men inherit from their mothers. However, proven research says men are more likely to become bald when they have a bald father!
Male Baldness Myth #2 – Wearing a Hat
We’ve all heard this one. Wearing a hat will make you bald. Happily, not true.
It is a good idea to frequently rotate your hat/cap and keep them sanitary to prevent scalp infection.
Male Baldness Myth #3 – Don’t Use Gels or Sprays
Hair products, such as shampoos, gels or sprays, will not cause baldness. However, when men “tease” their hair or use curling irons, the balding process will speed up.
Male Baldness Myth #4- Stay out of the Sun
Neither exposure to natural sunlight or tanning beds encourage balding.
Male Baldness Myth #5 – Only Old Men are Bald
This may be the funniest myth of all! Some men start balding in their 20’s, proving hair loss does not discriminate against age. Sadly, the younger a man loses his hair, the more severe hair loss he may expect.
Male Baldness Myth #6 – Sexually Active Males
This is one of the most popular, but untrue myths about balding. Research substantiates that bald men do not have more testosterone than males with a thick head of hair.
What about Trauma?
Stress can accelerate the balding process in men. However, any hair lost due to physical or emotional stress will grow back, unless the male is already balding.
Rapid Weight Shifts
When pounds are gained or lost at a rapid pace, balding can heighten.
Does Hair Loss Therapy Work?
Neil Sadick, Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Well Cornell Medical College advocates that Propecia is an important advance in hair loss therapy. Propecia is by prescription only and reduces hormone levels, which shrink hair follicles.
This drug apparently works best in younger males in the beginning of hair-loss stage. Approximately 1/3 of men taking Propecia will evidence some regrowth of hair. Men should be aware of the side effects. One major side effect is loss of sex drive.
Male Baldness Myths Busted
Bottom line – there is no cure for male baldness yet. But with some of the common myths busted about male baldness, perhaps men will worry less and quit spending money on hair loss products that don’t work.
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Sources: February, 2011 Journal of Clinical Investigation Article in “The News Herald” about baldness myths