Hair Loss FAQs

Is baldness hereditary?
Male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss are both hereditary and caused by the person inheriting hair loss genes. In men, genes can come from one or both parents and if they are passed down from either side, the man is likely to experience baldings. In women, due to their higher levels of oestrogen, if only one parent carries the gene they are unlikely to be affected. Other forms of thinning hair such as stress related hair loss are not hereditary.

Is it normal to lose hair from our early 30s?
Hair loss can happen at any age and three in ten males in their thirties are bald. In its extreme form, some males start to lose their hair at the age of sixteen and are almost entirely bald by the time they reach their early twenties. Male pattern baldness tends to develop slowly though so whilst it may start in the early 30’s, it may take 20-30 years for the man to lose all of his hair.

Read more about male pattern baldness and female pattern hair loss here.

If I go bald, am I more likely to have a heart attack?
To some extent, this is true. Studies published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2008 found that men who lose their hair at the crown have a 40% increased chance of coronary heart disease and a receding hairline points to an increased risk of 28%. So if you have male pattern baldness you should stop smoking, eat healthily, have your blood pressure checked and do regular appropriate exercise.

Is it true that stress can cause hair loss?
Yes it is. Click here for full information on stress related hair loss – which can affect men and women.

Can the way I style my hair cause hair loss?
Some hair styling can stress the hair and lead to hair loss. Damaging styles can include anything tightly done up such as a ponytail or braids or tightly winding hair around heated rollers. Also hair extensions can damage the hair if they are not applied correctly. This can cause permanent damage to the hair so it is important to choose your hair stylist carefully and ask about their level of experience.

Does vigorous brushing prevent hair loss by stimulating circulation?
This is incorrect and vigorous brushing of your hair will only damage it further so is not recommended. Hair human or otherwise is one of the strongest natural fibres in the world. However over time, as with any material, it wears out becoming brittle and breaking. Vigorous brushing will encourage hair shedding to happen faster. To improve circulation in the scalp, massage it with your fingers.

Click here to read more about the effect of brushing

Does hair “need to breathe” Will wearing hats toupees or wigs encourage hair loss? Hair does not breathe. The only part of the hair that is alive and taking oxygen, is the part that is attached to the scalp and it receives all the oxygen it needs from the blood supply. Wigs, toupees and hats can cause problems but only through being too tight and causing breakage through friction.

Does washing your hair too often increase hair loss?
Washing your hair does not increase hair loss. It is true you will notice hair in the bath or shower after washing but this is only hair that has already been shed, following its natural growth cycle. The growing part of the hair is buried under the scalp and so not affected by the act of washing.

Can heat sources, hairdryers, rollers, straighteners etc make hair fall out?
This is true. Extreme heat like that generated by all of the above will damage the proteins in the hair. They will become brittle making them making liable to break off. Add to this, the act of brushing and more damage will result. Care should be taken when using these implements as they can burn the scalp and this can permanently damage the hair follicles.

Do protein rich conditioners and shampoos nourish the hair and help it to grow?
The proteins contained within conditioners and shampoos only temporarily fill in defects on the surface of the hair shaft, making it smoother and thicker. Since these proteins do not and cannot get to the hair follicle itself, they cannot “nourish” the hair nor can they encourage its growth

By using hair dyes, perms and hairsprays, am I encouraging hair loss?
Using these products does not worsen the issue, as the effects are purely cosmetic. You are simply making the hair appear thicker and more colourful which is a good thing. Care must be taken when applying colourants or bleaching agents and professional assistance is recommended. Click here to read more about colouring.

If you have further questions, come and see us at our Central London Clinic. Call us now on on 0207 935 1935 to arrange your free appointment.