If have the suspicion that you are going bald, you probably want to know just what exactly is “happening under the hood.” Unfortunately, there is a sea of rumors that attempt to get to the “root” of the problem. After all, the great Hippocrates, father of modern medicine, thought that baldness could be cured by a mixture containing horseradish and pigeon droppings. The desire to have a simple solution within our control is understandable.

Myth Hair thinning comes from the mother’s side of the family.

Reality Scientific research has proven that the genes for hair loss can come from either or both sides of the family.

The best indicator you have is your immediate family. Look around—are your parents, sibling, aunts & uncles losing their hair? If so, you may also be at risk.

Myth Hereditary hair loss only affects men

Reality Women also suffer from hereditary hair loss — nearly 30 million women in the U.S. alone. Often termed fine or thin, women’s hair goes though the same thinning process that men experience. However, women generally experience diffuse thinning starting just behind the hairline to the top or over the entire head, while men usually experience typical “male pattern baldness” – crown (or vertex) balding and/or a receding frontal hairline. Women usually experience little or no recession of the frontal hairline.

Myth Women only lose their hair post pregnancy or during menopause.

Reality Although many women experience an increase in shedding after giving birth and around menopause, women can start experiencing the signs of heredity hair thinning as early as their 20’s. The signs are similar to men’s hair thinning – more hair loss on the pillow, in the drain, or on the hairbrush. However, instead of losing hair in the crown and hairline, women tend to experience a diffuse thinning that starts on the top of the head and can spread over the entire scalp.

Myth Stress makes your hair fall out.

Reality Stress affects the body in many ways; it is important not to underestimate the power of stress.
However, usually it takes severe, traumatic stress (like that related to a severe psychological or physical experience—a natural disaster, death in the family or crash dieting) to cause hair loss. Some diseases of the hair and scalp that cause patchy hair loss, like alopecia areata, can be precipitated or aggravated by bouts of stress. Mild stress usually doesn’t cause hair loss—in fact, usually the opposite is true!

Myth Cutting my hair makes it grow faster.

Reality Your follicles are not affected by haircuts. Hair grows at a steady rate of about _” per month, with only slight seasonal variation.

Myth If you’ve got hair past age 40, you’ll keep it.

Reality Shrinking follicles and hair loss is a normal part of the body’s aging process. Just like the skin wrinkles as you age, your follicles will shrink, making your hair seem thinner. How much you lose depends on your genes.