Last month, The Daily Beast spoken to dermatologists to access the smooth, shiny bottom of male pattern baldness, which affects tens of millions of Americans. But it’s far from the only condition that makes people lose hair by the handful. Dr. Shani Francis, a dermatologist specializing in hairloss, has noticed every theory in the book.
She knows firsthand that some are true: at age nine, she lost more than three-quarters of her own hair to a severe chemical relaxer. “I had been pretty traumatized,” she said. With help from Dr. Francis and other experts, we’ll bust even more hair loss myths-this time about behaviors or environmental stressors that may be contributing to hair thinning. Some medications, like cancers treatments and high blood circulation pressure meds, list hair thinning as a side-effect. Extreme emotional problems can result in telogen effluvium.
And there’s some proof that stress can exacerbate other types of hair loss, like the autoimmune disease alopecia areata, in which hair falls out in patches. But in usually healthy people, day-to-day annoyances are unlikely to lead to hair loss, relating to Dr. Francis. “To access that level of stress that causes TE, it would have to be severe, like loss of someone you care about or financial difficulty,” she said. Research suggests that UV rays from sunlight can damage nice hair, degrading the protein that define the strands.
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But for the most part, Dr. Francis says, the damage is limited to the hair shaft, not the follicle accountable for growing new locks. That said, you’ll want to protect your head from sunburn still; the resulting inflammation could hurt your follicles, too. Dr. Paradi Mirmirani, a hair disorders specialist, often areas questions from patients about whether covering their thinning hair with a hat or wig will aggravate the problem. Dr. Mirmirani says headgear fanatics about have nothing at all to worry, comparing locks to a blossom to demonstrate her point: “if you’re covering the bloom it doesn’t have an effect on the root,” she said.
Both Dr. Dr and Mirmirani. Francis said that low blood iron can affect hair health, particularly if patients have heavy periods. There’s also some extensive research linking insufficient levels of Vitamin D to hair loss, but its role in hair regrowth isn’t clear yet. A handful of studies have appeared for associations between locks and smoking health, however the jury continues to be out. Regardless, Dr. Francis argues, it certainly isn’t helping. “Smoking tobacco deteriorates the microcirculation and we see overall diminished skin health significantly,” she said.
We’ve already established that super-tight hairstyles, worn day after day, can result in a type of hair loss called traction force alopecia. But certain products used to create textured locks, like relaxers or other chemical straighteners, can also do serious harm. Dr. Francis explained these products break the bonds that give textured locks both its curl power and pattern; the treated hair is weaker plus much more susceptible to breakage, especially near to the scalp. Thankfully, as as the follicles are intact long, the damaged locks can back again develop.