A Couple of Myths About Hair Loss

Mental Stress & Physical Trauma

Do Not Cause Hair Loss

One common, although mistaken, belief is that hair loss can be caused by physical trauma or mental stress, including anguish or fear. Patients have told us that they didn’t start to lose hair until their daughter started dating or they began feeling the pressure of debts and finances or they were going through a nasty divorce. All of these situations, as well as stress, can speed up hair loss, but they are not the actual root cause.

From a psychological standpoint, what these people believe has caused their hair loss is actually a delayed reaction to a process that had already begun. In other words, their hair began to thin before the accident or before their daughter started dating. Only afterwards, in a state of heightened awareness from the trauma or stress, did these people start to focus on their thinning hair—and this is a typical psychological reaction.

A Couple of Myths About Hair Loss

The Faulty Freeway System

Another common myth about hair loss is referred to as the “faulty freeway system” and is actually still taught in some barber and beauty schools. This theory is based on the idea that less blood flow is going to the very top of the head compared to the lower areas of the scalp. Because of this possible “flaw” in our circulatory system—the so-called faulty freeway system—our hair follicles are deprived of necessary nutrients, allowing “toxins” to gather instead. This causes our hair to starve and fall out. This theory goes even further, suggesting that wearing a hat or headgear will restrict circulation to your head and make the already decreased blood flow even worse. Ultimately, this would lead to hair loss.

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A Couple of Myths About Hair Loss

Hair Loss

The blood supply to our scalp is provided by different branches of our left and right carotid arteries that extend upward from our heart and then curve around the ears, continuing to the very top of our head. Therefore, if our circulatory system determined baldness, it would only make sense that all men and women would begin to bald in a center line starting at the top of the head, running to the frontal hairline, and gradually widening toward our ears.

Obviously, this is not the case. On the contrary, the earliest sign of common baldness in the majority of men is the thinning of the hair in the temporal areas. This forms the familiar receding hairline. However, this area actually has a greater blood supply than the very top of the head. So this puts an end to that theory.

There are also other facts that put the kibosh on this proposed connection between our circulatory system and hair loss. For example, when we approach middle age—40 to 50 years old—we tend to develop unwanted hair growth in our eyebrows, ears, and nose. So how could the circulatory system be responsible for this phenomenon?

Come see us at the Toronto Hair Transplant Clinic for the truths about hair loss.

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