Can frequent washing and shampooing cause hair loss? Can biotin indeed promote hair growth?

Hair loss is a much more systemic problem than we think, depending on our body condition, hormone changes, dietary choices and deficiencies, disease burden or sensitivity to certain external stimuli. One of the most common dermatological conditions, it can happen to anyone. Alopecia or hair loss is a form of hair loss that can occur anywhere in the human body, the most common area being the head in both men and women. There is a lot of false information about this condition that has caused confusion among everyone. Losing 50-100 hair strands per day is normal as new hair replaces that loss. If it doesn’t, it can be defined as hair loss or alopecia.

However, there are many misconceptions about hair loss, especially the misconceptions circulating on social media. It is important to separate the truth from such myths. So here’s exposing some of them.

1) All hair loss is permanent.
This is not true because there are two types of hair loss or alopecia, scarred and unscarred. Scarring alopecia, also called cicatricial alopecia, is a form of hair loss caused by the destruction of your hair follicles (shafts on the surface of your skin through which hair grows). It is usually the result of infections, chemicals, burns, or autoimmune conditions. The damage to the follicle is irreversible. Unless medical intervention is taken before the hair follicle is completely damaged, the hair loss is permanent. With alopecia without scarring, there is a possibility of retrieving the hair follicle. It is temporary, usually caused by hormonal changes, eating disorders or pregnancy.

2) Stress causes your hair loss.
Stress is not the only reason. There are extreme weather conditions that cause damage to your mane, prolonged illness and medication, or hormone fluctuations. Hair usually grows quickly, at 2 cm per month, which is why a pause button in the follicle slows growth and prevents hair from regenerating as quickly. And even if stress is a big part of your life, the resulting hair loss is temporary. So no stress there.

3) Only older people suffer from baldness.

This is not true. Baldness is multifactorial ranging from genetics to diseased conditions, localized infection, medication side effects, and so on. You can change the condition with medication if you can report the signs and symptoms early. If you have a family history of hair loss, you are also prone to it and may see the first signs of thinning hair quite early, even in your twenties.

4) Hair loss is essentially a male problem.
No, it also affects women, although it is more common in men. According to the American Hair Loss Association, DHT is an androgen (hormone) that plays a role in the development of male sexual characteristics, including body hair, but high levels of it can also lead to hair loss. Based on your genetic makeup, your hair follicles may be more or less sensitive to hormone levels.

Women lose hair after menopause or due to thyroid imbalances. However, women experience hair loss differently, their hair usually thinning uniformly across the scalp, unlike men, who start losing hair from the top of the head or crown. The manifestation of loss is usually frontal, while the hair on the back remains quite consistently thick.

5) Washing and shampooing your hair too often can cause hair loss.
Again, this theory doesn’t hold water. How often you wash and shampoo your hair has no effect on hair growth or loss. While showering you may be startled by the tufts of loose hair falling out, but that would have fallen out during combing or if your hair was dry too. The scalp should be cleaned and those who sweat more should keep the scalp clean. Of course, excessive use of shampoo damages the pH level of the scalp. Most men usually rinse their heads with cold water during their daily showers and can use shampoo twice a week. Again, cold water helps with better blood circulation, preventing frizz and tightening the cuticle, but it cannot stop hair loss.

6) Taking vitamins promotes hair growth.
This stems from a fundamental mistake people make in assuming that hair is alive like all body parts. Hair is made up of dead tissue, so taking vitamins or rubbing a vitamin-filled lotion on your head will not affect hair growth in any way. The use of biotin for hair growth is overhyped. Consuming foods rich in healthy vitamins and minerals is enough to keep hair healthy and nourish follicles, you don’t actually need any supplements. The best natural sources of biotin are meat, eggs, fish, seeds, nuts and vegetables.

7) Getting your hair cut often will make it grow back thicker and faster
A haircut is for personal convenience and manageability only. It has nothing to do with how fast or thick your hair grows. Hair is a non-viable tissue that grows steadily.

8) Direct sunlight on the head eventually causes hair loss.

Direct sunlight can be harmful to your skin, but it does not cause hair loss because the rays cannot penetrate the scalp and affect your hair follicles.

9) Massaging your scalp or rubbing your nails together results in faster hair growth.

If you don’t want to further damage your hair, stay away from this practice.

10) Hair care products can prevent hair loss.

All they do is manage the look and feel of the hair, but they cannot stop hair loss. For that, you should consult your dermatologist and take the medication as advised.

Can frequent washing and shampooing cause hair loss? Can biotin indeed promote hair growth?

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