Myths about shaving and hair loss

If you haven’t already brushed up on the basics of hair I highly recommend checking it out, or referencing it if you’ve got questions as you read along. Don’t miss out on the rest of the hair myths series. I’ve addressed a lot of hair myths in my years behind the chair and starting my own website has given me a great opportunity to really address those in detail for you!

You can watch this video for a brief rundown of the text, skipping ahead to 0:40 to skip the intro.

Things that can cause hair loss:

There are so many things that can cause hair loss, and in many cases it’s one of the first signs of something deeper that needs addressing. It’s frequently how thyroid conditions are noticed, and can also be affected by major hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause, puberty). Don’t let that trick you into thinking that there’s nothing you might be accidentally doing to reduce your overall amount of hair.

One thing I saw suggested was that hats can cause hair loss. In general, no, they likely won’t. Repeated friction in the same area can cause hair to fall out, but it’s usually temporary. Think about a baby who spends a lot of time on a pillow and how there’s usually a bald spot where they lay, but once they stop spending most of their time laying down it grows back. More permanent hair loss can be caused by excessive tension. You’ll see this most frequently along the hairline of people who pull their hair back tightly. It’s also commonly known as traction alopecia. What happens here is excessive tension pulls the hair out at the root and over time, the hair stops growing back.

Plucking one gray hair makes two more come back:

False. Removing one gray hair won’t make two more come back. However, repeatedly removing a hair by plucking can cause it to eventually stop growing back. That may not seem like a super big deal at first, but if you’re starting to gray all over then eventually you’re going to run out of hair, or have very short and uncooperative gray hairs popping up all over the place. Most commonly this is seen in eyebrows after being heavily shaped for a long time.

Shaving makes your hair come back thicker:

Not true! Most of your hair grows in naturally with a tapered end, making it look and feel softer. When you shave that hair off, you create a blunt edge in the middle of the hair strand (wherever it is) that doesn’t stop growing. So as it continues to come in it now has that blunt edge, making it look and feel thicker when in actuality it’s the same thickness it was before you shaved it.

What makes razor blades dull so quickly:

Wired gave a fantastic write up about a study from MIT that dove into why most commercial razor blades have such a short lifespan. Initially my answer would have been that repeated use of any cutting instrument results in eventual wearing down of the sharp cutting edge. It makes sense to me since that’s what seems to happen with the shears I use to cut your hair. But it turns out that most commercial razor blades all use the same common alloy that actually end up cracking on a microscopic level with repeated use.

Do you have questions or concerns that you want to see me address? Leave a comment or reach out on social media! You can always book a consultation to ask me questions in person!

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