Debunking the Most Popular Hair Myths


Myth

Dandruff Is Just a Dry Scalp

Reality

That aggravating itch and those embarrassing flakes aren’t something that can be fixed by drinking more water or using extra conditioner. “People often think that they have ‘a dry scalp,’ when in fact it’s dandruff,” says Dr. Angela Lamb, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital. “At the first sign of dandruff, do not be in denial.” The flaking skin is actually your skin’s overreaction to yeast or fungus that occurs naturally on the scalp. Things like stress and changes in the weather can flare the condition, too, she says. To get the balance under control and stop the skin from drying and flaking off, you can use an over-the-counter antidandruff shampoo packed with selenium sulfide a few times each week.

Myth

You Inherit Baldness From Your Mother’s Side

Reality

While it’s estimated that about 80 percent of balding is hereditary, you can’t simply look at your mother’s family to determine your chances of losing your hair. “Researchers have long been aware of a genetic variant on the X chromosome that was linked to male pattern baldness, says Dr. Brent Richards of McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine. “That’s where the idea that baldness is inherited from the mother’s side of the family comes from,” he explained. But according to a study conducted at McGill University, several genes—not necessarily all from your maternal side—contribute to how much hair you have (and keep). According to the findings, a third of all men will be affected by some form of male pattern baldness by age 45, thanks to a testosterone-and-enzyme combo called DHT. The key, he says, is to notice hair loss early and treat it in order to stave off permanent loss. Consult your dermatologist or utilize such online services as Hims and Keeps to inquire about prescription and over-the-counter solutions to hair loss.





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