Hair loss: Can washing your hair too much cause baldness? Fact checked

Hair loss: Dr Ranj discusses causes of male pattern baldness

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According to Dr Earim Chaudry of the men’s health platform Manual, “many people are convinced” that simply washing your hair can increase the risk of hair loss and baldness. Losing hair while in the shower isn’t just an experience confined to men, though, but is also noticed by women with all lengths of hair.

He explained: “All of us will have noticed a build-up of hair in the plughole of the shower after a while, or even scattered across the floor as we dry or style our tresses.

“Because massaging shampoo or serum into the hair causes several strands to shed, it is no surprise that many people are convinced that regular washes can cause permanent hair loss.”

However, if your hair is falling out while in the shower, this is actually rather normal.

According to Healthline: “Hair often falls out in the shower because you stimulate your scalp when you shampoo or condition your hair.

“Your hairs that were already destined to fall out get the nudge they need from shampooing, and your hair comes off your head.”

According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, it’s normal to lose anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair per day.

For people with longer hair strands, losing them may be more noticeable.

Dr Chaudry added: “Hair shedding during washing and drying is totally normal, and would only cause genuine damage if your locks were already damaged by chemicals or something else adding pressure to your follicles.

“So, next time you are shampooing, try not to panic – most of us experience hair fall while washing.”

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In fact, washing your hair regularly – especially if it is prone to grease – will actually keep it in its best health.

Keeping your hair clean and removing product, oil, pollutants, and other buildups can actually improve your hair and scalp health.

For men, hair loss in the shower typically has no association with male pattern baldness, and will not speed up the process.

Dr Chaudry explained: “Male balding can lead to a great deal of embarrassment and pain for many people, making it easy for companies promoting ‘miracle’ hair-growth serums to prey on those feeling vulnerable.

“Unfortunately, there is very little that can be done to make your hair grow back thick and long once it has started to recede, but there are definitely precautions that can be taken as preventative measures.

“Despite there being steps you can take to avoid hair loss, male-pattern baldness is usually genetic or due to hormones.”

The expert points to studies which have shown that “male baldness is caused by a hormone called Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a male sex hormone that essentially causes male characteristics”.

He continued: “It is rich in androgenic properties – and as androgens are responsible for hair growth, normal levels of them are crucial.

“Women also produce a small number of androgens in their body.

“When too much DHT is present, the growth cycle begins to slow down, meaning the hair follicles start to shrink. The end result of the process is that no new hair follicles grow at all – which has led to all kinds of formulas being created to supposedly reverse the hair loss.”

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