Losing your hair can be a frustrating experience. While some hair loss is totally normal and nothing to be worried about, there are certain factors or conditions such as alopecia that could be impacting your hair.

And as you search for treatments for balding or thinning hair, you may come across myths and rumors about what could be affecting your hairline. It’s important to not get overwhelmed by falsehoods, and instead find confidence in understanding your own unique hair loss.

Whether you’re dealing with male or female pattern hair loss, shedding after pregnancy, or are being impacted by a hectic lifestyle, the good news is that there are solutions available for hair loss. Read on to debunk some of the most common hair loss myths, and find out what actually could be impacting your hair loss:

Common Myths About Hair Loss

1. Can Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?

If you’ve tried a new shampoo and noticed more hair coming out as you scrub, you may assume that your shampoo is causing your hair to fall out. This is generally not the case, however1. We naturally lose around 100 hairs a day, and it’s normal for a lot of these to fall out in the shower.

Another possibility is that the shampoo you’re using isn’t suitable for your hair type. A formula that is overly stripping or drying could make your hair feel brittle and could even make it more prone to breakage. This type of damage, however, is not the same as hair loss from the scalp, and can be fixed by switching to a different shampoo formula.

2. Does Weight Loss Cause Hair Loss?

While it is possible to experience hair loss from weight loss, excess shedding isn’t specifically a side effect of losing weight. Rather, a sudden increase in shedding can be triggered by nutritional deficits that come from rapid weight loss such as crash diets or weight loss surgeries2. This temporary condition is known as telogen effluvium, and is your body’s natural reaction to stress.

To prevent hair loss when losing weight it’s important to maintain a healthy intake of essential proteins and vitamins. Focus on lean meats, whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables, and try to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.

3. Can Sun Damage Cause Hair Loss?

While it’s a common misconception, there is no direct link between sun exposure and hair loss. However, the sun can damage the hair and scalp which can lead to hair breakage and increase your chances of developing certain types of alopecia3. So while the sun probably isn’t to blame for your thinning hair, it’s always a good idea to wear a hat and protect your hair and scalp from the sun’s harsh UV rays.

4. Does Creatine Cause Hair Loss?

Many athletes worry that creatine, a popular pre-workout supplement, could lead to hair loss. This is because in a 2009 study creatine was found to increase the levels of DHT (an androgen that can affect male pattern baldness) in rugby players. However, there have not yet been studies that indicate a clear correlation between taking creatine and hair loss4. So while avoiding creatine could be a precautionary measure for those predisposed to genetic hair loss, there is no proven reason to avoid this popular supplement just yet.

5. Does Wearing a Hat Cause Hair Loss?

Worried about hats and hair loss? Generally, wearing a hat will not increase your risk of balding. However, it’s worth noting that anything worn on your head that’s too tight or pulls on the hair can cause a type of hair loss called traction alopecia. Hair will usually grow back from traction alopecia, but if too much tension is applied over time it can damage the hair follicle and lead to permanent hair loss. So while saying that hats cause hair loss isn’t true, you should make sure to wear comfortable hats that aren’t too tight on your scalp or that snag your hair to avoid traction alopecia.

The Facts About Hair Loss

1. Can Genetics Affect Hair Loss?

While most people will experience hair thinning as they age, genetics play a huge factor on whether someone will experience hair loss. In fact, hereditary hair loss or hereditary-pattern baldness (androgenic alopecia) is the most common cause of hair loss with up to 40% of both men and women5 experiencing genetic hair loss.

For men, this usually starts with the hairline receding in an M shape or from the crown of the hair and may progress to complete baldness. For women, thinning hair may be noticed along the part line. The good news is that there are targeted treatments available to treat male and female pattern hair loss, and they’re particularly effective when started early.

2. Can Stress Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, both acute and chronic stress can cause hair loss. Rapid shedding after periods of acute stress such as surgery, illness or emotional distress is known as telogen effluvium. Hair loss due to stress usually starts a few months after the stressor, and in most cases hair growth will return to normal within a year.

Recently, however, it has been confirmed that chronic stress can cause hair loss, too. Scientists have confirmed that increased levels of stress hormones like cortisol6 can affect tissue regeneration, leading to inhibited hair regrowth and even hair graying.

3. Can Hormones Cause Hair Loss?

Hormones can have a huge impact on the hair cycle8 for both men and women, so any hormonal changes (like pregnancy, menopause or thyroid disorders) can cause an increase in hair loss. The role that hormones like testosterone, estrogen or progesterone7 play is complex, so if you suspect that your hair loss is caused by hormones, it’s worth seeing a doctor.

4. Can Vaping Cause Hair Loss?

It’s common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health. In fact, the link between cigarettes and hair loss is well documented. However, vaping has recently become popular, and it’s suspected that e-cigarettes and vapes may have the same negative effect on hair.

Does nicotine cause hair loss? Simply put, yes. Both smoking and vaping can constrict blood vessels in the scalp, damage the DNA of the hair follicle and cause oxidative stress to your body9, all of which can cause hair loss.

No Myths Here: A Proven Treatment for Hair Regrowth

If you’re dealing with hair loss, you’ll be glad to know that there is a treatment proven to regrow hair. Minoxidil, the active ingredient in ROGAINE®, is clinically proven to help regrow hair in both men and women. Minoxidil works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicle to promote hair growth and increasing the follicle size to promote thicker, stronger hair strands. In clinical studies, 9 out of 10 men and more than 80% of women increased their hair count after using ROGAINE® vs. a placebo.

While hair loss can be frustrating, finding a solution doesn’t have to be. If you’re dealing with hair loss, cut through the myths and try ROGAINE® for men or women to regrow thicker, fuller hair.


  1. Timmons, J. (2021). Your Shampoo Probably Isn’t Causing Your Hair Loss. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/shampoo-ingredients-that-cause-hair-loss

  2. The Cleveland Clininc. (2021). Telogen Effluvium. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/24486-telogen-effluvium

  3. Boey, J. (2022).The Effects Of Sunlight On Baldness. https://justinboey.com/the-effects-of-sunlight-on-baldness/

  4. Antonio J, Candow DG, Forbes SC, et al. Common questions and misconceptions about creatine supplementation: what does the scientific evidence really show?. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021;18(1):13. Published 2021 Feb 8. doi:10.1186/s12970-021-00412-w https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7871530/

  5. Harvard Healthy Publishing. (2019).  Hereditary-Patterned Baldness. https://www.health.harvard.edu/a_to_z/hereditary-patterned-baldness-a-to-z

  6. Bryant, E. (2021). How stress causes hair loss. https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/how-stress-causes-hair-loss

  7. Alopecia UK. (n.d.) Telogen Effluvium. https://www.alopecia.org.uk/telogen-effluvium

  8. Grymowicz M, Rudnicka E, Podfigurna A, et al. Hormonal Effects on Hair Follicles. Int J Mol Sci. 2020;21(15):5342. Published 2020 Jul 28. doi:10.3390/ijms21155342

  9. Babadjouni A, Pouldar Foulad D, Hedayati B, Evron E, Mesinkovska N. The Effects of Smoking on Hair Health: A Systematic Review. Skin Appendage Disord. 2021;7(4):251-264. doi:10.1159/000512865 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8280411/
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