Have you been told not to believe everything that you read on the internet? Then why do so many people willingly accept most of the information they read about hair loss as fact?
There are many reasons why you should be skeptical of most information that you read online, especially when it pertains to hair loss. Many people who are suffering from hair loss are in a vulnerable mental state and may be more willing to disregard common sense in order to find a solution to their hair problem.
Not only will this not help their hair loss, but it is also how large companies (at least those who don’t have your best interest at heart) make most of their money and dominate the hair loss market.
In this article, we are going to talk about several reasons why you should remain highly skeptical when reading anything related to hair loss. Keeping these things in mind will help you make better, well-thought-out choices about how you want to handle your hair loss and may even lead to better regrowth in the long run.
Skeptical: not easily convinced; having doubts or reservations
People are very smart. Experts know how to trick you and play to your emotions so that you buy their products without you even necessarily realizing what they did. This is what they get paid to do. But, when you know what to look for you can keep yourself from being subconsciously and disingenuously persuaded into buying something you don’t need and/or won’t work for you.
When it comes to hair loss, there are several things that you need to keep in mind when reading anything whether it be an article, ad, product features, or more.
Let’s talk about them.
Number one: we still do not understand hair loss very well
Even though we have treatments that can be effective, the reality is that we still know very little about how hair loss works, what causes it, and what the most effective way to treat it is.
For starters, there is still much debate about what the underlying cause of hair loss is.
The conventional narrative is that dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is an androgen derived from testosterone, is the cause of hair loss. This has been universally accepted for a long time and it is believed by many that the only way to stop hair loss is to block DHT. But there are a couple things wrong with this.
Firstly, we have a medication available called dutasteride. Studies (1) have shown that it effectively blocks about 90% of DHT in the scalp. Theoretically, if DHT were the only cause of hair loss, blocking 90% of it would yield great benefit for those who take dutasteride, yet many people still see less than adequate results when using the most powerful treatment we have available (2).
Secondly, scientists have only hypothesized how DHT causes hair loss (3). Although they have been able to find a correlation between DHT and hair loss, which suggests that the two are related, many people are quick to say that DHT is 100% the cause, which has yet to be proven.
We know that when hair loss occurs the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle shortens causing miniaturization, but scientists have been unable to uncover the exact mechanism by which this occurs.
Until there have been studies done that can repeatedly confirm that we understand exactly how hair loss works, and also that there is a functional treatment, we need to be extremely skeptical of phrases like “hair loss cure” and similar ones.
Number two: do they have sources?
There has been a lot of research done on hair loss, which is why when reading an article that is making claims one way or another you need to make sure there are sources to back them. Touching on the last point: although there is much we don’t know about hair loss, we can’t ignore the studies that have been done.
If there is an article that is not providing sources, do not trust it.
Trusting an article without sources is taking a shot in the dark. It could be that the author was lazy, but more than likely it is because they don’t have the data to support their claims.
Another thing you have to do is make sure that the sources are legit., I know it sounds tedious but it is worth it to have peace of mind. When it comes to hair loss the two most trusted sources are the National Center for Biotechnology Information and PubMed.
When an article makes a claim, make sure you clock the source link and, at the very least, scan it to make sure the results support it.
Number three: anyone can post online
I know it’s ironic because I am posting this to my blog that I have full control over, so if you are skeptical reading this… good job. But the reality is that it is not very hard to start a blog and post content online for many people to potentially see.
Although google tries to make sure that you only see the good/legit content, it doesn’t always get it right. If it did, scam artists and snake oil salesman alike wouldn’t exist.
Another thing to consider is that people generally have bias, meaning they like to read information that supports the way they think and ignore info that doesn’t. The internet makes in very easy to find information that supports your claims while hiding contradictory info at the same time. So, while some people may have good intentions at heart, they may not have all the information (this is called information bias).
Hopefully you now have a better understanding of why you need to be careful and double check what you are reading on the internet, but especially when it comes to hair loss.
Because of the reasons we talked about above, paired with the fact that people suffering from hair loss are in a vulnerable state, many people are unfortunately fed, and believe, false and/or misleading information. This can lead to a combination of factors that may result in hair loss worsening, or regrowth not occurring, money lost, and time wasted.
Please stay skeptical.