Myths about hair loss abound as to when it happens, why it happens, and who it happens to. Let’s all take a moment to blame the internet for that.

Then, let’s take a moment to talk through the top 10 commonly believed lies about male pattern baldness… so you can get back to fighting the real causes of hair loss and start keeping your hair.

1. Myth: Shampoo makes you lose your hair

Sorry shower-haters, but shampooing does not cause hair loss. Clean hair is happy hair. It’s normal (not to mention healthy) to shed a few hairs when sudsing up.

2. Myth: You inherit hair loss from your mother

You may’ve heard that your mother’s side of the family determines whether you’ll keep your hair, but that’s just an old wives’ tale. Genetics are the most common cause of hair loss, and you can inherit the baldness trait from either side of your family. (In fact, we wrote an entire article discussing genetics and hair loss .)

3. Myth: Everyone goes bald by 50

Male pattern baldness knows no age. Once hair loss starts, it doesn’t stop (which is why it’s important to take action early) — but when it starts is different in everyone. According to the American Hair Loss Association, 66% of American men will experience some form of male pattern baldness by age 35, and about 85% of men have significantly thinning hair by age 50.

4. Myth: Direct sunshine is bad for your hair

SPF is still your skin’s best friend, but no, sustained exposure to sunshine will not make your hair fall out. Because this is such a hot topic (pun only slightly intended), and because we’re kinda into myths right now, we compiled a separate article on the top summer hair loss myths.

5. Myth: Hats cause baldness

Too many people claim that wearing hats contributes to hair loss, but rest assured: That fedora you’ve been sporting is doing no further damage beyond making you look like you you got stuck in the early 2000’s. Want to read more? We wrote an article that answers the question: Do hats cause hair loss?.

6. Myth: Elevated levels of testosterone are the enemy

You can never be too manly for your hair! Elevated levels of testosterone do not cause hair loss. Male pattern baldness simply comes down to how sensitive your hair follicles are to a hormone called DHT (more formally known as dihydrotestosterone).

7. Myth: Put down the hair products to keep your hair

Whatever styling aid you use to slick, shine, or otherwise spruce up your hair is not going to cause male pattern baldness. Zhuzh away!

8. Myth: Masturbation makes you bald

You do you. Masturbation in no way impacts the hair on your head. But, because so many people believe this one, we wrote an article all about masturbation and hair loss.

9. Myth: Ditto poor circulation

Growing hair needs healthy circulation in the scalp, and as hair loss occurs, scalp circulation declines. However, this decreased blood flow to the scalp is the result — not the cause — of male pattern baldness.

10. Myth: You’re going bald because you’re stressed

Anxiety, traumatic events, and emotional strain can certainly contribute to temporary hair loss — but they don’t affect male pattern baldness, which is a permanent medical condition. So no, stress doesn’t cause hair loss.

11. Myth: Vitamins can stop hair loss

If you thought claims that vitamins can regrow all of your hair were too good to be true, you were right. Turns out hair loss vitamins only help you if you’re actually deficient in that particular nutrient. In fact, taking too much vitamin E might actually accelerate hair loss.

If we can give you one takeaway, it’s this: There are a lot of rumors out there about what causes hair loss. And sometimes trying to find the truth can send you down an internet rabbit hole. So, rather than doing that, educate yourself on the science.

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

Image credit: Brandon Bryant