There are tons of misinformation about what can cause hair loss. Since so many men and women use pomades and gels for daily hair maintenance, we figured today we should tackle the myth behind hair loss, shedding, and gel. We’ll uncover whether your gel is actually contributing to your shedding, along with the most common causes of hair loss and ways to prevent future shedding.
Can Gel Cause Hair Loss?
Let’s start with the good news! You don’t have to throw out your favorite tub of hair gel. It turns out that hair gel does not actually cause hair loss. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t currently contributing to your hair loss or thinning issue. So what is the real connection between hair loss and gel? It’s not actually the product that causes thinning; what makes the difference is our styling habits. Improper uses of products meant to freeze or hold the hair, like gels, waxes, and pomades, can create an unhealthy environment for your hair and scalp.
It’s pretty unlikely that proper daily use will cause thinning, but if you do not wash the gel out thoroughly regularly, it can cause excessive build-up on the scalp. Since the gel is sticky, it’ll attract dust, dirt, oil, and debris from the environment like a magnet. While we might not initially be able to see the buildup, we can definitely feel it! It takes to make our scalps feel itchy and irritated. Product build-up causes us to excessively itch and scratch, which can create tiny infected lesions.
How to safely remove the gel from your hair and scalp
Depending on your hair type, you may need to wash your gel out with a gentle shampoo every day, every other day, or at the end of each week to lower the risk of developing irritation and hair loss. Shampoo should also lift any greasy film or debris that causes an itchy, scaly scalp.
Since shampoo contains harsh cleaning agents, it’s best to adhere to the “less is more” approach when washing. A quarter-sized amount should do the trick for most men and women. Rub the shampoo together between your products to “emulsify” or activate it and ensure your fingertips are evenly coated. Carefully massage the shampoo into your scalp with your fingertips. The tiny circles will increase your blood circulation, which is excellent for hair growth. It also will gently lift the remaining products, dirt, and oil from your hair and scalp without drying out your strands.
If you also have product build-up on your strands, you can gently work your fingertips away from your scalp and down the length of your hair. It’s all in the technique. Avoid rubbing or roughing up your hair too much. Instead, glide your fingertips through your strands so your hair is evenly coated by shampoo. Rinse with lukewarm water!
What Actually Causes Premature Hair Loss?
Researchers are still uncovering the many causes of premature hair loss in men and women. Here’s what we do know.
Androgenic Alopecia (AGA) is the most common cause of hair loss for adult Americans. AGA is a genetic condition, which means if you’ve noticed baldness in your family, there’s probably a chance AGA is in your genes.
AGA is also known as patterned baldness and affects 50 million men and 30 million women each year in the United States. We know that our chances of developing AGA increase with age. Once men reach 50, nearly 50% of adult males experience some form of hair loss. In women, the start of menopause can often trigger the light to moderate thinning around the crown.
Even though both men and women can develop AGA, they both experience different types of thinning. Men tend to form receding hairlines and temples and develop an “M” shape or a single bald spot. Women tend to lose hair all over the hair. In Type I AGA, women experience a small amount of thinning around the part that widens as the condition progresses.
While hair gels, waxes, and pomades tend to get a bad wrap, they do not directly contribute to your thinning. But, that doesn’t mean they cannot adversely affect your hairline over time. Whenever you’re using heavy styling products, you run the risk of causing a buildup of dirt and oils on your hair and scalp, which can cause excessive itching and irritation. When we scratch our skin, we can form small abrasions and inflammation, which then causes hair loss! You don’t have to toss out your favorite products to promote healthy, happy hair and scalp; follow our tips above. Don’t forget, scientists are still discovering more causes for premature hair loss and shedding. If you’re experiencing hair loss, then it might be a sign of another underlying medical condition or time for you to change your hair routine!