Q: My mom is going bald, and has been for about 5 years. My question is: could her wearing a towel on her head until it dries
have anything to do with her hair loss? Plus, could using a large amount of hair spray have anything to do with her loss of hair?
A: The only realistic answer to this question is that “yes” it is possible, but very unlikely. And if the use of a towel to wick away
moisture, or the overuse of hairspray were the cause of her hair loss, she would surely have experienced some level of irritation
caused by these two factors on her scalp.
Generally speaking, when the hair is shed abnormally, it is usually due to something occurring in
the scalp/follicles below the skin’s surface. There are many factors that can result in hair loss, ranging from poor diet, illness,
medications, hormonal imbalance, and sensitivity to environmental irritants, to hereditary/genetic factors.
Using a towel, wrapped turban-style on the hair to absorb excess moisture is an established and
recommended method of gently drying the hair, thus avoiding much damage. If this practice were going to result in a loss of hair, it
would have to be causing some irritation in the scalp which would be noticeable. It is the same for the use of hairspray.
Overuse of hairspray has been seen to cause problems with hair breakage, because it can often
contain ingredients which dry out the hair shaft making it brittle. But the only cases of hair loss linked to the use of hairspray are
a result of allergic reactions or sensitivity of the scalp to ingredients in the hair spray formula.
My best recommendation is that your mom needs to speak to her doctor about the hair loss to see
if he and she can work together to determine the cause of the condition. Barring a completely hereditary cause, this may be a
situation that can be reversed with treatments. If she has experienced any soreness or irritation from the use of her styling
products, she should definitely discontinue their use, and consult with her doctor about the best ways to treat the irritated skin.