We hear so much about what’s good or bad for our health, mind, and even our hair. Well its time you got the truth. Here are 15 popular hair myths debunked!
1. Your hair is alive: No, it is not. Although there may be a bit of truth in this. The follicles at the scalp are alive. The papilla, or the “bud”, is at the base of the hair follicle and is where most growth takes place. Each follicle has its own blood, nerve and muscle supply. As for the hair outside of your scalp, this is physiologically dead. The hair has none of the supplies that the follicles do. It doesn’t bleed or hurt when you cut it. So your hair isn’t alive, but the follicles are.
2. Cutting your hair makes it grow faster: Growth comes from the scalp, not the ends. (Because that’s the bit that’s alive, remember) However, trimming the splits will avoid hair looking thin and there’ll be less breakage.
3. Shampooing leads to hair shedding: Some people believe shampooing makes your hair shed. This isn’t true. However, not washing your hair and letting oil build up on the scalp can cause inflammation, and this will stunt hair growth. Shedding is usually due to stress. Some shampoos can actually stimulate hair growth! So don’t stop washing, just find a good product that contains essential oils. Let the scent relax you, whilst it energises your follicles!
4. Dandruff is caused by a dry scalp: Nope, in fact it’s the opposite! This usually is an occurrence of non-washing, which as I mentioned earlier, increases the oil build-up in the scalp. This causes yeast to grow and dandruff is the body’s reaction to it. So soak up the suds!
5. Washing your hair every day is bad for you: This is simply not true. You should allocate hair washing days to what suits your hair type. If you have greasy roots, give it a wash. If not, don’t. I wash mine every day and it’s what suits my hair type. So ignore the tosh, and give it a wash.
6. Foaming shampoos clean better: A while back I wrote an article on sulfates and how they are the culprits for making the lather in your shampoos. This association between cleanliness and SLS is wrong, wrong, wrong! The sulfates in your shampoo have no effect on your hair’s hygiene, but it can fade your hair colour (if it’s dyed). Sulfates are also a posed health risk. They enter the bloodstream once in contact with the scalp and have been associated with certain skin conditions and worse, even linked to cancer. Go SLS free!
7. Switching shampoos regularly puts life back into your hair: Shampoos all offer different effects; some are good for volume, others for hydration etc. but changing shampoos regularly has no effect on the health of your hair. If you stuck with the same shampoo every day, it would be fine. If you swap it and think your hair is thanking you for it, well it’s not. Your hair doesn’t worry if you use the same or different shampoos. But it’s always best to find one that suits your hair type.
8. Hair oils make your hair greasy: Stop right there! This is only applicable if you put oils directly on your scalp. But we clever ladies know how to use oils. Put them on the mid to ends of your strands and stare in awe at your shiny tresses. And, the bonus? Oils can penetrate the cuticle, which means not only do they make your hair look good, but they also do good too! Coconut oil is my favourite (I love my OGX spray and use it regularly, so know it’s true). This oil can protect against heat, bleach and even UV damage! And it definitely doesn’t make your hair greasy. I have fine hair that has a tendency to get greasy, but using oil stops that. It nourishes my hair and leaves it soft, smooth and shiny. Never greasy.
9. 100 brush strokes a day is good for your hair: Only brush your hair when it’s knotty. Excessive brushing actually damages the hair’s cuticle. This is not good for you! So leave it alone.
10. Plucking a grey hair out means 2 will grow in its place: Greying is natural and will happen no matter what. Plucking doesn’t do this. But what it does is weaken the strand and eventually won’t grow back. So, if you can’t embrace the silver, bring on the hair dye! This leads me nicely onto my next point…
11. Colouring your hair is damaging: Wrong! Granted, bleaching your hair isn’t great, because this means stripping the hair to make it lighter, which will thin the hair strand and makes it more prone to breakage. But, the magic of darkening your hair is that it actually plumps the strand and makes it appear thicker! So, putting colour “in” your hair is okay. But stripping colour “out” is bad.
12. Rough towel dry your hair: Use that towel to dry your body only! It is too rough to use on the hair and can cause breakage. Purely use it to gently squeeze any excess water from the hair, and then comb it to remove the rest (tangle teezer brushes are great for this).
13. Air drying is better than blow drying: This will blow your socks off. Whilst blow drying does in fact damage the hair’s surface, air drying damages within the strands. This is because when the hair is exposed to water for long periods, the interior of the strands swell and could in fact be more damaging than heat styling! So, for the happy medium, blow your hair dry on a low heat setting, constantly move it across your hair, so it’s not focused on one place and keep it about 15cm away from your lovely locks.
14. Wearing hats causes hair loss: Hair loss is genetic, and brought on by hormonal levels and stress. The idea that hats “cut off” the circulation to the scalp is cobblers. If you suffer from hair loss, then invest in minoxidil (Also known as “Regaine”, a product I spoke about in my FUE article) as this stimulates hair growth.
15. The more products you use, the more effective they are: You can “over-product” your hair and it’ll actually have negative consequences, rather than positive ones. Such as, too much serum will weigh your hair down, rather than giving you a weightless shine. So, some tips include 1) When you’re washing your hair, make sure to use a 10p piece size of shampoo, any more and you will strain the scalp. And 2) We all have a little routine of hair care after washing, but how many products do you need? I personally go for an oil mist and then a heat defence spray (if I’m styling it) any more and my hair becomes lifeless. Again, different hair has different needs, so adjust your routine accordingly. Remember, less really is more!
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- Image 1 posted by Sacha Kurucz courtesy of huffington post, as seen here
- Image 2 posted by Sacha Kurucz courtesy of Eleanor Pendleton, as seen here
- Image 3 posted by Sacha Kurucz courtesy of AARP, as seen here
- Image 4 posted by Sacha Kurucz courtesy of priceline pharmacy, as seen here
- Image 5 posted by Sacha Kurucz courtesy of OGX, as seen here
- Image 6 posted by Sacha Kurucz courtesy of Dr Robert Jones, as seen here
- Image 7 posted by Sacha Kurucz courtesy of wittyfeed, as seen here
- Image 8 posted by Sacha Kurucz courtesy of AliExpress, as seen here
- Image 9 posted by Sacha Kurucz courtesy of Index of Regaine, as seen here