16 Myths About Healthy Hair
Will your hair actually grow faster if you regularly get it trimmed?
Did you ever eat the crust of your bread as a child in a bid to bring on curls? Or avoid plucking a grey hair, so two don't pop up in its place? Some hair myths are quite obviously untrue, but some unfounded pearls of wisdom – whether imparted by a friend or hairdresser – could be less easy to spot and misleading. Next time you hear a fact about hair, ask yourself whether there's any evidence. Here are some of my favourite myths and facts...
1. Do our hair grow faster if we regularly get it cut?
Absolutely not! Your hair is dead, it has no nerve ending or blood vessels (this is why it doesn't hurt when you have your hair cut). Your hair cannot respond to things that happen to it, so when you cut the ends there is no way of the root knowing it has been cut.
2. Does frequent brushing make hair shiny?
No – it will rough up the cuticles unnecessarily and make it duller, if anything.
3. Can eating crusts make hair go curly?
Crusts cannot curl your hair. Your hair curls due to the shape of your hair (in a cross section) which is largely due to genetics and the difference in the amount of protein fibres between one part of the cortex and the other side.
4. If we leave the conditioner in overnight will we condition it more?
Conditioner is basically an emollient (it does the job of our own sebum, just in a more cosmetically acceptable way). A conditioner will only penetrate so far into the hair, so there is a time limit on how effective it will be, but leaving it on overnight will ensure you get the maximum benefit from your conditioner.
5. Does rubbing our hair with a towel really damage it?
If you do it very vigorously. Your hair is very prone to damage when it is wet because it is full of water and it's 'tensile' strength is depleted until it is dry. Rubbing it will cause friction between the hairs and will rough up the cuticle causing the hair to become damaged (spilt ends, knotting, etc.). So be gentle with your hair when wet!
6. Does anything other than a cut 'mend' split ends?
Nothing else other than a good cut will mend split ends. Split ends happen when the cuticle of your hair is almost non–existent, exposing the cortex of your hair, which unravels and causes a frayed end that can travel up the hair as a giant split.
7. Can our hair turn grey/white overnight?
There is a grain of truth in this. Extreme stress may cause alopecia totalis (when all the hair on the head falls out). Studies have shown that white hairs are less prone to this action, so in some (extreme) cases the 'coloured' hair falls out, leaving the white hairs behind. It does not happen as quickly as overnight - it may be over a few days or weeks.
Verdict: SORT OF MYTH
8. If we pull out one grey hair will two grow in its place?
No, otherwise there would be millions of bald people tweezering their thinning hair! If only growing hair back was that simple.
9. Is colouring the hair during pregnancy bad?
Extensive investigations are ongoing, but now have concluded that the risk of a foetus being contaminated by the chemical in hair dye is negligible. Always ask the stylist to perform a patch test on you, as the body does react differently when pregnant. It's better to be safe than sorry, so if in doubt, avoid colouring your hair until after 12 weeks or have highlights so that no colour touches the scalp.
10. Does washing our hair everyday dry it out?
You can wash your hair every day without a real problem - just use a good conditioner. Problems with dryness would occur from styling your hair with heated appliances, as these can seriously damage the hair.
11. Could wearing our hair pulled back tightly cause baldness?
Yes it could. Never put your hair under extreme tension for prolonged periods of time. This may cause traction alopecia, which may eventually lead to scarring alopecia where the hair does not grow back.
12. Will lemon juice bleach our hair?
Not really, lemon juice is a mild acid. Acid has the effect of closing the cuticles of the hair making it more shiny and smooth.
13. Will swimming in a pool turn our blonde hair green?
This depends on the swimming pool. Indoor pools would not make your hair green, whereas outdoor pools may change the colour of your hair. It's the copper in the pipes transporting the water to the pools that cause the hair to go green - not chlorine itself - so in hot countries, outdoor pools (due to evaporation) have a concentrate of copper salts in the water, which are easily absorbed by porous, damaged hair.
14. Can extreme stress make our hair fall out?
Extreme stress can have an effect on the hair. This will have an effect on the hair, but not instantly. It will take several months to show.
15. Will rinsing in cold water make our hair shiny?
It will close the cuticle of the hair quickly – so, in theory, it would make it a little more shiny, but enough to warrant cold water over your head...
16. Will our hair develop 'product immunity' if we keep using the same shampoo and conditioner?No. Your hair is dead, it does not know what you are using on it. What might change is your perception of the product. The first time you think: "WOW this shampoo is wonderful. By the 50th time you use it, you may think it's not as good and that your hair must be "used to it". But it's all in your head.
Bibliography: Sallis, I. (2017, March 07). 16 myths about healthy hair that need debunking. Retrieved March 08, 2017, from http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/beauty/haircare/a27773/healthy-hair-facts-myths/
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