People have been telling you lies about your hair — and they have been doing so for years. How is it supposed to grow into mermaid locks if you’ve been living life wrong? Obviously, it can’t. We decided we needed some truth, so we consulted the experts. Below are the most common lies you hear about your hair!
Shaving makes your hair thicker.
“When shaved hair grows back, the tip is blunt (from getting cut with the razor) instead of tapered so it feels thicker, when in reality it is not. However, certain areas of the body can grow hair in thicker. Lanugo hair (the baby fine hair) normally found on the face in women can convert to coarse beard hair if shaved or plucked multiple times,” says dermatologist Dr. Kavita Mariwalla.
If you pull one grey hair, two come back.
Not true. “This perception came about because grey hair tends to be of different texture (and obviously color) so it appears more prominent when it grows in,” says Dr. Mariwalla.
If someone has flakes in their hair, they have dandruff.
In fact, it most likely is dead skin. “This is a very common question we get from our clients. It’s very important to first determine if you have a dry scalp or dandruff. They are two very different things and many people who have dry scalp think they have dandruff. Dandruff is characterized by yellow, oily flakes whereas dry scalp is characterized by dry, white flakes and tightness in the scalp,” says Jonathan Elkhouri, Master Stylist and Owner of Salon Khouri. Using dandruff-relief products on a dry scalp makes a dry scalp even worse, as it’s attempting decrease oil production in the scalp. Very often, people assume they have dandruff and attempt to treat the dandruff, which exacerbates the true condition, which is dry scalp.
You need to trim your hair every 6 weeks if you want it to grow.
Frequent trims won’t actually make your hair grow faster, as hair grows from the roots, not the ends. “Trims keep your hair looking healthy (since the ends are always the driest) and they help to maintain a style’s great shape but they won’t speed up the growth rate,” says Nick Penna Jr., Celeb Stylist and Owner of SalonCapri Boston, Newton and Dedham. In fact, virgin hair can go 4-6 months and if you are trying to grow your hair out, says Aussie celebrity stylist Sarah Potempa . For colored or damaged hair, that needs to be evaluated case-by-case. It’s not one size fits all!
Gel only leads to stiff, crunchy hair.
Gel can be a lightweight product that adds volume and shine to hair! Potempa recommends spray gels, like Aussie Aussome Volume Spray Gel, because it gives hair a bit of hold while enhancing natural curls or waves.
Washing your hair every day will make it too dry.
For most people, washing their hair every day with a gentle shampoo is the best way to keep their healthy. “If you don’t wash your often, oils and microscopic particles from the scalp can migrate down to the skin, therefore clogging pores and aggravate acne,” says Dr. David Bank, a Board Certified Dermatologist, author of Beautiful Skin: Every Woman’s Guide to Looking Her Best at Any Age and Founder & Director of The Center For Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery in Mt. Kisco, NY.
You should brush your hair 100 strokes a day to keep it silky and shiny.
To bring out the shine in your hair, you need to increase blood circulation in the scalp oils and you can do that with just 15-20 brush strokes. “If you brush more than that, you risk breaking the hair and possibly even losing more hair than you normally do in a day,” says Dr. Bank.
Cold water makes your hair shinier.
Cold water can partially seal the cuticles of your hair, which can improve its shininess, but don’t expect astonishing results. If you want to try to enhance your shine, Penna suggests waiting until the end of your wash routine to blast the water to cold and drench your strands in it. This will shock and seal the cuticles without the discomfort of a completely chilly wash.
Cutting back on shampooing will help reduce oil production.
“Oil production is based on the work of sebaceous glands, which are influenced by hormones and genetics,” says Dr. Doris Day, a dermatologist and a ROGAINE spokesperson. They are what determines your oil production—not how often you shampoo your hair.
Thinning hair occurs only in older women.
Women can start experiencing hormonal hair loss as early as their twenties! “Also, hereditary hair loss, which accounts for 95% of all hair loss in both men and women, can start showing in women in their thirties and forties,” says Dr. Day. And, regardless of age, hair loss can also occur as a result of overuse of styling products, wearing tight ponytails and chemical processing.
Coloring hair damages it.
With advances in technology, hair color is less damaging than ever before. It is now loaded with extra conditioners, proteins and low ammonia levels, and even bleach can be gentle when done properly. “The low ammonia levels is what makes hair color less damaging to the hair. As always seek the professional advice of a colorist whose work you have seen to make sure they know what they are doing. Any product in the wrong hands or with an inexperienced person is a hair disaster waiting to happen,” says Pasquale Caselle, International Creative Director for IT&LY Hairfashion, N.A.