There is no shame in appreciating one’s crowning glory. But there is something to be said about subscribing to fake news regarding your mane. We’ve gathered some of the old wives’ tales we grew up believing and did some research and investigation. Read on to discover the truth, along with some sound and logical tips for better looking hair.
MYTH #1: FREQUENT HAIRCUTS = FASTER HAIR GROWTH
Theory: Those with shorter hairstyles might find themselves visiting the barber every two weeks or so to maintain a neat cut. The short frequency between each visit may have led you to believe that you are experiencing rapid hair growth due to your frequent dalliances with your barber’s clippers.
Fact: The truth is, the rate of hair growth for everyone is primarily dependent on your genes. Other factors that have been scientifically proven to speed up hair growth include scalp massages (to induce healthy blood flow to the hair follicles) and a diet full of vitamins, protein and healthy fat. The frequency of your haircuts does nothing to affect your hair growth.
Myth #2: PLUCKING GREY HAIR WILL Leave you with more
Theory: I’m sure we’ve all heard this one: we grow two strands of white hair with each strand that is plucked. This theory is as patently untrue as the Hydra, the Greek mythological beast that sprouts two new heads for every one that is chopped off.
Fact: Our hair colour is determined by the melanin in our follicles, which decreases with age and stress. There has been no scientific evidence to reveal that plucking white hair will cause more to grow. Certain lifestyle habits like smoking, for instance, can increase the likelihood of premature greying by as much as 250 per cent (as evidenced in this 2013 study). Low levels of vitamin B12 can also contribute to such an event.
Tip: For long-term solutions, consider spot-treating with hair dye. But we suggest embracing the grey. Look how well that turned out for George Clooney and Anderson Cooper.
Myth #3: TIGHT Headgear CONTRIBUTEs TO BALDING
Theory: It’s not hard to see how this myth took root. A tight hat makes for poor blood circulation, which may impede nutrients from getting to the hair follicles. Baldness then ensues. Sounds logical, except it’s not.
Fact: It will take a hat that won’t even fit to completely cut blood flow to the scalp for balding to occur. What is true, however, is that blood flow to the scalp can indeed be decreased with overly snug headgear. This leads to hair of poorer quality, making it susceptible to breakage, which perhaps gives the illusion of balding. Pressure from continuously putting the hat on and off also causes hair strands to break.
Myth #4: DANDRUFF IS CAUSED BY DRY SCALP
Theory: You would think that dandruff is simply the result of a dry and flaky scalp – not true.
Fact: Dandruff is caused by numerous factors. The most common cause is malassezia, a strain of yeast that occurs naturally on your skin. Because yeast feeds on sebum, neglecting your hygiene can cause malessezia to grow uncontrollably. Irritation and buildup of dead skin then results, causing your scalp to itch and flake.
Tip: There’s nothing a few doses of medicated shampoo can’t fix. Look for zinc pyrithione, ketaconazole, tea tree oil, and salicylic acid on the ingredients label when making your selection. Mild dandruff can be easily treated at home when you have the right tools. Otherwise, visit a clinic for a full diagnosis.
Myth #5: The MORE SUDS the better
Theory: We can’t deny that a foam-filled wash does leave you feeling cleaner and fresher. That must be good for keeping our hair clean, right?
Fact: Wrong. The suds are produced by surfactants such as sulphates that work to rid your scalp from grime and product build-up. Frequent shampooing leaves the scalp completely stripped from any protective oils This causes irritation and dryness.
Tip: Aside from going sulphate-free, you can also look for products that contain panthenol (vitamin B3) and natural botanical oils. These help to rid the hair of grime without stripping it of moisture. But because they can still potentially dry out the scalp, shampoo every other day instead of every day. It’s all about balance.
Hair care may be lost on balding eagles, but it certainly shouldn’t be the case for the rest of us. Perhaps some of these misconception got a few chuckles out of you, but don’t let poor hair care habits keep you from looking your best.