Fake news abounds in cyberspace. In today’s blog, we’re not concerned with your average fake news headline about current affairs or state of political play. Unsurprisingly for a site dedicated to hair and hairdressing, we’re calling time on fake hair news.
You see, there’s lots of fake news, or myths, about our hair causing a whole load of unnecessary worry, effort and expense. Our task is to bust these myths once and for all so that you can enjoy stress-free hair maintenance which is kinder to you and your wallet.
Here’s the lowdown on ten hair myths and their accompanying truths…
#1: Washing your hair frequently is damaging
Have you heard that frequent shampooing can cause severe damage to your strands? Dry shampoo manufacturers will lead you to believe this, for obvious reasons. How often you clean your hair depends upon various factors – your hair type, hairstyle and lifestyle. The simple rule is this: wash your hair if it’s greasy and don’t wash it if it’s not. As with your facial skin, infrequent washing of your scalp can actually lead to a build up of dead cells, product residue, oil and bacteria. Learn how to formulate your own personal hair washing routine.
#2: Hair grows faster with more regular cutting
Does a trim every four to six weeks really speed up your hair’s growth process? In a word, no. Hair growth occurs at the roots, not at the ends, so a trim doesn’t affect the follicles in charge of growth. Although trims may not impact how your hair grows, there’s no denying they improve your hair’s overall appearance by removing split ends which can make hair appear stringy (and, therefore, shorter-looking) at the bottom. A trim every eight to twelve weeks is sufficient to keep split ends at bay.
#3: You should change your shampoo and conditioner at regular intervals
Do you buy new brands of shampoo and conditioner every couple of months so your hair doesn’t get ‘used to it’? Your hair isn’t a living thing so it can’t suddenly become immune to your favourite products. Instead, your hair may respond differently to certain external elements such as weather, humidity and colour treatments. Only spend money on new shampoos and conditioners if your hair ‘tells’ you its needs have changed.
#4: Conditioner is bad for greasy hair
Greasy hair is not caused by conditioner; it’s brought on when your natural oils build up around your scalp. Like shampoo, conditioner is good for oily hair as it provides a healthy dose of hydration, nourishment and protection. Choose conditioner specific to your hair type and apply just at the ends, avoiding the scalp entirely, to keep your hair from looking flat.
#5: Hair should be brushed one hundred strokes daily
Did your grandmother ever tell you this? One hundred strokes is an excessive amount of brushing that can damage the hair and exacerbate hair loss for those with fine or thinning hair. While brushing is essential, as it distributes oils from your scalp throughout your hair, it should be done gently, only as needed for detangling and with a ‘proper’ brush.
#6: Pluck one grey hair and two more will grow
Tweezing a few grey hairs won’t lead to a family of grey hairs appearing, however, it’s not advisable to pluck your greys as it can lead to thinning or scarring thereby preventing regrowth at that spot on your scalp. If you hate the greys so much, speak to your hairdresser about colour choices and put those tweezers away. Or maybe you should finally embrace the greys?
#7: Air-drying is kinder to your hair than blow-drying
Blow-drying causes more damage to your hair’s surface by applying heat but air-drying causes more damage within the strands themselves through long exposure to water. This myth, then, is both true and false simultaneously. When blow-drying, use the lowest heat setting on your dryer, hold the appliance at a safe distance from your hair and move continuously so you don’t concentrate on any one section for too long.
#8: Ponytails, dreadlocks and braids are styles which protect your hair
The reverse of this is true. Constant tension and traction on hair by styles that are pulled tight can cause a receding hairline or breakage that leaves hair thinner, weakened and damaged. Loosen up your ‘do by leaving pieces dangling, using bigger braids that start at the nape and tying with thick fabric-covered hair bands or scarves. We cover accessories in our ‘Eight hair trends for 2021’ blog and our styling tips will keep you on the right track.
#9: Dye is best applied to dirty hair
Colour actually sticks better to clean hair that’s free of styling product residue so be sure to wash your hair the night before your DIY or salon dyeing treatment, and skip styling helpers such as gel, mousse or serum. Then wait 72 hours before washing your hair again once the dye’s been applied to ensure the colour’s fully trapped in the cuticle. Read our previous ‘At-home hair colour maintenance’ and ‘Top tips for home hair dyeing’ blogs to get the intel.
#10: Washing with cold water makes your hair shiny
As your hair contains no living cells, it doesn’t actually react to cold or hot water. Although, icy water will make the hair light-reflective and not ruffled or dull looking. To really see a difference, you’d need to resort to an Arctic-cold shower which, for the average person, isn’t an appealing option.
If your hair or scalp’s been damaged by your hairdresser and you want to make a claim against your stylist or salon, get in touch with our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 0800 141 3682 from a landline for free, phoning 0333 202 6560 from a mobile or completing our online enquiry form.