There are so many myths surrounding how you should or shouldn’t take care of your hair. How much of what we’re told is a myth and how much of it is actually true? Some myths may be doing you more damage than good, so it is best to do your research or find out what works best for your hair. The remedies remain the same, but your hair might react differently depending on the condition of your hair at the time.
Myth #1: Washing your hair too frequently is bad for your hair
Not entirely true. There is a widespread belief that shampooing too often will strip your hair of its natural oils from the scalp. Our scalp creates natural oils that travel down the hair shaft to hydrate hair. To suggest that shampoo strips hair of its oil is too harsh of a word. Who wants an oily scalp anyway?
Shampooing regularly with correct product moisturises hair and produces smoother, shinier and healthier hair. A well moisturised scalp will allow for the oil to circulate and coat the hair shaft. Try to go for formulas that are not as harsh on hair and have plenty of moisturising properties to keep your hair nourished.
Hairdressers will usually recommend you reduce the amount of times you wash your hair after a professional colouring service. This has less to do with the oils on your hair and more to do with colour preservation. Colour fades after each wash, so they usually recommend you reduce the washes to 1-2 times a week to prolong colour life.
Myth #2: It’s better not to shampoo altogether
Who made up this myth? Shampoo helps remove some of the natural oil buildup on your hair and dead skin cells. Your scalp is always exfoliating, so the act of shampooing helps remove bacteria, yeast, excess oil and pollutants in your hair. It also gets rid of any product build up such as hairspray, mousse or gels. Not shampooing for days on end can lead to irritation, itchiness, or flakes.
This is, of course, if your scalp is not tight and itchy due to conditions like eczema or dandruff. In this case, you may need to scale your washes back to once a week.
Myth #3: Over washing your hair makes it oily
Not always true. Your hair is already naturally producing oils so every time you clean it, it tries to replace these oils by producing more. Though it is not wrong to wash your hair daily, if this has become an issue for you, cut back to 2/3 times a week.
Myth #4: Shampooing too often makes your hair fall out
Not true. You can lose up to 100 hairs a day which is a natural part of the hair growth cycle. Shampooing dislodges hairs that are already detached from the hair follicle and are ready to come out. Brushing and styling also aids in this shedding. Shampooing more regularly stimulates the hair follicle and could allow for this process to happen more quickly. If you don’t shampoo regularly, it just seems like you are losing more hair at once as you will notice more fall out in one wash.
Myth #5: You need to switch your shampoo occasionally because your hair gets used to it
This is also a myth! Shampoo is always producing the same results on hair and there is no way your hair can get used to it as your hair is already dead. What may be different is the condition of your hair. The condition of your hair may change for a variety of reasons; for example, in summer it could be drier because of the heat, or if you are pregnant your hormones change. If your hair has been coloured, you may need to switch to a colour shampoo or more moisturising conditioner.
Myth #6: Cold water makes hair shinier
Myth busted! It is said that cold water seals the cuticle but this is the conditioner’s job to lock in that shine. Cold water constricts the capillaries in your scalp that carry essential nutrients to hair follicles. It is therefore better to wash your hair with lukewarm water.
Myth #7: You only need shampoo, not conditioner
This is a myth as shampoo and conditioner performs two different functions. Shampoo opens the cuticle, lifting and removing dirt from the scalp and any excess build up of oil and products. Conditioner seals the cuticle and adds an extra layer of lipids to help preserve the right amount of oil.
However, it is not essential to condition every single time. You can try a lighter formula like a leave-in spray or moisturising serum.
Myth #8: What’s good for the skin is good for the hair
Not always! Skin and hair are both comprised of keratin, so it would theoretically seem great. However, there are some skincare ingredients that have no proven benefits on the hair, such as hyaluronic acid. It reaps benefits for skin, but there are no proven benefits for hair. Rather, the acidity of the substance could cause scalp irritation, itching or rashes around the hair roots. Be mindful of what you end up putting on your scalp!
Myth #9: Silicones, Parabens and Sulfates are bad for your hair
Silicones, Parabens and Sulfates have really copped a bad rap over the years, with the pros being outweighed by the cons. Perhaps it isn’t so bad for us, but it comes down to what works best for you and your hair. Here are some elements to consider about Silicones, Parabens and Sulphates:
- Silicones lubricate and condition the hair strand by filling in the pores with a protective layer. This layer reflects and makes hair shiny, easy to detangle and style. The only cons are that while silicone makes hair look shinier, it doesn’t fix anything. Prolonged use can result in silicone build up that weights hair down, but this isn’t anything that can’t be removed by a clarifying shampoo.
- Parabens are preservatives used in hair and beauty products to fight bacteria and fungus, prolonging the product’s shelf life. This means it keeps away the fungus in your shampoo bottle and that your product lasts longer. Having said this, some people may have allergic reactions to paraben. There have also been links between parabens to cancer as they can mimic estrogen, however results have been inconclusive.
- Sulphates are a cleaning agent that separates the oils from your scalp and achieves an effective cleanse. It is a surfactant that gives your shampoo the rich lather effect and impression of a deep clean. It is so effective at cleaning that it can irritate the scalp and leave your hair dry and frizzy as a result.
Myth #10: Your shampoo needs to lather for it to be effective
As mentioned in the previous point, sulphate is the surfactant that creates a rich lather effect in shampoo and makes the hair feel extra clean. Some shampoos now don’t contain sulphate with a moving trend towards more organic and natural products. Sulphates are also known to be quite drying on the hair.
Eliminating the use of sulphates means less lather, which is not what most are used to. Without the lather it feels like the shampoo isn’t doing anything but this is not the case. A good shampoo will still cleanse even without the lather.
Myth #11: If you pluck out one gray hair, two will grow in its place
This is simply not true. Only one hair is able to grow per follicle and the surrounding hair follicles will not turn white unless that particular hair follicle’s pigment cell dies. When you pluck this grey hair, a grey one will grow in its place because the follicle’s pigment has already died.
Myth #12: Dry shampoo cleanses hair and makes your hair fall
Dry shampoo doesn’t cleanse hair. The main purpose of dry shampoo is to absorb the excess oil in your hair so it can last longer in between washes.
It is also a myth that dry shampoo can clog hair follicles and make your hair fall out. Usually dry shampoo is made of powder, starch or talc and none of these ingredients cause the hair follicle to damage or fall out. If you’re worried, spray away from the scalp.
Myth #13: Hair loss is a man’s issue
False! Hair loss is also a very common problem for women. One in three women will experience some form of hair loss in their life. It’s nothing to be ashamed of!
Myth #14: Cutting your hair makes it grow faster
Cutting hair has no effect on your roots and this is therefore yet another myth. It may just be that your hair looks fuller after a trim.
We hope we have answered some of your hair related questions with this myth busting blog. If you have any remaining myths you wonder are true or false, comment below!