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Five Hair Healthcare Myths and One Unfortunate Truth

Tim Boyer's picture
Long haired woman

Hair healthcare myths are as plentiful as cold remedies. Passed down from generation to generation, we’ve grown up with them, swore by them and more likely than not will pass on myths such these and myriad other myths to our children in the name of health and good parenting. But it doesn’t have to be that way. According to “O” The Oprah Magazine, if you believe in hair healthcare myths, now is the time to rethink what you think you know and learn the truth about hair healthcare and—one unfortunate truth about men and hair.

Hair Healthcare Myth No. 1: Frequent trims make your hair grow faster.

False. Cutting your hair does nothing to stimulate hair follicle growth in the scalp. According to experts, hair grows on average approximately ¼ inch per month regardless of whether you cut it or trim it on a regular basis or not. What some stylists say is happening is that trimming to remove split ends can actually make hair appear longer because split ends cause breakage which thins the hair at the ends and gives the appearance that the hair is shorter.

Hair Healthcare Myth No. 2: If you always use the same shampoo, eventually it will stop working.

False. Shampoos are not like certain medications that your body (hair) can build a resistance to. However, if you change your hair routines, e.g. hair dyes, use of hot tools, etc., then you may need to switch to a shampoo that is better equipped for treating a particular hair condition such as a need for a moisturizing shampoo to treat dry or damaged hair.

Hair Healthcare Myth No. 3: A cold-water rinse makes your hair shinier.

False. When hair cuticles lie close against the shaft of a hair it is reflective and looks shiny. When the hair cuticles are lifted slightly away from the shaft of a hair it makes the hair appear dull. The cold-water rinse myth is based on the mistaken belief that hair cuticles respond to heat and cold. Rather, scientists say that conditioners and styling products that contain silicones and oils are what can make cuticles lie flat; and, that hair cuticle damaging treatments such as frequent dyeing and hot tools for styling should be minimized as much as possible.

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Hair Healthcare Myth No. 4: For healthy hair, brush 100 strokes a day.

False. Believers of this myth attribute their belief with the rationale that rigorous brushing will distribute oils from the scalp to the hair follicles and/or stimulate the scalp with increased blood flow that will promote hair growth. According to experts, neither is true and can lead to excessive cuticle damage and hair breakage. Their recommendation is to brush only as much as necessary is needed to detangle hair and style, and being sure to use the right tools such as a wide-toothed comb and a brush with ball-tipped plastic bristles.

Hair Healthcare Myth No. 5: If you shampoo less often, your scalp will gradually produce less oil.

False. According to dermatologists, regardless of how often you shampoo your hair it will have no effect on the sebaceous glands that produce oils on your scalp. Rather, your genetics and your hormonal health will determine whether your hair is naturally oily or dry. The health risk of not shampooing your hair enough is that it will result in dirt accumulation that can then cause an inflammation on your scalp—and stunt hair growth.

One Unfortunate Truth: Men prefer longer hair.

Yep, guys are guys. According to multiple studies, men are typically more attracted to women who wear their hair past their shoulders. When digital images of women’s faces were superimposed with hair styles of varying lengths, men chose the longer hair styles on the same faces; and, in addition, men tend to rate women with longer hair as appearing healthier.

Here are additional links to articles gleaned from The Dr. Oz Show and “O” The Oprah Magazine that discuss gray hair, balding and other hair issues.

Image source: Courtesy of Wikipedia

Sources: “O” The Oprah Magazine