When it comes to hair, there are a lot of myths which tend to get repeated but are, in fact, completely untrue. As salon and spa professionals, it’s likely that we will get confronted with these hair myths from time to time by our clients and we should be prepared with the correct responses. Let’s explore some of these myths to understand why they are not true.
Myth #1 – Cutting Hair Frequently Makes It Grow Faster
For some reason, one long-standing hair myth is that cutting your hair frequently will make it grow faster. This is not true as this would imply that the hair itself is alive and is somehow reacting to haircuts by growing faster. Hair is actually dead tissue and is not even capable of doing this. Diet, genetics and your general health is what will determine the rate of hair growth which you experience. Some people have fast-growing hair and some do not but, on average, hair grows about half of an inch every month and cutting it frequently will not do anything to speed this up. Stylists do recommend getting a trim every 6 to 8 weeks but this is to contain and eliminate damaged ends and has nothing to do with future growth.
Myth #2 – Pulling Out Grey Hair Will Make More Grey Hair Grow In
This myth has absolutely no basis in reality although there are almost certainly people with alopecia and hair loss problems who wish it was true. If pulling out grey hair made more (grey) hair grow in, people with little hair could simply pull out their grey hair over and over again until they had a full head of hair. Unfortunately, pulling out grey hair, or any hair for that matter, can damage the follicle and actually cause less hair to grow back. Therefore, if grey hair is bothering you, you should dye or otherwise blend it with a hair product as pulling it out is not a good solution.
Myth #3 – Stress Causes Grey Hair
There is no shortage of people who believe that stress causes grey hair but this myth also has no scientific evidence to back it up. What does seem to cause grey hair more than anything is genetics. You will likely get grey hair around the same age that one or both of your parents got grey hair. Too much stress is bad for a multitude of reasons but grey hair is not one of them.
Myth #4 – Ponytails, Braids And Buns Are Not Damaging To Hair
The answer to this myth is a little bit yes and a little bit no. Ponytails, braids and buns are fine once in a while but they should not be done too often as they can cause breakage, a receding hairline and damage over time because of the tension which is put on the hair with these hairstyles. Likewise, it is best to do these hairstyles in a looser manner when you do use them.
Myth # 5 – Hair Dye Sticks Better To Dirty Hair
We do not know where this myth came from but there is no truth to it. Hair color actually sticks best to dry, clean, recently washed hair. In fact, oils can repel hair dye which is why they are sometimes used during dyeing to prevent coloring on the skin at the hairline.
Myth #6 – Shampoo And Conditioner Combinations Are The Same As Using Shampoo And Conditioner Separately.
Many people think they are saving themselves time and money by using a shampoo and conditioner combination instead of using the products separately but, in fact, they are more effective when used separately. They have two different jobs and these jobs are best performed on their own. The job of the shampoo is to clean oil, dirt and grime from your scalp and hair while the job of the conditioner is to smoothen hair and lock in nutrients. Also, the ratio of shampoo to conditioner in these combinations is usually lacking in the conditioner part and so you are not getting the same level of conditioning that you would get from a separate conditioner.
Myth #7 – Washing Your Hair Makes It Fall Out
This myth probably stems from the fact that people notice hair shedding most when washing their hair but this is only because the water and shampoo are releasing hair that was already released from the scalp, yet still held in place by other hair. When the shampoo and water reduce the friction between hairs, they all fall down at once but are not actually falling out at that moment. People normally lose about 50 to 100 hairs per day so, if you skip washing your hair for a few days and then wash it, it may seem like you are suddenly losing a lot of hair but this is not actually the case.
Myth #8 – Brushing Your Hair A Lot Is Good For Your Hair
Brushing your hair too much can actually damage the cuticle and worsen the condition of your hair. You really only need to brush your hair enough to keep out knots and tangles. Brushing it more than this is actually counter-productive.
Myth #9 – Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Dye Their Hair
There are a lot of things pregnant women need to avoid but dyeing their hair is not one of them. People assume that the chemicals in hair dye would be damaging to a fetus but, actually, only a very small amount of this dye is absorbed into the skin when hair is being dyed and this small amount will not harm an unborn baby. The only reason to avoid permanent hair dyes with regards to pregnant women is if the pregnancy is causing hyper-sensitive olfactory responses to, say, the ammonia in the hair dye. In this case, to avoid inducing nausea, pregnant women may want to use temporary or semi-permanent dyes which do not contain this chemical.
Myth #10 – Dirty Hair Grows Faster
This myth may be related to the myth that washing your hair makes it fall out but is equally incorrect. Dirty hair is actually more prone to damage and breaking which will hinder the overall length of hair. If adding length to your hair is one of your goals, you should keep it as clean, healthy and strong as possible.
Many hair myths stem from incorrect assumptions and observations. Understanding why these myths are not true is important for being a well-rounded salon and spa professional. Also, if the topic does come up with one of your clients, now you will have one more thing to talk about!