MYTH: You should not wash your hair daily. FALSE
You have probably heard at some point that washing your hair daily hinders the health of your hair and causes your hair to fall out more rapidly. It is normal for a person to lose 100 to 150 hairs daily and sometimes even a bit more. This is a common occurrence and is not due to washing your hair. Most people notice more hair fall in the shower as they rinse; as hairs that have already “detached” are released during your hair wash routine. Your hair washing frequency is up to you! If your hair seems to be oily, especially at the roots, wash it. If not, skipping washing until it does is fine, however infrequent washing can cause product residue, oil, dead cells and bacteria, which can cause damage to your hair and growth process if it is excessive. Daily washing is best when using a product without parabens, sulfates and harsh chemicals.
MYTH: Cutting your hair frequently, grows hair faster. FALSE
You may have been told before that trimming your hair every 4 – 6 weeks is necessary for your hair to grow, and possibly that it will make your hair grow more rapidly. Your hair grows from the roots, not from the ends. Hair is not a living growing being. The hair follicles are in charge of growth! There is no denying that getting your split ends trimmed off will show off your healthiest of locks. Getting rid of split ends will also help decrease breakage which will make your hair seem to grow faster since you will not be losing as much length from breakage. Thinning at the ends will also be greatly reduced! If you are trying to grow your hair out for more length, getting it trimmed every 8-12 weeks is recommended to keep those split ends at bay. Using products that nourish the roots and stimulate your hair follicles will be most beneficial.
MYTH: Those with greasier hair or a greasy scalp should not use conditioner. FALSE
Oily or greasy hair and/or scalp is caused when an oil your body naturally produces, sebum, is over produced by scalp tissues causing build up. Using a proper hydrating shampoo and conditioner helps alleviate this. Conditioning with a nourishing and hydrating conditioner is not only beneficial but recommended. Your body will reduce the amount of sebum it produces naturally. Many conditioners on the market are loaded with oils that coat the hair and cause build up on the scalp which causes the over production in most cases. Make sure to use a conditioner that is meant to naturally hydrate your hair as opposed to those that coat the hair cuticle and weigh your locks down. Apply conditioner at the ends and working up to the scalp. Be sure to fully rinse all product from your hair and scalp and use a conditioner that is free from parabens, sulfates and harsh chemicals.
MYTH: Gray hair is caused by stress. FALSE
Did your mom ever tell you that you were giving her gray hair? Don’t worry! It is not your fault! Graying hair is caused mostly by aging and genetics. As you grow older, your body produces less melanin (natural pigments found in hair, skin and irises!) which causes hair to start graying. Currently there has been little evidence to no evidence to support the theory that stress can cause gray hair. However, stress can cause a more rapid aging and hair loss process which can cause more gray hair appearance for incoming growth if you are already producing less melanin. In other words, Don’t stress! Your hair is not graying because of it!
MYTH: Stress causes hair loss. PARTLY TRUE
As you just read above stress can cause a more rapid aging and hair loss process however we are not talking about your typical daily stresses like a demanding job, a boss who is a pain or a nagging spouse or kids. This can have only a minor effect but generally traumatic events, long term suffering or illnesses, and even post partem stressors and chemical imbalances have the greatest effect. Severe stress can cause your hair to go into a longer “resting” or telogen phase which is when the hair follicles tend to pause as they are regenerating hair. This is a natural occurrence, but stress can lengthen this period a great deal. Severe stress can also cause types of alopecia creating patchy spots of hair loss. More times than not this type of hair loss is temporary and will come out of the resting phase once you stop “stressing” about it!
MYTH: If you pluck a gray hair, 2 or 10 will grow back in its place. FALSE
Remember; gray hair is caused by a lack of melanin and is determined mostly by aging and genetics. Also, when you pluck a hair ten can not grow in its place. If that was the case, those experiencing hair loss would just need to pluck some hairs to grow ten times the amount back and all of our hair loss worries would be gone! Wouldn’t that be nice! There is only one hair per follicle. It may look like multiple hairs are clustered together to the naked eye, but under microscopic views it is easily seen that roots of several hair follicles are clustered together below the scalp. The strands of hair can and commonly are grouped together and exit the scalp through a single hair canal. It is not recommended to pluck gray hairs, or any other hairs for that matter, as it can cause scarring which can prevent regrowth. Embrace the grey!
MYTH: It is better to air dry your hair than to blow dry it. FALSE
The truth of the matter is that doing either everyday is not the best. It is not new news that blow drying your hair can cause damage. Air drying your hair can, too! According to studies, blow drying causes more damage to the hair’s surface, but air drying causes more damage within the strands, which may be way worse! When your hair is exposed to water for extended periods of time, it swells and puts pressure on the proteins that keep your hair intact, and can cause even more damage than heat styling. When you blow dry your hair, try to use a low heat setting and constantly move the dryer around repeatedly keeping it at least 6 inches away from your hair so you are not constantly directing the heat in one spot for long.
MYTH: Wearing a hat will cause you to go bald. FALSE
Many believe that wearing a hat cuts off the oxygen to the hair or that it rubs the hair too much causing hair loss. False and false. Firstly, hair follicles receive oxygen from the blood flow to the follicles, not from the air around your head. The hair itself is not alive and does not need oxygen, the follicles do! Healthy blood flow to the follicles is the best source for hair growth! Also, hats are affixed to the head in a ring around all sides. If we experienced hair loss in that type of pattern, the top of our heads where most loss occurs would be fine! Put you hats on if you want!
MYTH: You should brush your hair at least 100 strokes everyday. FALSE
There is a great chance you have heard this before, either in an old hair styling magazine or grandma instilled this in you but it is not true. One hundred strokes is a highly excessive amount to be brushing your hair and can actually damage your hair way more than it can help. It can exacerbate hair loss for those with fine or thinning hair! You absolutely should brush your hair but not excessively! Brushing your hair helps distribute the natural oils your scalp produces throughout your strands and helps keep it hydrated. It should be done gently to detangle with a wide toothed comb or paddle brush containing ball tipped plastic bristles for the least amount of damage. Remember that boar bristled brushes can damage the hair and can be very harsh on the scalp (even though it sure feels good)!
Though there are many myths about general hair health and hair loss we will be back with more another time! Stay tuned!