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January 06, 2021
Where do myths come from? They’ve been around since before people could write as a way of explaining natural phenomena, or cultural issues. Many of the myths around hair come from common misunderstandings or have been handed on from past generations where habits or capabilities were very different.
1. Women over 40 need to cut their hair short
Like many social observations this one is way out of date. It was always about condition not length. In the old days before great conditioners, expert colouring and skilful cutting and styling etc. long dry frizzy white hair made a woman look old and tired. Today we have the skill and technology to make 60 the new 40.
2. If you stretch out your time between shampoos then less hair falls outNo. What’s going to fall will fall. 80-100 hairs a day is the natural average in the lifecycle. The hair falls, the root rests for 3 months and then the hair grows back. Regular daily massage is likely to improve the blood supply bringing nutrients and removing toxins from the scalp. Which will make the hair root healthier and stronger. See blog: How to Shampoo
3. It’s better to air dry hair than blow dry hairFor condition yes but not if you hate the air-dried look on your hair.
4. If I cold-rinse I’ll have shinier hair
No evidence to back that up but the cold rinse should make you feel perkier.
5. Washing your hair every day is damagingNot if you’re using quality products and airdrying. But over blow-drying or ironing hair with poor technique seven times a week is much worse than twice a week. The difference is burning the same piece of hair an extra 261 times a year. Over a thousand extra times on the ends of long hair! Learn better, safer styling techniques. See blog: Home Blowdry Tips
6. Stress turns your hair greyThe overall greyness of hair is caused by the proportion of coloured hair to hair without colour pigment (white hair). Hair is either coloured or white. There is no single grey hair.
Auto immune functions are impacted by stress and can affect the loss of coloured hair linked with alopecia, which can then return hair without colour. There’s conflicting research on this but we do know that vitamin deficiencies can lead to loss of hair colour. Smokers are twice as likely to start going grey under 30. See blog: Help! My Hair’s Turning Grey
7. The more the shampoo foams, the better
The foam is more about the sensory effect than cleansing. Some very good cleansers are low or no foam. See blog: Co-wash Sounds Like Fun
8. Split ends can be repairedAbsolutely not, but some potions may lessen the effect temporarily with glue like ingredients. Hair splits when the structure of the hair shaft is so dehydrated and destroyed that it fractures apart. All those protein bonds were washed away long ago. Nothing will put them back. Trim the ends off and use LifeSaver Prewash Treatment to stop the new hair going the same way.
1. Healthy Hair 2. Damaged Hair 3. Split End
9. Hair oil can make your hair greasy Oils can be very useful in making up for the dryness in hair, reducing frizz and giving a sheen. But if you use more than the hair can absorb or the oil molecules are too large then they’ll sit on the surface and look oily. And just because it’s a natural oil doesn’t mean it’s any good for hair. Crude oil and lard will attest to that. Magic Oil is an effective silicone-free blend of light natural oils that the hair can absorb into the surface cuticle to eliminate frizz and dryness. See blog: What’s the Magic
10. You must rinse out all the conditioner
No. You want the hair to hold onto some for protection, combability and shine. Make sure you comb the conditioner through so it spreads evenly, then rinse well. Hair will hold onto what it wants and you’ll get used to judging whether you should rinse a little less if your hair is particularly dry.
11. If I don’t wash my hair it will self cleanse
One of the characteristics of a long career is seeing fashions return again and again to a new hungry audience, sometimes with a little twist. It’s my fourth fashion cycle of the self-cleaning saga, the first over 30 years ago.
This is my experience: Rinsing with water will remove a certain amount of dirt and pollution and some oils. As these build up, the hair will behave differently and for some hair types and styles this may be okay (thick wavy dry hair usually). For some it can lead to unpleasant scalp conditions, flakiness and seborrheic dermatitis.
For most, the feel and aroma will not be what they hoped for and some will start to use warmer water, then vinegar or lemon juice to try to cut through the grease. 6-8 weeks later they generally feel they are trying too many other methods to achieve cleanliness and revert to shampoo. I know some people experimenting with this now. No one I know of from previous revivals continued past 2-3 months. See blog: Scalp Detox
12. You should always shampoo twiceThis belief probably started when people only washed their hair once a week so was either very oily or caked in hairspray. If you’re using a good quality shampoo and washing regularly one shampoo is usually enough. If the hair is particularly greasy, or you use hairsprays, dry shampoos and styling powders, or very mild detergents (see blog: Sulphate-Free) then you’re likely to need a second shampoo. If you’re detoxing from the silicone habit this can take 8-10 shampoos to remove all the inert deposits wedged into the hair. Don’t fit that all into one session.
13. If I cut my hair it will grow quicker
Yes and no. It doesn’t change the rate of growth at the roots, but it will strengthen the ends and slow down splitting and shrinkage. Hence your hair will become healthier and longer. Hair grows at a fairly consistent pace through life of half an inch each month. When people say their hair has stopped growing it usually means the ends are decaying and disintegrating as fast as the roots are pumping hair out. Or less often, that the hair is very long and reaching the limits of its lifecycle.
14. Your hair becomes immune to the same shampooThere was a very effective wheeze dreamed up by the marketing department for a new shampoo launch in the mid-1970s. They needed to create a reason for people to switch from established brands. Its premise was that hair gets used to your shampoo as it builds up and it’s good to change.
It wasn’t true then but the ad campaign was very effective and this became an urban myth. However, it did start to become true from the late 1970s as plasticisers and silicones started to be added to shampoos and conditioners. Wash & Go being an early version. After the first use, the initial effect was never quite achieved again and the hair started to be weighed down by build-up. Next trick – detox shampoos to strip the unhelpful build-up.
A good quality shampoo and conditioner will not rely on silicones or plasticisers to fake healthy hair. 3’’’More Inches Cashmere Protein Shampoos and Conditioners use mainly naturally derived ingredients that do not cause build up or weigh hair down.
15. Colour takes better on dirty hair
No, but it’s easier for a colourist to handle when the hair has a little grip, especially if the hair is short or silky floppy and they are using fine foil weaves.
16. You don’t need to take supplements just have a healthy dietYes and no. Real food is always best. But for some people their lifestyles preclude consistent balanced eating and for others, their metabolisms may not absorb or synthesise sufficient quantities of essential vitamins and minerals. Here nutritional supplements can help.
PowerShot Supplements are an all-round health supplement with an emphasis on healthy hair and nails.
Michael Van Clarke
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