10 Common Hair Myths Debunked: The Truth About Greys, Split Ends & More
By Erin Lukas
Date April 24, 2017
When it comes to hair, it’s easy to lose track of the number of old wives’ tales surrounding what’s considered proper care for maintaining healthy locks. Whether you’ve been routinely brushing your 100 times a day because your mom told you to as a kid, or your friend swears that cold showers make her hair shinier, many of these tips have become part of our beauty routines, and are accepted as “common knowledge.”
While these rituals may have become ingrained in our minds as the key to achieving great hair, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re true. We asked Toronto-based hairstylist Jukka to clarify whether 10 common hair tips are fact or fiction.
Browse the most popular hair myths below.
1) Plucking grey hairs will cause more grey hairs
If your initial reaction to spotting your first grey hair was to pick up a pair of tweezers, you’re not alone but you may want to think twice before doing the deed. “You will temporarily get rid of the plucked hair, but the hair follicle will push a new one to replace the one you’ve removed,” explains Jukka. If you’re lucky, the new hair might have a slight differentiation in colour, and could appear less grey. “If you damage the hair follicle when plucking, you could end up with something worse than salt and pepper strands: bald spots,” warns Jukka.
2) Washing with cold water will make your hair shinier
While cold water may wake you up in the morning, it isn’t really the answer to shinier hair. “In general, cold water removes less of your hair’s natural oils which may make it appear as if your hair is shinier,” explains Jukka. A good conditioner or oil can do the same thing (and will obviously make hair more manageable as well).
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil ($50, sephora.com)
3)Stress causes grey hair
Too much stress can negatively impact your body in a variety of ways, with one common belief being that it causes premature grey hair. “This topic is debatable,” suggests Jukka. “Although I have witnessed it happen to some of my clients quite rapidly, genetics play a big role on this one. Stress-induced free radicals are said to affect the body’s melanin, which affects hair colour.”
4) If you use the same shampoo for every wash, it will eventually stop working
If you find a shampoo that you like and works, stick with it. Until then, keep playing the field. “I would use a particular shampoo as long as you like it. If it’s not working for you, try something new in order to find the exact one that best serves your needs,” suggests Jukka. Try a deep conditioning treatment to get rid of any build-up and oils that may be the root of your issues.
Lush Hair Doctor Hair Treatment ($16, lush.ca)
5) Wearing a ponytail too often will cause bald spots
Ponytails are sleek, on-trend and are a godsend on hot, humid days for women with longer hair, but it might be wise to rethink how often you turn to the simple hairstyle. “Ponytails cause damage and breakage of the hair, and in extreme cases, may cause hair loss to a certain degree,” explains Jukka. “Try to use gentle elastics on your pony and change the placement of the ponytail to prevent damage.” If you’re addicted to the look and notice a change in your hair’s thickness or breakage, try a leave-in treatment to strengthen hair to make it appear thicker and fuller.
Kevin.Murphy BODY.MASS, ($39, kevinmurphy.com)
6) Frequently trimming your hair will make it grow faster
Just like your favourite flower that eventually loses its petals, hair has a life cycle: it grows, rests and then falls out. “Frequent trims will make your hair stronger and healthier, but hair will not grow faster,” explains Jukka.
7) Brushing your hair 100 times a day is important for your hair’s health
Unfortunately, fairy tales aren’t reality, and while brushing her hair this often may have worked for Rapunzel, it won’t benefit your hair’s health. “You will likely cause more damage to your hair by doing this, especially if you use the wrong brush,” suggests Jukka. “Gentle brushing is better (and more relaxing). If you have an oiler scalp, brushing will distribute oils to the hair shaft, thus reflecting more light and making your hair appear healthier.”
8) Split ends can be mended with the right products
While there are a ton of great products on the market that can help prevent split ends and strengthen hair, no product is a miracle worker. “Scissors are the best fix for split ends!” confirms Jukka. Pantene Advanced+ Split End Fuser works to strengthen your hair and prevent split ends.
Pantene Advanced+ Split End Fuser ($10, walmart.ca)
9) You need to lather, rinse, and repeat in order to really clean your hair
When it comes to washing hair, the saying “You can never have too much of a good thing,” sadly does not apply. “In general, people seem to wash their hair too often. Only double shampoo your hair if it’s really dirty or oily,” suggests Jukka. “If your hair and scalp is dry, try washing it with flat hands to keep in some of its natural oils.”
10) You should comb your hair from top to bottom
Although, many hair commercials feature models brushing from the root downward, this brushing method, particularly if the hair is wet, can cause breakage. “Start brushing from the ends working your way up,” suggests Jukka. “This will prevent breakage and damage to the hair shaft, especially if the hair is wet.” A brush designed to be used on wet or dry hair will be easier on your strands and remove tangles or knots without causing further breakage, splitting or damage.
Tangle Teezer Compact Styler ($25, sephora.com)