Between the internet, your stylist’s opinion, and the advice of friends, you get a lot of information about what’s “best” for your hair. And with all this information, it can be hard to separate hair myths from hair truths.
Well, let’s clear up some of that confusion right now. These seven hair myths need to be debunked!
1. Myth: Cutting Your Hair Makes It Grow Faster
You’ve probably been told at one time or another that if you want your hair to grow long, the key is to get it cut. But the truth is, hair grows from the roots of hair follicles. And these follicles are located beneath the surface of the skin on your scalp.1 Cutting your hair will have no effect on the speed at which your hair grows.
That doesn’t mean frequent trims aren’t a good idea if you’re looking to grow your hair long. Keeping the ends trimmed will help get rid of split ends and prevent them from splitting further up the hair shaft. This will reduce the look of frizz and thinness, and make your hair look healthy and full.
2. Myth: Split Ends Can Be Fixed
Speaking of split ends, they can’t be fixed. Once a hair fiber splits, it’s split for good. The only way to rid yourself of split ends it to chop them off.
However, conditioners and other “split end” products can temporarily seal the hair cuticle so that the split is less obvious.2 So if you’re in between trims, you can use one of these products to keep hair looking a little sleeker.
3. Myth: Braids Are The Most Protective Style You Can Wear
Braids are a beautiful and low-maintenance look that helps keep your hair out of the way. But they’re not necessarily good for your hair.
The tugging and pulling involved in creating tight braids can lead to something called “traction alopecia.” This is a fancy word for hair loss that comes about as a result of hair practices that tug on the scalp. And the risk of traction alopecia only increases if tight hairstyles are performed on hair that’s been chemically treated.3
Styles that are easier on the scalp are better. Try a low, loose bun or, even better, wear it down.
4. Myth: Natural Curls Are High-Maintenance
It might take a little time to nail down a hair routine for natural curls, but once you do it can be a lot less work than getting it professionally relaxed, straightening it yourself, or getting a weave.
Keeping curls well-moisturized and finding the right products for your hair type can take a lot of detective work. But once you find what works for you, you’re set.
The better news? A natural hair routine is better for your hair’s health. Using a relaxer can increase hair’s fragility, while tight hairstyles may irritate the scalp and lead to hair loss.4,5
5. Myth: Air-Drying Your Hair Is Healthier Than Blow-Drying It
This one might really surprise you.
There’s no doubt that heat-styling can wreak havoc on hair.
But air-drying your hair is actually not great for hair health, either.
You see, exposure to water actually damages the hair. When your hair is wet, the shaft swells and puts pressure on the proteins that keep your hair strong and healthy. And the longer your hair is wet, when it’s air-drying for instance, the greater the potential for damage.
The best way to get your hair dry is actually to blow-dry it.
But here’s the caveat: you’ve got to hold the blow dryer at least 15 centimeters away, and you must keep the dryer moving continuously, so that heat isn’t focused on one section of hair for too long.6
And always use a heat protectant spray before any kind of heat styling. This will help protect hair strands from thermal damage.7
6. Myth: Dandruff Is The Result of a Dry Scalp
A dry scalp will result in flakes and itchiness, but true dandruff actually occurs when there’s too much oil.
This oil imbalance is often caused by a type of yeast called Malassezia. Malassezia exists naturally on the scalp, but sometimes, it overgrows. This is what causes the symptoms of dandruff: itchiness, scalp irritation, and large, oily flakes.8
Fortunately, neither dandruff nor Malassezia is dangerous, and the scalp can be brought back to balance through various natural or over-the-counter remedies.
Hair Myths: Fact and Fiction
It’s time to put these hair myths to rest for good. Armed with the truth, you can make good hair care decisions for yourself!
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