15 Hair Myths and Facts You Should Know Before Buying Haircare Products
There are many haircare products, and this makes difficult to decide which one to pick while it is nice to have choices. The fact is whether the product is luxury high-end or cheap chemist version, there is no guaranty that it works on your hair. You must try it on your hair, then you will know.
However, there are some myths and truths you should know so that it is easier to select right products for your hair. It is important to understand how our hair grows, what makes the hair healthy, and how to maintain the hair.
Fact 1: Hair Growth
Everyone’s hair grows about 15cm per year. Men’s hair grows a bit faster than women. From your mid-teens through your late 20s, hair grows fastest, and slows down considerably afterward. We lose average 50 to 100 hair strands per day. This is very normal.
Once hair is detached from a follicle, the follicle would rest for 3 months until it starts producing new hair. Each hair will keep growing 3 to 7 years. Thinning hair could happen when you are losing more hair strands per day than new hair production happening. If hair is getting finer, follicles may have been blocked, you need more nutrition from food, or scalp doesn’t have enough blood circulation.
Therefore, “stress causes gray hair”, “trimming the hair frequently makes it grow faster”, and “plucking out a gray hair will make two growing from the place” are all not true.
Shampoo for hair loss may work if you are losing hair with scalp condition such as dandruff. However, if the cause of hair loss is related to others, there is no shampoo that is clinically proven to support hair regrowth. Also, hair loss shampoo will not work because shampoo has a very short period of contact with the scalp, and it is not enough to stimulate hair growth or prevent hair loss. However, you can talk to a doctor and you may be able to find a clinically-proven solution for the particular cause.
Fact 2: Healthy hair is made from healthy scalp
The scalp needs to be healthy to produce healthy hair. Your scalp needs enough nutrients sent from your body to produce new hair.
Also, all of us get our cells in scalp damaged during our lifetime and nutrient deficiencies will slow down their recovery process. If cells didn’t recover, the follicles cannot produce hair anymore.
The scalp also produces sebum to keep both scalp and hair lubricated. The most common scalp issues are caused by under or over production of sebum. Use lukewarm water to wash your hair. Heat increases the production of sebum on the scalp that causes less healthy new hair due to the loss of proteins and other essential ingredients.
Fact 3: Washing frequently helps fight dandruff
Cleaning the scalp with the right shampoo helps to reduce the action of fungi and bacteria. However, if the shampoo irritates or dry your scalp, it could make the condition worse.
Fact 4: What is Thick or Thin Hair
“Thick Hair” doesn’t mean the diameter of the hair is wide. Thick or thin describes the density of hair follicles. The number of follicles on your head does not change since you were born.
Fact 5: What is Fine or Coarse Hair
Fine hair means the diameter of the hair is small. Coarse hair means the diameter of the hair is wide. The size of diameter of the hair is because of the size of the follicle. The size of follicle is determined when you are born and it will not change.
Fact 6: Frizz
Frizzy hair doesn’t look good, but it doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy. Most of the time, it is just a natural reaction the hair does with moisture in the air. You can use hair styling or oil to seal the hair from moisture so prevent frizz, but you don’t need to decide your hair is damaged or unhealthy only because of the frizz.
Washing hair with hot water dries hair and increases frizz. Use lukewarm water to wash your hair.
Fact 7: Hair cannot repair or heal
Even though you can use hair treatment products to coat the surface of the hair to protect temporary, hair will not repair or heal itself. Hair is made in a follicle in the scalp, and once the hair comes out of the follicle, it is no longer alive. It is just a deal cell fiber. When the hair just came out of scalp, it has the best condition as it is new. Then, hair will get damaged from washing, drying, UV rays, and pollutions every day. What we can do with haircare products is to protect from the environment for further damages.
Myth 1: Washing every day causes hair loss
This is not true. Washing your hair every day will only gets rid of the hair that has already fallen out. Unless you are pulling hair while washing it, it will not cause hair loss. Hair loss is more related to scalp problems than to external factors.
Myth 2: Dry shampoo is good for hair
Dry shampoo can help to refresh the look of your hair. But it does not replace washing hair. Washing hair can be damaging to the hair and it is better to wash less frequently if you could. Unfortunately, you should not make your washing cycle longer because you are using dry shampoo. Dry shampoo can only soak up excess oil and grease from the hair.
Myth 3: Using the same shampoo & conditioner over a long period will eventually lose the evocativeness
There is no evidence for this. It could be your health condition or eating habit slightly changed over time causing the different result. If you are totally happy with the products, there is no reason for switching to others.
Myth 4: Silicones are bad for your hair
Silicones are made from silicon dioxide (sand) and there are different types of silicones. In haircare products, they are used to detangle hair, make hair shiny, and help hair dye stay longer. Many people are concerned that silicones will build-up on the hair and scalp and not good for the hair. Depending on the heir needs and the type of silicone, silicone could stay on the hair and weigh it down. But not all silicones are equal. Some of them are heavier and stays on the hair better while others are lighter and easier to wash off.
Another common concern is that silicone can clog pores. Silicones are mostly used in conditioner products and conditioner is meant to be used on hair shafts, not on the scalp. For some people silicone could stay on the scalp longer, but build-up unlikely happens because our skin cell shads once a month.
Myth 5: Sulfates is bad for your hair
You see “non-sulfate” or “sulfate-free” shampoo very often. Historically, one of classic example, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), gained a bad reputation that it will strip the hair. However, this very effective cleanser is used with other mild cleanser in newer products and the final products are gentle to the skin and hair. There are also many different sulfates, and they are all different. For example, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) is sulfate but is milder than other non-sulfate surfactants such as Sodium Cocoamphodiacetate. Soap is even worse for the hair because of the high pH (alkaline). So, just having “sulfate” in the ingredients list does not mean it is bad for the hair.
Myth 6: Hair Supplements can prevent hair loss and improve hair health
The common nutrients included in hair supplements are Vitamin A, C, and E, Coenzyme Q10, and Biotin. Deficiencies of those nutrients, although uncommon, may cause a range of changes on hair and skin. For example, insufficient intake of biotin may cause eczema and hair loss. But, for people who have no clear deficiencies, there is no good evidence that supplements can make a difference. Getting too much of a nutrient like Vitamin A can trigger hair loss just as getting too little can. If you are experiencing chronic hair problems for no clear reason, talk with a doctor first and get tested about nutrients.
Myth 7: Oil is good for scalp and hair
Hair oils can make the hair look shiny, but oil only products will not moisturize the hair. Oils have benefits but they need to be formulated into a water based moisturizer or cream to hydrate the hair.
Oil for scalp products can be beneficial if it is targeted to a specific condition. However, unless your scalp has very dry condition, it may not be a good idea to apply oils directly to the scalp. For example, if you had dandruff, applying oils will result in stickier and greasier flakes and better environment for the yeast to grow. Dandruff is more likely to occur on an oily scalp than a dry one.
Myth 8: Color protecting shampoo?
Scientifically, none of those products can keep the color chemicals in the hair any longer than natural fading process. The chemically treated color will continue to fade because the chemical molecules are in different sized due to the imperfect chemical reaction during the treatment. Larger chemical molecules will be washed off easier and the color will keep changing as more molecules washed off. You just need to remember soaps and other products with higher pH (higher than 6) makes the fading speed faster.
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