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July 2, 2008

10 Ridiculous Hair Myths

By Danielle Lemay

Growing up, I was always told to avoid cutting my hair during that time of the month because it wouldn’t turn out right and I’ll end up with bad hair until I cut it again.

Of course, that, like most other advice I was given by friends, turned out to be a load of crap. And that wasn’t the only advice I was given regarding my hair. So I made it a point to come up with the most commonly discussed myths among women and dispel the majority of them.

So read on to find out if some of the hair myths (or what you may believe to be the truth until now) you’ve heard in the past are here and what the truth really is.

Hair myths #1
If you remove 1 gray, 2 will grow
I can’t tell you how many people have told me this myth. That’s not to say I have thousands of gray hairs, mind you, just that I always volunteer to pluck out that one lone gray hair every time I spot it on my 30-something friends’ heads. According to the “remove one two will grow” logic, no matter the color of hair, if you pull one out, two will grow back, so thin-haired people should remove all their hair and expect twice the hair to grow back. Yeah, I don’t think so.

Hair myths #2
A hairdresser can fix split ends
Split ends are here to stay. There’s nothing you can do about it, besides cutting your hair before you actually get them. Once a hair is split, that’s the end of it. You need to cut it off. Even if you glued your split ends together, that wouldn’t fix the problem, it would just look like, well, like you had a There’s Something About Mary “gel” moment.

Hair myths #3
Brushing your hair is good
Brushing your hair should be avoided at all costs. If you must brush your hair, use natural bristled-brushes, flip your hair in front of your face and brush from the nape of your neck to the ends. Don’t ever brush your hair when it’s wet. You’re better off using your fingers to detangle your hair. Brushing your hair causes breaking and split ends. And you cannot repair split ends (see number 2).

Hair myths #4
Washing your hair daily will keep it healthy

Ever since I began washing my hair every five days, it looks healthier than ever, and it even styles more easily. Of course, if you sweat a lot during your days (gym, manual labor, chasing kids around the house) then you may want to wash it every two or three days, but washing your hair every day, especially with a chemical-heavy shampoo, will rob it of essential oils that are produced naturally.

Hair myths #5
Dyeing your hair will cause premature grays
Hair goes gray due to aging and inherited factors and there is absolutely no evidence to support the myth that dyeing your hair will cause it to go gray at a younger age. Hair loses color because it stops producing melanin, the pigment that creates your hair color.

Hair myths #6
Dandruff is caused by dry scalp

Dandruff is caused by the shedding of dead skin cells and is actually most prevalent in areas of the head where grease glands are not only widespread, but most active.

Hair myths #7
Full moon haircuts will make it grow faster
It was believed that cutting your hair during certain phases of the moon would cause it to grow faster or slower, and even dictate whether or not it would maintain its luster. Of course, science has proven otherwise. The moon affects the ocean, but that’s about it.

Hair myths #8
You need to change shampoo every 2 months

Your hair cannot tell the difference between shampoos or conditioners, so if you have a favorite shampoo, you can use it for the rest of your life without problem. It is recommended, however, to use a clarifying shampoo every two or three weeks if you have very oily hair.

Hair myths #9
Cutting hair makes it grow longer & stronger

I know, I know, every time you cut your hair it looks and feels stronger and you just know it grows better. The thing is, cutting off the ends of your hair makes it look thicker because you’re chopping off split and weak ends, but there really is no truth to it growing stronger once it’s cut.

Hair myths #10
Lemon juice & sunshine will lighten hair
Although you might believe that squeezing a lemon into your hair and lying in the sun will lighten your hair, the truth is it doesn’t. A combination of lemon juice and sunshine will dry and damage your hair, however.

Keep your hair healthy

So now you know what your hair does and does not need. So the next time someone urges you to cut your hair during a full moon or your mother tells you that dyeing your hair will make you go gray, give them this article and swing your hair while you walk off.

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