We often have misconceptions about hair loss and what causes it. There are so many old wives’ tales and simple untruths out there that it can be difficult to separate the fact from the fiction. So how do you know what’s fake news, and what isn’t? We’re here to help and put some common hair myths to rest once and for all!
1: “Hair grows faster if you cut it”
FALSE: Cutting your hair only affects the shaft, but not the follicle, which is the part responsible for growth and premature loss. Getting your hair cut may mean you feel like it’s falling out less as your split ends will have been removed and your hair will look healthier, but it has no impact on new growth or loss.
2: “Greasy hair falls out more often”
TRUE: When your scalp produces too much grease and you don’t get rid of it, you may find that more of your hair falls out. This is because sebum (oil) makes your hair ‘dirty’ and can obstruct the follicle. Focus on your scalp too when washing your hair if you notice that sebum and dirt build up, making sure that you always use gentle products that are suitable for your hair type.
3: “We lose more of our hair in fall”
TRUE AND FALSE: Hair does drop out naturally in fall, when your hair actually renews itself more than at other times of year. This may be because this period follows on from summer, when the hair is punished by the sun, the pool, and the beach, leaving your follicles weaker and the shafts broken.
4: “Anxiety and stress can affect hair loss”
TRUE: Although this is a dramatic statement, stress has been linked to hair loss. When you notice that a lot of your hair is falling out, you may worry even more, contributing to a cycle of loss and feelings of worry and stress. Remember that it’s normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs a day, so hair loss is normal. If you feel worried about your hair loss or think that it’s above the average, visit your dermatologist.
Read more: top 7 causes of hair loss
5: “Washing your hair on a daily basis makes it fall out more”
FALSE: Not only is this not true, it’s actually completely the opposite! If your hair feels greasy every day, it’s best to wash it to stop excess sebum blocking your follicles. Hair that falls out as you wash was ready to fall out anyway. This loss has nothing to do with your showering habits! While showering won’t make your hair fall out, make sure that you always use products that don’t damage your scalp or irritate it.
6: “Brushing your hair when it’s wet means more will fall out”
FALSE: In line with the previous myth, your hair doesn’t fall out more if you brush it when it’s wet. Hair is more elastic when it’s wet, and it also has a greater tendency to split, which means that you feel as though more is falling out, whereas in fact it’s just broken. If your hair is in the process of falling out, brushing gathers up hair that is about to shed anyway: it doesn’t actually cause hair loss.
7: “Drinking and smoking make your hair fall out more”
TRUE: Our habits have more of an impact on our hair than we think. Although it is true that every hair has its own life cycle (growth, maintenance and loss), some factors affect your roots. As well as being bad for your physical health, drinking and smoking can make your hair lose its vitality, and in some cases, contribute to damage or hair loss by speeding up the hair’s natural aging process.
8: “Always wearing a hat, or using gel, spray or mousse causes baldness”
TRUE AND FALSE: Things that affect the hair shaft don’t necessarily affect your scalp. Applying certain products may damage your hair but that doesn’t mean they will increase hair loss. But if you are always wearing a hat or make excessive use of products like sprays, gels and mousses then your scalp may become greasy, which as we saw before, can be problematic.
What other hair myths have you heard?
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