Should you cut your hair every six weeks? Does washing your hair with cold water make it shinier? If you stop shampooing your hair does it eventually cleanse itself?
Yep, there are plenty of popular theories going around about how to grow strong, healthy hair. So we asked Paloma Rose Garcia, celebrity hairstylist and Philips Haircare ambassador, to untangle the most common hair care myths and explain exactly how we should be looking after our locks.
1. Myth: Cutting your hair more frequently (every six weeks) makes it grow faster
Busted: The follicles in your scalp determine how much your hair grows and cutting the ends of your hair doesn’t actually impact the follicles in your scalp. However, split ends and breakage cause your hair to look thinner at the ends, and shorter. Regular trims help to keep the ends of your hair healthy, and it may appear longer. If you’re trying to grow your hair long, I’d recommend a trim every three months at a minimum.
2. Myth: Rinsing with cold water makes your hair shinier
Busted: The theory is that cold water will make the cuticle of your hair close so that it’s flat and light-reflective, however, with no living cells your hair doesn’t react to hot or cold water. To increase the shine and health of your hair you can use conditioners and treatments to smooth the cuticle. I always suggest using a moisturising mask or treatment every fortnight and leaving it in for up to 30 minutes to maintain strong, smooth hair.
3. Myth: Air drying is better for your hair than blow drying
Busted: While excessive heat can damage your hair, using your dryer on its lowest heat setting and holding it away from your hair isn’t bad for it. Research has found that exposing your hair to water for a long period of time while air drying can be more damaging in the long term, as the interior of the hair swells. The tools you are using have the biggest impact so make sure you dry it off using a hair dryer, like the Philips MoistureProtect hair dryer, that actually uses sensor technology to monitor and adjust the temperature for you.
4. Myth: Sleeping with your hair down makes it grow quickly
Busted: You cannot change the speed of your hair growth, but you can try to avoid additional breakage or damage from tension. If you want to put it up, go for a loose ponytail or plait for reduced damage. This applies at night and during the day.
5. Myth: Oils will make your hair greasy
Busted: This is only true if you apply oil to your scalp but when applied to the ends of the hair, oils can add shine and hydration. To avoid greasy hair, ensure you are shampooing thoroughly (I always recommend shampooing twice for dirty hair; a quick once over followed by a thorough two and a half minute shampoo the second time). Apply conditioner and any oils to the ends of your hair.
6. Myth: Don’t pluck your grey hairs - two will grow back in the place of one
Busted: There is no harm in plucking a grey hair! Plucking the hair will indeed remove the grey, however, it is the follicle beneath the skin that produce the hair has made the hair grey. Pulling out one grey hair will not cause more grey hairs to grow as one follicle will not affect others around it. If you’re lucky, the hair that grows back from being plucked might be a little less grey than before as hair pigment (what gives hair your colour) is not consistent from hair to hair.
7. Myth: If you do not wash your hair it will cleanse itself
Busted: This is definitely a myth as your scalp and hair will just become more dirty! If you have clean hair, you only need to shampoo once and this should be a thorough 2 ½ minute wash. If you have dirty hair, i.e. you’ve been to the gym or it’s feeling a little greasy, you should shampoo twice; the first shampoo should be a 30 second quick once over and the second shampoo should be 2 ½ minute thorough cleanse. It’s important that when you shampoo, you are gently massaging the scalp and not just focusing on the hair. You’ll know when you scalp and hair is clean, when you produce large, foamy bubbles.
8. Myth: The more you brush your hair, the healthier it will be
Busted: Excessive brushing can do more harm than good, and can damage your hair’s outer protective layer by causing friction and breakage over time. Using an ionic brush, like the Philips Ionic Styling Brush, start at the bottom of your hair and work your way up. This brush is also great for stimulating your scalp to promote hair growth.