Beauty

These common hair myths need to curl up and dye, so stop believing in them now

Common hair myths dispelled by Laura Howard, an engineer in the Dyson hair laboratory
 

5 hair myths you should stop believing

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It's easy to believe the word on the street, but are you really getting the truth behind what's actually good or bad for your hair? Here are five myths we hear all too often - and we think it's about time you understood the logic (or lack thereof) behind them.

 

#1 “It’s better to brush your hair when it’s wet.”

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Hair is actually 50 per cent weaker when wet, so combing or brushing it before drying will increase the amount of force applied to the hair, making breakage more likely. This is because wet hair stretches more than dry hair before it breaks. Wet hair has a co-efficient of friction that is significantly higher than dry hair, therefore combing/brushing while wet expose the hair to more force.

 

#2 “Running cold water at the end of your shower makes your hair shiny.”

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The general premise of this rumour is that colder water will cause the cuticle layer (surface) of hair to close. Hair, however, is dead and there are no active mechanisms (e.g. opening and closing of cuticle layers) caused by either hot or cold water. The hair cortex swells slightly with water due to penetration into the hair, however this occurs with both hot and cold water.

 

#3 “Cutting your hair frequently makes it grow faster.”

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It doesn’t – hair grows from the root, and the body cannot detect when it has been cut (shaving, plucking or tweezing is a different story). Cutting the hair removes split ends which helps the hair stay more aligned and look healthier. Perceptually, if you get your hair cut more frequently you will probably be more aware of how quickly it grows.

ALSO READ: Thou shalt knot: 7 commandments for tangle-free hair

 

#4 “If you pluck a grey hair more will grow back.”

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When a hair follicle begins growing grey hair, all new hairs from this follicle will be grey. If you pluck the hair the follicle will be force back into the anagen growth phase and will produce another grey hair. There is no clear evidence that plucking a single hair will cause other hair follicles to start producing grey hairs as well.

 

#5 “The more you brush your hair, the healthier it will be.”

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Brushing the hair mechanically damages the hair, breaking bonds in the cortex and weakening it over time. The abrasion to the cuticle (surface) of the hair will break off small bits of cuticle that stick up due to other damage. This will enable the hair strands to align better which will make it temporarily look healthier – however it is still more damaged than before and less resistant to chemical, environmental, physical and heat damage in the future.