Compiled by the Head of Hairdressing Faculty at the Australasian College Broadway, Julie Halkidis.
The influx of hair myths begin when you’re just a tot, with relatives promising that if you eat your crust, you’ll get cute curls. Although you’ve probably learnt that the crust and curl statement is all a story, there are still hair legends that have many women scratching their head (sorry, I couldn’t help myself).
As Head of Hairdressing Faculty at the Australasian College Broadway, Australia’s benchmark in hair, beauty and make-up education, I am constantly asked by new students and clients to clear up countless old wives’ tales. So, I’ve put together some of the most common hair untruths, so you can rest assured you won’t get duped again!
Never use conditioner on your roots – False
I can understand why some don’t, because the scalp naturally produces oil that moisturises the roots, there are times when your roots need to be treated with a protein or moisturising conditioner. If your hair is naturally dry, or you dye it regularly, it’s important to use a protect and repair treatment every few weeks and this treatment should be applied roots to tips – although the roots may be healthy now, they’ll eventually grow-out to the ends and you want to keep them hydrated throughout their growth cycle.
Thickening shampoo makes hair thicker – True (temporarily)
Salon quality thickening shampoos only work temporarily, but they do work! The shampoos swell and add a layer of product over each strand which makes the hair feel and look thicker until your next wash. However, it won’t have any long-term impact to the way your hair grows, as this is only impacted by hormones and DNA.
Heat protector is just a craze – False
A good thermal protector can be your hair’s best friend, especially if you use heated styling tools like straighteners, curling irons or blow-dryers. Heat protectors create a barrier over your hair’s surface that will save it from splitting and breaking when you’re styling it. These products aren’t going anywhere, so I recommend investing immediately.
Vitamins can impact the strength and condition of your hair – True
This one has divided many hair experts, however a good diet filled with Vitamin B, Potassium, Iron and Vitamin A will do wonders for both your hair and skin, and taking supplements with these ingredients is a great way to get the nutrients you need.
You should shampoo twice, just like the packaging recommends – False
Most shampoos have enough cleansing agents (i.e. those with sulphates) in them to clean the hair with one application only – unless you have extremely oily or product overloaded hair.
Supermarket dyes can be used to go blonde – False
Wearing tight braids, ponytails or buns causes hair loss – True
Although sleek styles are making a big comeback this season, it may be time to rethink how tightly you pull that pony-tail! Traction alopecia is a hair loss condition that is caused by excessive amounts of tension on the hair shafts which can damage the hair follicle. To get the taut style, without the damage, use hair gel or spray to create a ‘wet look’ and slick back into a looser ponytail. The wet look gives the illusion that the hair is sleek and tight.
Cutting your hair every 6 weeks makes it grow faster – False
Sorry ladies. Regular haircuts do not make your hair grow faster. However, it is incredibly important to get trims, as these prevent your hair from breakage and split-ends, which actually make your hair appear to grow slower anyway!
Unwashed hair is better for styling – True
Generally, the best time to style hair is 24-hours after a shampoo. The day after a wash, the hair has started producing some natural oil, which makes any product ‘stick’ to the strands and hold the style for longer.
Brushing 100 times a day for healthy hair – False
Over-brushing your hair can lead to breakage and aiming for 100 strokes a day is far too much. The best way to brush is to gently detangle starting from the ends and then working up to the roots. To finish do a few strokes from root to tip to distribute some of the natural oils from the scalp.
The Australasian College Broadway is Australia’s benchmark in hair, beauty and make-up education, with thousands of students passing through its doors every year. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the College offers a diverse range of courses and has just launched a Bachelor of Applied Health Science (Clinical Aesthetics).