Hair Facts and Fallacies
Some commonly held beliefs about hair are based on nothing but myths, which exist in amazing abundance. The roots of some hair myths may be pure flights of fancy while others contain a kernel of truth. Cynics believe that the life span of hair myths is inversely related to how hare-brained they are. Be this as it may, it is time for facts and real answers. How about it? Does stress really cause hair loss? Does brown hair grow faster than blonde hair?
The word myth (from the Greek 'mythos') means 'narrative' or 'story'. In today’s perception, the word myth describes the coming-into-their-own stories of gods and heroes. Sometimes, myths deliver narratives around natural phenomena, which escaped rational explanation at the time. While many myths still captivate with the wisdom of the ages, creation myths and myths around natural phenomena rarely deliver relevant facts. We like to help you separate facts from fallacies.
Which ones of the following statements are true?
1. Styling products dry out hair. – Wrong!
This statement is untrue. The alcohols used in styling products are highly volatile. Consequently, the alcohols evaporate the moment the product settles on the hair or even sooner.
2. Frequent shampoos lead to an oily scalp. – Wrong!
Sebaceous glands in the hair roots regulate how much sebum (fat) is produced. The sebum production depends solely on the skin type and the person’s age. As a general rule, the sebum production decreases with age. Frequent shampoos will remove the sebum from the hair and scalp. However, 'modern' shampoos are designed to keep hair supple.
3. Stress causes hair loss. – Correct!
On average, people lose about 50 to 80 hairs every day and replace them. Stress can influence the balance between hair loss and regrowth in favor of excess hair loss. Nature strives to re-establish the lost balance. You should consult with your physician if the excessive hair loss persists.
4. It is better to comb rather than brush wet or damp hair. – Correct!
Wet or damp hair is more fragile and more prone to breakage and other damage than dry hair. Use a wide-toothed comb to style wet or damp hair.
5. Brown hair grows faster than blonde hair. – Wrong!
Usually, blonde hair is finer and more prone to breakage than brown hair. This may lead to the impression that blonde hair grows slower than dark hair. However, genetic factors other than the hair color genes determine how fast the hair grows.
6. One hundred brush strokes daily turn on the luster in your hair. – Of course!
Brushing leads to smoother hair cuticles, and it detangles hair. The smooth evenly layered hair shafts reflect light particularly well. This is the basis for the glow and the attractive play of light in freshly brushed hair. Brushing also distributes the sebum from the scalp over the cuticle surfaces. This protects the hair while increasing its shine. You don’t have to count and it does not necessarily take as many as 100 brush strokes.