WHO LET THE HAIR UNICORNS OUT?! There are HEAPS of myths surrounding hair growth. Lots of them have been retold so often that they are almost gospel. Many have a small grain of truth somewhere but they have turned into nonsense science somewhere in the middle.
Some were just retold to get kids to wash and brush their hair, some to sell hair care products. Who knows, but if you really think about them, they stop making sense altogether. So, here you go, 10 myths about growing long, gorgeous hair that you can stop believing today. You can read how to ACTUALLY grow healthy hair here.
Myth #1: Trimming the ends of your hair will make it grow faster
NOPE! Trimming your hair gets rid of those dry, wispy dead ends and makes your hair look healthier overall. Your hair grows from the root, not the ends. The root is alive, the hair and ends are dead. Trimming gets rid of split ends, old colour and frizz. It does not make your hair grow any faster. GRAIN OF TRUTH BIT: Split ends do tend to split higher and higher so if you wait to trim them, you’ll just lose more length.
Myth #2: Brushing your hair a 100 times before bed will make it grow faster
NOT EXACTLY! Stimulating the scalp by brushing does improve circulation which keeps the follicle healthy. Healthy hair follicles means healthy hair growth. Brushing also helps to spread sebum and oils through the hair that keeps it shiny. However, excessive brushing and pulling can break the hair. You also don’t want to be tugging on it because you will pull hair out. Detangle your hair with a wide tooth comb and gently brush it starting from the ends and working up until you are knot and tangle free. It doesn’t have to be a hundred strokes.
Myth #3: Using cold water as a final rinse will make your hair grow faster
Nope, sorry! Again, your hair has a pretty set growth rate of around 1.25cm or half and inch every month. Cold water will stimulate circulation just like brushing and it will make the hair slightly shinier but it will not make your hair grow any faster. It’s very refreshing and it sure wakes you up but your hair isn’t going to suddenly grow 10cm in a month because you rinsed with cold water instead of warm.
Myth #4: Wearing your hair up in a ponytail or bun prevents it from growing properly
SORT-OF: There’s a grain of truth here. If you wear your hair in very tight buns or ponytails you can put unnecessary strain on the root and pull the hair out or break it. Many women who wear their hair in tight styles find that they develop a receding hair line or broken hair and flyaway’s. By all means, wear your hair up but make sure that it’s not too tight. If your ponytail gives you a headache it’s TOO TIGHT! Thanks mum! You can also develop breakages in the area where you usually tie your ponytail or bun if you are using poor quality hair ties that snag and break your hair.
Myth #5: Split ends can be repaired and you can keep the length
NOPE, SORRY! Split ends are dead. You can temporarily smooth them out with leave in conditioner and oils but once the hair splits you can’t magic it back together. Go get them trimmed off because they will keep splitting higher and higher and you’ll lose more length in the end.
Myth #6: Letting hair air dry or going to bed with wet hair is better than blow drying
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh…no? Your hair breaks MUCH more easily when it is wet. It’s much softer and the weight of the water puts strain on it. Tying it up when it’s wet or going to bed without drying will happily break your hair and you will lose any length when all the split ends need to be trimmed out. If you have to wash your hair, have your shower earlier and blow dry your hair at a lower temperature before bed. Sure, it will take longer but you won’t wake up with knots all over your head and broken hair.
GOOD IDEA: Use a large cotton t-shirt to gently squeeze the water out of your hair. Towels can tangle and break the hair but a smooth cotton t-shirt won’t. I know you love a big fluffy towel but they are heavy and those little fibres grab and break your hair. Try the big white t-shirt instead.
Myth #7: Hair is only really clean when it squeaks
OH FOR THE LOVE OF…. Nope! This one started in the 40’s and 50’s somewhere. People used to set their hair and go longer without washing but with the onset of commercial hair care product ranges everybody was peddling soaps and shampoos that were supposed to make your hair clean and shiny while disinfecting your armpits to prevent odour at the same time. You could probably wash you dishes with it too. These soaps would strip the hair of all it’s oils. It was the lather, rinse, repeat generation. They believed that the hair was clean enough once it squeaked. Don’t you dare! If your hair squeaks, your shampoo is full of detergents and you need conditioner.
Myth #8: There are ingredients in hair care products that can make your hair grow faster.
I’M GOING TO SAY THIS JUST ONCE: There is no shampoo or conditioner that can make cells divide faster than they are supposed to. Your hair grows because little cells in the root of the hair follicle divide over and over again at a relatively set rate. Your shampoo is NOT going to affect that. It’s not. Really.
TIP: Keep your scalp and body healthy and your little cells will divide steadily so your hair will grow like it’s supposed to. Easy peasy!
Myth #9: My hair will get “used to” my hair care products and they will stop working
YOUR HAIR IS DEAD…it doesn’t know what your smearing on it. How can it “get used to” anything? The hair root is alive but once the hair reaches the skin surface, it is made up of dead cells. If you are using an oil or shampoo that says that it makes your hair grow and it “stops working” (it wasn’t working in the first place sweetheart) because “your hair got used to it”, someone sold you snake-oil and you need to look at your nutrition and health in general to help your hair grow properly.
Myth #10: Washing my hair often will make it fall out
GRAIN OF TRUTH BUT ALSO NOT. Your hair goes through growth and shedding phases. You are almost always shedding SOME hair. It’s usually just more noticeable when you see them floating down the plug hole after washing. Clogged up skin, pollutants and product residue will cause irritation and can make your hair fall out if you don’t wash it with some regularity. Conditioners should not be applied directly to the scalp but to the hair itself which is where it’s supposed to do it’s job. I wouldn’t wash every day but every other day or a couple of times a week will not make your hair fall out any faster as long as you rinse product out properly and you dry your hair before going to bed. Over-washing your hair will damage it and put strain on the scalp which can make you lose hair but sensible washing isn’t going to do that.
There you go then. You can’t make your hair grow faster but smearing stuff on your head. Pulling out one grey hair does not make two grow in it’s place and to have lovely hair you have to be healthy.
Loves ya loads!