Monday, July 26, 2010

Hair care myths debunked by Good Housekeeping

While perusing Yahoo's home page, I noticed Shine's post from Good Housekeeping entitled, "Don't Be Fooled by These Hair-Care Myths."

Whenever I find ANY articles about hair, whether it focuses on natural hair or not, I'm raring to go in terms of dissecting and breaking down their posts and whether I agree with them or not. I plan on doing that with this. Check out my breakdown below of the article's content.

Myth: Frequent trims make hair grow faster.
Truth: "Hair grows a half-inch per month, whether you cut it or not," says John Barrett, owner of the John Barrett Salon in New York City. Hair may grow slightly faster in the summer, but that has nothing to do with the stylist's scissors and everything to do with hormones, which do speed growth a little. One thing a trim will do: Eliminate split ends, making hair look better.

My opinion: I agree with them, but I'll expand a bit further. While the hair WILL grow regardless of whether you cut it, for those with curly or tightly curled hair, it's ability to retain said length will require that you trim snaggly and damaged ends because the damaged length has the propensity to damage the HEALTHY length. So, it's not about making the hair LOOK better. It's about retaining healthier length in general.

In addition, healthier lifestyles, which includes healthy eating, exercise and drinking plenty of water helps in retaining healthy growth. It's not just about growing hair. You want to have healthy hair.

Myth: Stress can make your hair fall out.
Truth: Although your hair is falling out all the time, to the tune of 50 to 120 strands per day, it's possible that you may lose a few more strands when you're "catastrophically" stressed, meaning you have had a major life change such as a divorce, lost job, or surgery, says Gerome Litt, M.D., an assistant professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland. "Other culprits are pregnancy or antibiotics. After a few weeks, it will almost certainly grow back."

My opinion: Catastrophic is an extreme word. Stress in general can have an affect on your entire body, so of course it'll affect your hair! You can become fatigued, lethargic and it can affect just how well you care for yourself in terms of nutrition. If you're not eating or drinking, it will affect what happens on top of your head. Think about it. If our organs get the most important nutrients FIRST and you're not taking in what's necessary, how will your hair "thrive"?

So it doesn't NEED to be catastrophic for it to have an affect, as everyone's coping mechanisms and response to stressors differ. And let's not forget stress on your hair can cause your hair to fall out. Too much tension and pulling can have the same affect.

Myth: Switching shampoos can make hair look healthier.
Truth: It may seem so, but experts scoff. "Hair can't tell the difference between brands or build up tolerance to any product," says London-based hair and scalp expert Philip Kingsley. "Your favorite shampoo will work the same every time you lather up, week after week, month after month." If you have very oily hair or favor a particularly sticky styling product that contains wax, it does pay to use a clarifying shampoo once every two weeks to wash away residue.

My opinion: I HIGHLY disagree with the response of the "expert". This person is assuming you're using the same types of products and that the shampoo in general can remove the ingredients IN the products being used. All shampoos are NOT created equal. You have SLS, SLES, ALS, ALES, coco-betaine, etc., etc., and the strength of these vary, with the sulfates being the most harsh on the hair. And wax isn't the only ingredient that would need a stronger cleansing agent. You can have silicones that have the propensity to build up in product formulations, and then you have your mineral oil and petroleum-based ingredients. Oh, and you have hard water issues that you may have to factor in, which requires different care and products as well!

The comment that "hair can't tell the difference" is irrelevant. The hair CAN respond differently based upon the ingredients and how effective it is in cleaning and removing product buildup. If it's too harsh, you're left dealing with dry hair and will have to use moisturizing products to offset the drying effects. If it's not cleansing enough, it'll leave your hair still coated with non-water soluble ingredients which can continue to buildup up. Especially if you're doing a no-poo/low-poo routine.

And did people really think shampoo makes the hair look healthy? LOL!

Myth: If you pluck out one gray hair, two or three will sprout in its place.
Truth: While this isn't true, plucking out those gray strands is a bad habit. You can damage the roots, causing infection or leaving a scar.

My opinion: LOL! Definitely not true. Graying hair is either flat out hereditary in origin, or caused by something other than "plucking them out". In fact, research conducted by European scientists is suggesting that the cause of graying hair is possibly tied to the lack of presence of a particular enzyme that causes the build up of hydrogen peroxide, which blocks the production of another enzyme that produces the melanin that is our hair's natural pigment. Interesting, huh?

Myth: You can't make flat, fine hair look full of body.
Five minutes with a set of large hot rollers will add life to straight hair.

My opinion: Anyone can have fuller-looking hair. And while larger rollers can help(regardless of whether used on straight OR curly hair), also not piling on a lot of product can help. Too much obviously weighs the hair down, so if you want fuller body, use less product too.

Myth: Rinsing with ice-cold water after a shampoo will give you shinier hair.
It might wake you up, but a dousing of cold water will have no effect on the shininess of your tresses.

My opinion: Disagree with their "truth". Cooler rinses close the cuticle, which smooths it and allows light to reflect off of the hair better, so yes, it WILL make your hair appear shinier. Thankyouverymuch.

Myth: Coloring your hair causes major damage.
Products today — both at home and in the salon — are gentle enough not to weaken hair. In fact, some contain extra conditioners that may leave hair more manageable than before. Although it's not necessary, "it can't hurt to consult a professional stylist the first.

My opinion: In what universe is coloring not really damaging in some capacity? ESPECIALLY when you're LIFTING your base color? Who's doling out this advice? What do you mean they're gentle enough to NOT weaken your hair? First off, any process that changes the structure of your hair can potentially damage the hair. Of course the conditioners they provide there can help make your hair APPEAR more manageable. Especially if they include certain ingredients that MASK damage. But manageable doesn't equal healthy. If I'm dyeing my hair blonde, which involves bleaching my natural dark brown hair, it's weakening the structure because of the harshness of the process needed to LIFT the color.

Simply put, unless you're using a demi-permanent or only depositing color, it does have the potential to weaken your hair. And as someone who DID lift her natural color often in the past and DID use good products, the coloring DID weaken and make my hair prone to breakage. So yeah, I disagree with them.....again.

Myth: You should brush your hair 100 strokes every day
"Brush it only to style it, because brushing pulls hairs out of their follicles and possibly weakens individual strands," says Kingsley.

My opinion: I don't think ANYONE needs to brush their hair this often, if at all. Depending on the style, the right brush needs to be used to minimize potential damage.

Myth: You can mend split ends with the right products
Once they're split, that's it. The only thing you can do then is cut them off. Celebrity stylist Jimmy Paul suggests making split ends less noticeable by applying a product containing silicone or beeswax. It will temporarily seal ends together, making hair softer and more manageable.

My opinion: Something I actually completely agree with. You can't repair damage to something that cannot regenerate itself. Hair isn't like skin in that if it sustains damage, it can repair itself. The only thing I wouldn't recommend is masking it. Removing it is the best way to maintain healthier hair, but using products with the ingredients listed above does help to seal the ends and making the damage less noticeable.

Myth: To get really clean hair, you must "lather, rinse, and repeat."
One thorough washing will do the trick.

My opinion: You don't even need to use shampoo to have a clean scalp and hair, but I agree. And lather doesn't equal clean. We need to get away from believing that.

I hope this breakdown has been helpful. Are there any other fallacies in this article that I missed that you all would like to add? What say you?

Natural Urbanista

1 comment:

Hair Fall said...

Thanks for the information