For thousands of years, hair has been a symbol of beauty and has always had huge cultural significance. It’s an integral part of our very identity as humans, so it's no surprise that our tresses have been shrouded in myths and beliefs that have passed down through generations. Despite advancements in science and knowledge, many of us still cling to these myths, often driven by the desire for beautiful locks and sometimes an inability to distinguish between fact and fiction! In this article, we’ll explore and debunk 4 of these hair myths with the help of leading UK trichologist and Hair Gain ambassador Samantha Stewart.
Cutting Your Hair Will Make It Grow Faster
One of the most pervasive hair beliefs is that trimming hair frequently encourages faster growth. It’s rooted in the idea that cutting hair somehow stimulates the follicles, which promotes speedier growth. It’s also often the case that freshly trimmed hair looks healthier and thicker. However, it is indeed a hair myth.
“This is not true. We all have a genetic growth rate that cannot be extended. Regularly cutting hair ensures that we can retain the length that we grow. Once the hair shaft emerges from the scalp it is dead, this means that it is susceptible to damage. Once a hair has broken it will continue to fray until all the damage is removed. This can often make it seem as if the hair is not growing. When hair is trimmed regularly, it is able to grow to its full potential and this may appear like the trimming is making it grow faster.”
So, while regular trims are in important part of maintaining healthy-looking hair, they don’t stimulate growth.
Split Ends Can Be Repaired
The notion that split ends can be repaired is another idea that has stood the test of time. It’s down to a combination of factors. Many of us become quite emotionally attached to our hair length. We become reluctant to trim it, hoping that some magical cure exists out there that avoids sacrificing any of that precious length! Unfortunately, some hair care products have claimed they can cure the problem over the years, which has embedded the belief. But again, unfortunately it’s another hair myth!
“What some products can do is temporarily seal the split end, which can help decrease further damage. The only solution for split ends is to have them trimmed away.”
Hair Gets Used To The Same Products
An oldie, but a goodie! The thought behind this is that when the same hair care products are used for an extended period of time, they end up becoming less effective. This is why so many of us cycle restlessly between products. It’s also true to say that when a new product is used for the first time, this can actually make hair look or feel a little different! This helps to perpetuate the idea that the old stuff no longer works. But, again, it is a hair myth.
“This is not true, what actually can happen is certain ingredients build up on the hair shaft or the hair can become damaged meaning it needs change. When the hair has build-up, it can start to change how it looks and feels. Most well-formulated shampoos and conditioners are made not to build up on the hair shaft. But if you do use products that have ingredients that can build up, the addition of a clarifying shampoo to your regime can help prevent this.”
Pulling Out One Grey Hair Will Make More Grow In Its Place
A widely-held notion! This idea probably partly down to observational bias, as when someone plucks out a grey hair, a new grey one actually might appear near there to “replace” it. But it is nothing to do to with the actual plucking.
“The follicle contains multiple hair shafts. If you pluck a hair, it can appear that more grow in its place. But what you are seeing is the normal growth pattern of that hair follicle.”
The graying of hair is part of the aging process and is caused by a decrease in melanin in the hair follicles. Plucking one grey hair won’t lead to the spontaneous eruption of others!
It's incredible that so many hair myths have survived for so long. Historically, cultural beliefs and superstitions gave them life and kept them going, generation after generation. But even in our more enlightened times, social media does a great job of spreading misinformation, while some marketing of hair products can occasionally be a little misleading!
To achieve the healthy, beautiful hair we all want, we need to separate fact from fiction and follow the science. Our range of supplements and topicals are clinically proven to support hair and scalp health while combatting hair thinning and fall. Give your hair the care it needs with our Hair Capsules, Hair Gummies, Hair Mask and our amazing new Scalp Foam.