Fact Checking Ten Hair Myths

Our hair is an important part of our identity. Just like the clothes we wear, the way we treat our hair says a lot to the world about who we really are. Because of this, it's important to be well informed about all things hair-related, or at least the more important aspects. You've probably heard or read many interesting “facts” about hair, but are they accurate? A myth can be intriguing when seeking a solution, but misinformation could have disastrous results. For example, a friend of mine once swore that working out on an empty stomach burned the most fat and it would be best to avoid any sort of food intake before going on a run. I took it to Google, and came across some articles that supposedly confirmed what my friend told me. And so one morning I got out of bed and instead of eating breakfast as normal, I went on a run. Not even halfway through my normal route, I began to feel light-headed. Thinking it would pass, I kept going. Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the ground with the world around me spinning. I later learned from my doctor that skipping breakfast before my morning run was a bad idea, and eating the right foods was the best way to go about it. She supplied me with a list of good pre-workout meals, and my performance increased to above my personal average. My point here is that there is so much misinformation out there, and that eventually makes its way to the internet where “everything we read is true.” To be fair, sometimes these tales are accurate. Did you know an ant can actually survive a fall from the Empire State Building? Others are plain false. Contrary to some swearing by it, Walt Disney was not cryogenically frozen Han Solo style. Still, others are based on truth but also not quite accurate. Today we're going to take a look at 10 things that we think we know about hair, and get to the bottom of whether or not they're accurate. Let's get to it! Myth #1: If you use the same shampoo every time you wash your hair, it will become less effective. Research has shown that it's all about finding the right shampoo. Everyone's hair is different, and will respond differently to certain ingredients.

I've personally found that anything with synthetic sulfates will give me an embarrassing amount of dandruff. But once you find that right shampoo, it'll work just fine for as long as you use it. The lack of effectiveness you're experiencing is likely a result of you becoming used to the product and thus it loses that “honeymoon phase” magic. The Verdict: FALSE

Myth #2: Shaving a baby's head will prevent baldness later in life. This is an interesting one. Back in college I went to visit a friend who had just had her first child. I saw her shave the newborn's head, and of course I had to ask why.

She informed me that this practice would prevent her son from going bald in the future, as she was worried about the genetics of her husband passing on to their son. He had lost most of his hair by his early 20s. Anyway, it's scientifically proven that shaving won't do anything for the hair follicles beneath the scalp, so we're going to have to go with a hard “No” on this one. The Verdict: FALSE

Myth #3: You can damage wet hair by rubbing it with a towel. Your hair is prone to damage when it's wet because it has less strength than when the hair is dry. Therefore, vigorous rubbing can cause friction between your hair leading to split ends, and knotting. The best solution here is to be gentle or use a hair dryer on a low power setting. It makes the process last longer, but at the end of the day your hair will thank you for it. The Verdict: TRUE

Myth #4: If you pluck out a gray hair, two more will grow in its place. This is one that I believed for the longest time. Around my senior year of high school one of my friends pointed out that I had a gray hair. Everyone around noticed and the entire school pointed and laughed as I hung my head in shame.

Okay, so the last part isn't accurate, but it sure felt that way at the time! And so I went home and plucked it out. Problem solved! A week later I noticed a couple more gray hairs. Panicking I got rid of those. Then more came. I soon learned to ignore them, and suddenly the “mother nature's highlights” became less noticeable. Why though? We'll get to that in a second, but for now just know that it's scientifically proven that plucking a gray hair won't result in two more growing in its place. That's not to say that you should do it, because repeatedly pulling hairs out with a pair of tweezers can legitimately damage your scalp. The Verdict: FALSE

Myth #5: Stress can cause you to lose hair. This is pretty closely related to the above myth. I felt like I was growing more and more of those gray hairs, while also losing other hair. Was I going to be completely gray or bald by age 30? I was driving myself crazy over my appearance in college, and that's just scratching the surface.

Many can agree that mid-terms and finals can be absolute hell, and stress is proven to cause negative effects on the body. And yes, that includes hair. The unfortunate truth here is that anxiety can indeed impact hair and cause it to fall out. In simple terms, when you're under extreme stress most of your hairs switch from a growing to a resting phase. While in the resting phase, it's much easier to lose that hair. The good news: This type of hair loss is reversible and it will grow back! Just take a deep breath, and relax. The Verdict: TRUE

Myth #6: Washing your hair every day will dry it out. I see this get debated quite often. Some think you need to wash your hair every day, while others swear by never using any sort of shampoo. Then you have those in the middle, that say you should use shampoo every other day while simply rinsing on the off-days. So who is right? Well, it depends.

It's complicated, but your hair type and choice of products has a lot to do with it.

But when you go to science, it's been proven that while it's perfectly okay to only shampoo twice a week or so, you can indeed wash it every day without doing any damage. Just be sure to use a good conditioner afterward, and your hair will be just fine. The Verdict: FALSE

Myth #7: Pulling your hair back too tightly can potentially cause baldness. People are attracted by many different styles, and I personally find ponytails to be among one of the best looking hair styles out there. But are they good for your hair? Well, yes. And no... sometimes.

Pulling your hair back is fine. Many do it without any actual problems. The negative issues come up when you put too much strain on it. Avoid using too much tension for a prolonged period of time. The general rule of thumb is that if you can feel the tug on your scalp, it's being pulled too tightly. This could actually lead to irreversible hair loss. Just go easy on the ponytail or whatever style you're using to pull the hair back, and everything will be okay.. The Verdict: TRUE

Myth #8: When washing hair, it's best to lather, rinse, and repeat. Can too much cleaning be a bad thing? My roommate certainly doesn't think so when it comes to tidying up the house. But what about hair? Things can get a bit complicated here, but to put it simply it really depends on how much product you use on your hair before washing. If that buildup is excessive, then it's probably a good idea to do another round.

The important thing here is to lather gently and if you're going to go through the process more than once, it's best to use a mild shampoo so that you don't irritate the scalp. The Verdict: TRUE... sometimes

Myth #9: Rinsing with cold water will make your hair more shiny. When we think of taking a shower, most imagine standing under a warm flow of water that cleans our entire bodies and feels amazing. Not many want to stand under cold water. But does it really make your hair more shiny? You warm shower lovers might want to skip ahead to #10 and pretend that this doesn't exist. We'll wait. Waiting. Still waiting. … Still with us? Okay. So we'll get the bad news out of the way first.

Yes, rinsing with cold water does in fact make your hair more shiny by closing the cuticles more quickly. The good news is that it's very minimal, so whether that slight amount of extra shine is worth running cold water over your head is worth the trouble or not is completely up to you. There are other reasons why cold water may be better for your scalp though, as warm water does tend to dry it out. Those of us who are more prone to dandruff may want to suffer through the cold shower though; at least when rinsing our hair. The Verdict: TRUE

Myth #10: Coloring your hair will damage it. A lot of us like to experiment with different colors. As someone with dark brown hair, I wonder if my life would be any different if I were blonde? Hair dye can give me the chance to find out! I tried jet-black once and the reactions from those around me were overwhelmingly positive. But this was done by a professional stylist. Fact is, those cheap at-home hair dying kits may actually be yet another example of the classic phrase “You get what you pay for.”

Even some inexperienced stylists don't take your hair type into account, and that can lead to potential problems. Like most things hair-related, it all comes down to your choice in products and correct usage. Coloring your hair too often can also damage your hair. Experts recommend that you dye it every 6-8 weeks. So can you color your hair without any negative consequences? Well, yes. But it needs to be done properly. The Verdict: FALSE... if done properly

These have been just ten of dozens of hair myths I get asked about. I don't want to take anything away from urban legends, and as shown on the above list some of them are indeed factual. A sense of wonder is fantastic. I miss the days when I believed that stars were actually “fireflies stuck up on that blueish black thing” above us. But when it comes to our bodies, it's best to know the difference between fact and fiction. You deserve to have hair that looks and feels great, and we at The Studio want to do everything we can to ensure that you have a healthy, good-looking head of hair. And that... is true!