IF I PLUCK ONE GREY HAIR, TWO WILL GROW BACK IN ITS PLACE
Fiction: only one hair can grow from a single follicle. But since the pigment cells are already dead (the reason you have a grey in the first place), the new hair that grows back will still be grey. Beware of plucking, though, as you can damage the follicle and cause infection.
CUTTING HAIR MAKES IT GROW BACK FASTER AND THICKER
Fiction: hair grows at the same rate – around half an inch every month - regardless of how often you cut it. This myth is based on the fact that hair grows thinner the closer you get to the tip, making short strands appear thicker and darker.
SMOKING CAUSES GREY HAIR
Fact: a study published in the bmj a decade ago demonstrated that smokers are almost 4 times more likely to have grey hair than non-smokers. Since premature ageing is a widely acknowledged consequence of smoking, grey hairs are simply part of the price you pay for lighting up.
WASHING HAIR EVERY DAY WILL MAKE IT SHED MORE QUICKLY
Fiction: unless you’ve got male pattern baldness, chances are you’re going to lose around 100 hairs a day anyway. And that has nothing to do with your washing habits. Daily shampooing only helps remove the hairs that have already fallen out.
SWIMMING IN A POOL WILL TURN YOUR HAIR GREEN
Fact: naturally blond or coloured hair can take on a green-ish hue not because of chlorine, but because of the copper content in the water that binds to the hair proteins.
STRESS WILL TURN YOUR HAIR GREY
Fiction: while many men believe that stress is turning them grey, studies have shown that the ‘overnight’ appearance greys is typically due to alopecia areata, a condition whereby thicker, darker hairs suddenly shed, leaving only greys (which, in turn, become more apparent).
STANDING ON YOUR HEAD WILL MAKE HAIR GROW
Fiction: attempting to increase blood flow to your scalp by standing on your head won’t work as circulation has no impact on the growth cycles. And if you’ve actually tried doing this, you probably have bigger problems than hair loss.
THICK HAIR IS FOR LIFE
Fiction: in the same way that hair gets thicker during childhood, it will also thin as you get older. This is due to the hormones that control bodily functions and hair texture. In some rare cases, straight hair can turn curly and vice versa!
HAIR LOSS ONLY COMES FROM THE MOTHER’S SIDE
Fiction: while baldness is hereditary, the actual gene in question can come from either parent. A quick glance at your dad’s scalp will usually give you a rough idea of how you’ll turn out.
HAIR CAN BECOME ‘IMMUNE’ TO SHAMPOO, CONDITIONERS AND STYLING PRODUCTS
Fiction: this isn’t strictly true. If you stop responding to your favourite brand, it’s probably because the hair has become overloaded with product and needs to be washed out with a good clarifying treatment. It’s always wise to have a couple of products on rotation to help prevent this.