There are many commonly held beliefs about hair growth out there that are simply not true. These beliefs are everywhere – we grow up believing them and following the apparent conventional wisdom unquestioningly. However, not only are a lot of the hair growth myths out there plain wrong, but many of them were created by the hair care industry to encourage you to buy more products.
Are you still hanging onto any of these superstitions? It’s time to stop believing in them and really do what’s best for your hair.
7 Hair Growth Myths You Need to Stop Believing
Hair growth myths abound – whether it’s what type of shampoo to use, how often to cut your hair, or whether or not a hair growth diet exists, we’re going to take a moment to clear up some of that hairy confusion… starting with these seven myths.
1. Cutting Your Hair Makes It Grow Faster
Conventional wisdom holds that you should get your hair cut every six to eight weeks, if not more. According to legend, healthy tips are critical to helping your hair grow at its maximum rate.
First of all, your hair grows from the roots, not the tips. However, split ends can make your hair seem like it’s growing more slowly, or make it seem less full. Likewise, split ends can travel up your strands, resulting in more and more frizz.
It’s a good idea to get a dusting or a micro-trim when you start to notice dry or split ends. But it’s not going to make your hair grow any faster.
2. Shampoo Makes Your Hair Grow More Slowly
Some people believe that shampooing your hair frequently makes you shed and reduces your hair’s growth. In fact, the idea that shampoo is detrimental to hair growth is a primary factor behind the “no-poo” movement.
While it’s true that most people don’t need to wash their hair every day, neither is it a good idea to never shampoo. Shampoo removes product buildup, excess oil, and sebum that cakes onto your scalp over time. It also preps your hair to make it easier for your conditioner to penetrate – which will keep your hair looking healthier longer.
3. You Should Brush Your Hair Every Day for Maximum Growth
Remember that myth from your grandmother about how girls need to brush their hair 100 times each day for maximum growth? Yeah, don’t believe that.
We associate soft, shiny hair with healthy hair and brushing helps acquire that exact appearance. According to this myth, brushing helps distribute scalp oils evenly throughout your hair. In reality, too much brushing can actually damage your hair by yanking it out or causing breakage.
The right amount of brushing depends on your hair type. There’s no given amount of brushing that’s right for everyone.
4. Switching Up Products Makes Your Hair Grow Better
Just like we do a better with a varied diet, your hair does better when you switch up your products – so the myth goes. The idea here is that your hair “gets used” to a certain type of product and then that product stops being quite so effective. Switching it up also is believed to deliver different nutrients to help your hair stay healthy.
Hair stops responding to shampoos or conditioners for a variety of reasons, not because it’s “used” to a certain treatment. Everything from environmental factors to hormones can influence the way hair responds to a product. If your products have stopped working, you might also have buildup on your hair that’s inhibiting it. In that case, try a clarifying shampoo.
5. You Can Eat a Diet for Hair Growth
Like other parts of the body, hair health depends on nutrition. Plenty of water, plus a balanced diet full of protein, biotin, and healthy fats can contribute to happy hair and glowing skin. Likewise, some research does support the claim that a diet without enough protein can hinder hair growth as well.
However, the speed at which your hair grows is largely determined by genetics and your hair type, not the presence of additional “hair supplements.” If you aren’t deficient in protein, biotin, zinc, or selenium, you aren’t going to see much of a difference if you adopt a “hair growth diet.”
6. If You Pluck Your Gray Hairs, More Will Grow in Their Place
Have you ever heard of the advice that plucking gray hairs will cause two, three, or even more to grow back? There’s absolutely zero science behind that.
Hair turns gray as a result of a decreased production of melanin – which happens mostly as we age. For most people, gray hairs start cropping up between the ages of 34 and 44. However, exactly when that happens is determined by genes. (Likewise, there’s not really any scientific evidence supporting the idea that stress causes gray hair.)
Plucking your hair doesn’t cause a decrease in melanin production. It might, however, result in bald spots because hair strands are unable to grow back due to scarring on the scalp.
7. Ponytails and Braids Slow Down Hair Growth
Finally, you may occasionally hear the claim that braids and ponytails slow down hair growth. This hair growth myth is related to the very real observation that certain braiding styles, weaves, or extensions that put significant tension on the scalp can lead to hair loss.
Braids and ponytails on their own won’t damage your hair or slow down the growth, especially if you don’t pull them tight at the scalp. However, always make sure to release them after a few days to prevent stressing out the scalp.
Healthy Hair Is Happy Hair
There are a lot of hair growth myths out there. However, when it comes down to it, there’s really only one thing that helps your hair grow faster: keeping it healthy. From using gentle shampoos and conditioners to drying it the right way (such as using a microfiber hair towel), healthy hair is happy hair – and hair that is truly beautiful.
Enjoy the best hair day ever – every day, by giving your hair what it needs. Get a satin pillowcase with your purchase of a hair towel and enjoy a happy, healthy hair.