Who says you can’t be sexy forever, or have long and healthy hair even after 50? Or that short hair is frumpy, or that bright blond looks tacky after a certain age? We’ve tossed those beliefs and rules out the window. But what about those other little, nagging, back-of-mind hair folktales? Does brushing your hair 100 strokes a day make it healthier? Does a flaky scalp mean dandruff? Can your hair get used to a shampoo and stop working? Yes — or yarn? Here’s the truth (and just between us), some of these are trickier than a simple yes or no.
Myth 1 : Too much sunshine causes hair loss
Although it may feel like your head is on fire after hours hanging out at the beach, sustained exposure to sunshine is not a direct cause of hair loss. However, Dr. Antonella Tosti, hair loss expert and Keeps medical advisor, notes that if you notice your hair getting lighter during the summer, it’s a sign of damage that’ll likely result in your hair becoming dry.
How’s this for scary: You’re just as likely to deal with hair loss as the guy next door. We’re not talking about full-blown balding, but more subtle (and no less traumatic) thinning, like your part getting wider or your scalp showing through. “About 40–50% of women are affected by hair thinning,” says Nicole Rogers, MD, a hair transplant surgeon and board-certified dermatologist based in New Orleans. But in order to treat it, you need to get to the root of the problem. One thing standing in your way? All those myths about what causes or fixes hair loss. So we spoke to the experts to separate fact from fiction, once and for all.
Quick tip: Just because that blazing hot sun doesn’t cause hair loss, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Be sure to always apply SPF—it’s your skin’s best friend—and add a hat up top if you want some extra protection.
Myth 2: Stress turns your hair gray.
Truth: No way! If that were true, we’d all be gray by high school. Going gray is a genetic thing. When the cells that produce melanin — your hair pigment — no longer produce color, it’s over. There is no current scientific proof that stress accelerates graying, but it can do other unfriendly things. For example, all hair goes through rest periods when follicles don’t grow. Extreme stress can push this growth phase ahead. So three months from now, you may experience more fallout than usual, and the new hairs that grow in may be gray. Rule out any hair changes — possibly due to drug side effects, hormonal causes or underlying illness — by seeing your doctor.
Myth 3: Your hair gets used to the same shampoo.
Truth: Yes and no. But it’s not all in your head. If you think your shampoo and conditioner are no longer doing their job, it’s because your hair needs have changed. You’ve probably cut, colored, relaxed or straightened your hair. Or grown it longer, gotten extensions or gone natural in texture. Or moved to a different climate or started using new styling products. Or become lazy in your habits, such as shampooing less often, skipping a deep conditioning once a week, not rinsing enough or over-rinsing. In fact, it’s probably some combination of these. It’s time to match your current hair to your new routine.
Myth 4: Brush 100 strokes a day for healthy hair.
Truth: Brushing is a form of friction that, if done to excess — as in 100 strokes — will damage all hair, but especially thin, weak and fragile locks. However, there’s some benefit to brushing gently and briefly to stimulate scalp circulation and help distribute natural oils from roots to tips. A few strokes with a natural bristle brush on dry hair does it. Skip synthetic or vent bristles, toss old brushes with bent or broken bristles, and never brush wet hair. Bend from the waist and work your way from roots to ends if hair is long, or just stand up and whoosh right through.
Myth 5: Ponytails, dreads and braids are a stylish daily choice.
Truth: Absolutely! However, constant tension and traction on hair by styles that are pulled tight — including ponytails, braids, weaves, dreadlocks, cornrows or extensions — can cause a receding hairline or breakage that leaves hair thinner, weakened and damaged. In fact, traction alopecia can mimic female pattern baldness, so catch the damage before it’s irreversible. Change your ‘do and loosen up. Try a soft updo that leaves loose pieces dangling. Style bigger, imperfect braids that start at the nape. Shift placement of ponytails (when you do wear one) and use thick fabric covered scrunchie-type bands (not elastics). Go with your natural texture. Or hold hair off the face with a soft fabric band or scarf.
Myth 6: Washing your hair too much can cause thinning.
Truth: There’s no need to fear the shampoo bottle. “You’re just cleansing the scalp, and that’s not going to affect the root,”. As for the strands on the shower floor, they’ve likely come to the end of their natural cycle anyway. So unless you’re breaking strands by raking a comb or brush through wet hair, the washing process is only getting rid of the stuff that’s already come loose from your scalp.
Myth 7: Wearing a Hat Will Make You Lose Hair
Truth: The myth that hats cause hair loss has existed for a long time. It’s hard to identify where this myth started, but it seems to originate from a series of clinical studies in the 70s and 80s that studied thermoregulation (your body’s ability to regulate its temperature). Those studies supposed that hats make the head warm, so the body sheds hair to cool off. Future studies proved them wrong, but the myth remains.
There is a correlation between hats and hair loss, however. It’s not that hats cause hair loss, but that hair loss causes guys to wear hats. This is why the myth won’t abate.
While it’s possible that wearing something too tight on your head can cause traction alopecia (hair loss due to trauma to the hair shaft and follicle), you’d have to wear something painfully tight to cause permanent hair loss.
Myth 8: Birth control pills can contribute to hair loss/ hair thinning
Truth: “This one is half true,” says Dr Zioga. “Birth controls pills can provoke thinning and in some cases, hair loss too. The good thing is that most of the time the hair loss or thinning is reversible. It’s important to say here that not all women on birth control pills will be affected by hair thinning and if they are, the degree of hair loss will vary case by case. Birth control pills can cause the hair to move from the growing phase to the resting phase too soon. This form of hair loss is called telogen effluvium. Furthermore, if baldness runs in your family, birth control pills can speed up the hair loss process.”
Myth 9: Changing your diet won’t make a difference
Truth: “Hair is made up of keratin, which is a natural protein. Making sure your diet is high in protein can therefore help to keep hair strong and looking shiny and healthy. Try to incorporate meat, fish and eggs into your diet (if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, look to high-protein foods such as quinoa, soy, lentils and beans) and you may gradually notice an improvement.
Tips:Vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin D, biotin, iron, magnesium, niacin and zinc in will also help to contribute to strong and healthy hair, along with a diet rich in grains, fruits and vegetables.”
Myth 10: If you see a lot of hair in your shower drain, it means your hair is thinning.
Truth: “This doesn’t mean it’s permanently thinning. I recommend going to a doctor and having some blood work done. If the excess shedding is caused by a nutritional deficiency — iron, zinc, vitamin D, and protein are critical — taking supplements and improving your diet will usually stop the shedding, and the hair will return to a normal growth cycle.”
What are your thoughts about those myths,did we busted them?
If you have any questions ask them our pros at ZoyaG and they will be happy to bust some more MYTHS!
And remember:The beauty of a woman must be seen from in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.