What’s fact and what’s fiction when it comes to haircare?
Cutting your hair makes it grow back faster
Hair doesn’t have a nervous system, it doesn’t have a blood supply, it doesn’t have a will — it’s just a strand of protein, and it has no way of communicating back to the rest of your body whether it’s been clipped back to two millimetres long or whether it’s being allowed to grow out to three feet. The same goes with facial hair — regular shaving doesn’t make your beard grow back thicker and faster. The speed of regrowth depends entirely on genetics, so thank your DNA rather than your barber.
Stress causes grey hair
We’ve all seen the meme: a fresh-faced Barack Obama with jet black hair in 2008, then a much more grizzly presidential portrait after eight years in the Oval Office in 2016. But it’s a myth that the demands of two terms as POTUS greyed Obama’s hair — you could take the same photos of any man in his late 40s and 50s eight years apart and you’d see the same thing, because that’s typically the stage of life when hair loses its pigment. Sure, stress isn’t good for the body, but long days at the office don’t possess some magical bleaching quality that’ll leave you with a ghostly mane overnight.
You need to shampoo your hair every day
Don’t listen to the commercials, which are trying to convince you to swim in suds as often as possible — you don’t need to lather up every day, and doing so actually isn’t healthy for your hair because it depletes your scalp of the nutrients that give your strands a natural gloss. Everyone’s hair produces oils at different speeds so give it a wash once it starts to feel too oily, but don’t feel obliged to scrub those natural oils away every morning.
A dry scalp causes dandruff
Snowy shoulders can’t be cured by a little extra squirt of conditioner — it’s caused by a yeast imbalance on the scalp rather than dryness. Only this decade, the scientists behind Head & Shoulders discovered the cause was a natural yeast called ‘Malassezia globosa’ that feasts on your hair’s oil and inflames the scalp, flaking the top layer of skin. The problem can be solved with a good medicated shampoo — Head & Shoulders dominate the market — as well as avoiding black shirts.
Your mum’s dad is to blame for your receding hairline
Sorry, if you thought you were immunised from your old man’s bald spot because your pop had luscious locks well into his 80s, you’re going to be disappointed with this busted myth. Male pattern baldness comes down to DNA from both sides of the family, not just your maternal grandfather, meaning the basis for this widespread belief is about as thin as your rapidly receding hairline.