11 Hair Care Myths, Debunked with Our Expert Facts

Shaving/Cutting hair makes it grow thicker and faster

Shampoo your hair every day/once a week

In the words of Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Hair is everything. Whether we like it or not, the state of our hair is the difference between a good day and a bad day. The average UK woman spends 10 days a year doing her hair at home, and more than £3,000 on products. We’re constantly looking for the quickest and easiest way to achieve a good hair day, every day; but are we doing more damage to our hair in the process?

One of the greatest things about living in the digital age is that we have access to a wealth of information that previous generations did not… but there is still a ton of misinformation out there. From superstitions to hacks, we take a look at some of the top 11 most common hair myths you should avoid:

Shaving/Cutting hair makes it grow thicker and faster

 

The most common myth by far is that shaving or cutting your hair makes it grow thicker and faster. When hair grows from the follicle, the ends are naturally tapered to a point, so when you cut them the blunt, uniform ends can make the hair appear thicker, but that’s it. Getting your hair trimmed regularly will also stop split ends from damaging the lengths of your hair, maintaining its overall health, but that won’t necessarily make it grow any faster either.

The best way to encourage hair growth is to keep your scalp and hair in great condition. That means washing your hair regularly with a gentle cleanser to remove the buildup of product, natural oils and dead skin cells, and opting for products that help to reduce the daily wear and tear of modern living on your hair.


Speaking of cleaning your hair…

You should shampoo your hair every day/once a week

 

When it comes to hair hygiene, everyone has an opinion on how often you should wash your hair – just type it into Google and you will find thousands of articles, each saying something different. Dermatologists generally believe that your scalp should be treated like the skin on your face, and there is no one size fits all approach to that either.

As a general rule of thumb, hair should be washed when it gets dirty. So, if it looks oily, your scalp is itchy, or it doesn’t smell too fresh, give it a wash. How long that takes will depend on things like your hair type, your lifestyle, and what you’re putting on your hair. If you’re a regular at the gym, or use a lot of products on your hair, bear in mind that washing your hair every day with harsh cleansers, can strip your hair of its natural oils and leave it dry. A sulphate free shampoo will be gentler and kinder to your hair, whilst still getting the job done.

Brushing your hair 100 times will make it shiny

 

This one is definitely something that has been handed down through the generations. You can imagine your Granny, sitting on the edge of her bed, brushing through her hair with a bristle brush and counting the strokes under her breath. Well, leave it to the past.

Brushing your hair helps to distribute the natural oils from your scalp down the lengths, so it’s not entirely inaccurate, but 100 times? That’s just overkill. Everything in moderation please. Plus, if you have curly hair, brushing will disturb the curl pattern and turn your coils to frizz. Instead, use a wide toothed comb to detangle your hair, and refresh your curls by spritzing them with water and scrunching.

Using products that contain nourishing ingredients like the Josh Wood Colour Gloss Hair Colour Treatments will help keep your hair looking luxuriously lustrous, whilst maintaining hair health and hair colour.

If you pluck a grey hair, three more will grow in its place

 

This old wives tale has staying power. We all have friends that swear down they plucked ONE grey hair, and then the next morning they had multiple white strands staring back in the mirror. These friends are liars, sorry to say. Or at least misinformed. Only one hair will grow out of a follicle, and if the hair before it was white, another white one will grow back in its place, the surrounding hairs will only turn white if their pigment cells die too.

This doesn’t mean you should get pluck happy, though. Plucking the hair on your head only serves to irritate the follicle, which could lead to unhealthy hair. Remember, happy scalp, healthy hair.

If you're embracing the silvery strands, take a look at our guides on Transitioning to Grey and How To Maintain Your Grey.

Male hair loss is inherited from the mother

If your maternal grandfather is bald, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be too. We’re not entirely sure how the bald gene comes from, but it isn’t just passed down from the maternal side of your family. There are a number of other factors that can contribute to hair loss, including hormonal, environmental and stress too.

Dandruff is caused by dry scalp

When we talk about dandruff, we tend to describe it as dry scalp, but that’s not always the case. You can have a dry scalp and not have flakes, and you can have dandruff and not have a dry scalp. Dandruff is caused by an excess of the yeast that exists on your scalp that can be due to a number of environmental and genetic factors.

Using care products with an anti-fungal such as ketoconazol, selenium disulphide or salicylic acid can help keep it under control. 

Split ends can be repaired 

 

Split ends are the bane of healthy hair, and the most common problem people are looking to fix when it comes to hair care. Whilst many products promise to reduce the appearance of split ends, that is all they can do – reduce the appearance. Typically, conditioners, creams and serums contain ingredients like silicone to help temporarily coat the hair shaft, sealing the split ends together and protecting them from further damage. The only way to truly get rid of split ends is to trim them away.

Using care products with ingredients that will protect the hair from damage will minimise the occurrence of split ends. Our Josh Wood Colour Care range and Glosses contain antioxidants, amino acids and UV filters to help keep your hair in tip top condition. Get more info in our guide to Your Healthiest Hair Yet.

Oily hair doesn’t need hair conditioner

 

If you feel like your hair gets oily very quickly you might be tempted to skip the conditioner, when in fact your scalp is most likely producing oil to help moisturise itself. Traditional shampoos and alcohol based products like hairspray dry out your hair and scalp, so it’s always worthwhile using a conditioner to replace any moisture loss.

If your hair is fine, you might find that a lightweight conditioner works better for you. Thicker, coarser hair types will need an oil rich conditioner to boost moisture – especially if your hair is curly. Get an extra boost from a weekly hair treatment like our Everything Mask, which is suitable for all hair types.

Remember there is a difference between hydration-based masks, such as our Everything Mask, and protein-based masks. Be careful not to overuse protein-based masks as if you add too much protein to the hair it can lead to it becoming brittle, stick to using once a week for these.

You don’t need heat protection for your hair 

 

We cannot stress this enough – you need heat protection.

Blowdryers, curling irons and straighteners all use high heats that can damage your hair by evaporating the water molecules, stressing your hair cuticle and more. By using a heat protection product, you’re creating a protective barrier between the styling tool and your hair that will help seal in the moisture.

A good heat protection product will use ingredients like panthenol and propylene glycol, which are called humectants. These humectants help preserve moisture and block frizz. Other useful ingredients which strengthen, protect and seal hair, are amino acids like keratin, and natural extracts such as aloe.

Heat protectants that use silicones can weigh down fine hair and may be difficult to remove if you’re using very high heat, so bear that in mind.

Looking for the ultimate blow dry? Take a peek at our expert advice here.

Colouring is bad for your hair

 

Whilst lifting the hair with bleach can cause damage, colouring your hair doesn’t have to be bad. Traditional box dyes use harsh chemicals such as ammonia to lift the hair cuticle and deposit colour. Ammonia free colour like the Josh Wood Colour Permanent Colour range will be kinder to your hair.

If you’re colouring your hair at home, follow our guides to the best at home hair colour. 

'For Josh Wood Colour’s Permanent Colour in particular, we recommend a slightly different application method than you may be used to.” Jason tells us. “The hair colour is gentle and intensely nourishing thanks to its ammonia-free formula and special active ingredients. For that reason, we recommend a 'more is more' method, packing it onto the roots to make sure you achieve 100% grey coverage.”

Rinsing your hair in Apple Cider Vinegar to make it shiny

 

Apple Cider Vinegar is the new go to answer for everything it seems. Whilst the health benefits of ACV like its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can be beneficial to scalp health (hello, dandruff!), it is still an acid. Acids are very drying to hair and shouldn’t be applied past the scalp.

So, where does this myth come from? In the early days of hair care when people used bars of soap to wash their hair, the soap left a filmy residue which needed to be rinsed away with vinegar.

If your hair is naturally dry, damaged or tends to be brittle, vinegar may dry it out and make breakage more likely. Coloured hair, especially that which is lifted, may also react badly to a vinegar rinse. A gentle, sulphate free cleanser will do the trick just nicely, and will be less damaging to your hair.

Get our expert advice on the secret to shiny hair, no vinegar required.

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